When I started racking up states on my go-see list, getting within a dozen of Project Fifty (see Forty-Nine from August 2012), it inevitably required my visiting a handful of states a second time. Sometimes on the way, sometimes just for kicks and giggles, maybe just because I happened to be passing through on life’s journey. No regrets for having made the effort the first time, but the encore visits may have been the chance to see something – anything – I missed the first time. Assume I’ve done more research since the first go-around, I may have noticed or enjoyed or savored a new delightful something I missed on the first time. Example? The first time I entered Mississippi, the trek merely took me to Texas as I sliced across the Gulf Coast. A decade and half or more later, I stopped. I camped. I rubbed charcoal on the monument at Vicksburg.
Similarly, that first cut across I-95 in southeast New Hampshire simply relocated me from Massachusetts to Maine. An overnight in Manchester a couple decades later deepened my appreciation for, and duration in, the Granite State. I doubled back to Rhode Island, too. And Oregon. In bigger ways, I revisited Louisiana and Utah and North Dakota, but eventually those return trips became residences. Lesson learned? One trip isn’t enough. It’s worth going back again, even if you think you’ve already checked that box off the list.
One And Not Done
As you might expect, a handful of the states still occupy the one-and-done list. Let’s be honest – who only wants to go to Hawaii once? Not me! If anyone says the word, I will eagerly hop over the Pacific again. Of course, New Jersey earns the moniker of one-hit-wonder, and although I am certain there is more to experience, I have yet to plan a return voyage. Vermont remains on my return itinerary (see Vermont from April 2020) somewhere down the road, but for now, it’s just hiding over there on the outskirts of New England.
And then there’s Delaware. This deserves more than it has received from me. I’m not sure it counts as having been twice since I drove through it on my way from Maryland to Philly and back again in the same day. I didn’t stop – hell, I didn’t even take pictures of me in its tiny footprint. Now looking back almost two decades on, I owe it a glimpse, a visit, or at least a meal. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you – the oldest state in America. Hard truth: Hawaii still bests you in my someday-if-given-the-opportunity list, but I will come back. I promise. Don’t leave a light on for me, just know I haven’t forgotten about you. Insert an Arnold Schwarzenegger move quote here.