The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. – RF

I believe I was in Rock City when I met a friendly couple also taking a big trip. He was trying to knock out his “50 by 50,” meaning he had to visit each state before his 50th birthday. That’s great and all, but I don’t feel that spending a few hours in a state or hiking a state park really counts as a visit. Instead I made it my goal to sleep in all 50 states. I figure even a one night stand with a state counts as a visit. My recent dogsled trip ticked 4 more states off my list. So here’s some updated maps to keep track of my wanderings.

I don’t know why I made these arbitrary rules for myself but boundaries help in planning. First I have to remember sleeping in the state. I traveled a lot as a little guy and even have pictures in certain states, but if I don’t remember it I’ll assume they were faked. Second I’m strict with the sleep overnight rule. A nap on the side of the road doesn’t count and it doesn’t matter how much time I’ve spent traveling in the state. I’ve driven completely across North Dakota, Iowa, and Oklahoma, spending as much time on the road as I could. But I didn’t sleep there, so it doesn’t count.

Here’s a map of the states I’ve visited. If I was a lesser hobo without lofty travel goals, I would be able to brag that I’ve been to all but 4 states! Actually I could say all but 3 because I was in St. Louis as a peewee, I just don’t remember.

Unfortunately with my stupid rules, there are a lot more grey spots on the map of states I’ve slept in. Fortunately look at that line! This is set up perfect for another epic road trip without going out of the way through states I’ve already slept in. I guess I have to get planning…

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