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to the 19 states i haven't visited yet: an apology
by eloise young

Delaware - I am mystified I haven't happened to cross you yet. Where have you been tucking yourself away?

West Virginia - You are on my list of places to go once I really know how to ride my motorcycle well. If I visit your Blue Ridge Parkway and Deals Gap before then, I'll die. And you see, there are other states I haven't yet visited, so I mustn't die yet.

South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas - you guys scare me. It's that whole "deep south" thing. I'm scared you'll rape me, or not let me into a bar, or scratch up my Japanese motorcycle, or ask me where my husband who owns the bike is right now. Or that your sun will just burn me up where I stand.

Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas - I just have this feeling that if I wait long enough, my work will eventually take me to most if not all of you. And there isn't anything you have done to make me feel I should speed up that process.

North Dakota, Nebraska - I became so distracted by the joys of the jam between your slices as I rode through wondrous South Dakota, that I didn't have time to head off to either side and catch your sights too. Are you anywhere close to as interesting as your neighbor, or would I be disappointed with my expectations set too high?

Oklahoma - I really should visit you sometime soon. I have an ex-roomie from, and now back in, Tulsa. And I once stood on a hay bale in Winchester, England, singing several songs all about the version of you with the pling on the end.

New Mexico - I want to visit you and I think if I vacation often enough in the south west I probably will. And you'll be on my southern cross-country path for when I take a spring or fall long-distance bike ride. Plus I have to visit Albuquerque just for the spelling of it and because I once read a children's book all about malicious astral travel between twins, and one of them lived there.

Alaska - When I am married (if I ever get married) I think that would be the time to visit you. I'm too nervous I'll meet some oilman in your fine state and like him a lot, and he won't want to move away, and I don't want to get stuck in your (assuredly most engaging and beautiful but oh-so-far-away) state forever.


more about eloise young


matt morin
5.30.02 @ 9:01p

Eloise - you're not missing anything.

Just kidding. Don't miss Taos, NM. That place just feels different than any other city I've ever been in.

jack bradley
5.30.02 @ 9:18p

I agree with Matt. I felt like I was an intruder from another time and place, and I kept getting goosebumps for no apparent reason. Well worth a visit.

jael mchenry
5.31.02 @ 9:03a

My impression is that Nebraska couldn't possibly be as interesting as South Dakota, because it's not interesting. But I'm from Iowa, so I'm contractually obligated to say that.

Actually all my friends who have visited Iowa did so on cross-country motorcycle trips. I got a postcard from one simply reading "My ass hurts."

tracey kelley
5.31.02 @ 12:10p

No, Nebraska isn't as interesting as South Dakota. And I know this, having been to Nebraska but not South Dakota. Omaha is cool - but once you head west, that's it.

Now, see, I have gaps in New England and the frontier West. This does not make me happy.

Anything you want to know about the deep South, I can tell you. I have spent time in all them thare states.

sarah ficke
5.31.02 @ 4:22p

Delaware is a nice little state. Not much scenery as such, but there is a beach and some museums and botanical gardens. It's worth going to just to say that you have, in fact, been to Delaware. And hey! It's the home of tax-free shopping!

West Virginia is beautiful.

matt morin
5.31.02 @ 4:31p

Oh, I loved the tax-free thing when I lived in Oregon.

sarah ficke
5.31.02 @ 6:31p

Delaware is so proud of it that they put it on the signs by I-95 when you enter the state: "Delaware: Home of Tax-Free Shopping!"

erik myers
5.31.02 @ 11:05p

New Hampshire is so proud of their tax-free shopping that two of the exits on the 15 miles of I-95 that go through New Hampshire are the New Hampshire State Liquor Stores -- known to most of my college buddied as "Liquor-Land."

alan george
6.4.02 @ 8:51a

Three For One Special: Because of their uniquely collective reluctance to leave the 1800's mindset, visit either Arkansas, Mississippi, or Alabama, and you can count the other two as a bonus. The mountains of Tennessee are beautiful in the fall, but don't take your Kawasaki to Dollywood which features American crafts, or it may get more than scratched.

russ carr
10.10.05 @ 1:53a

Guess you've checked Delaware off the list, now.

brian anderson
10.10.05 @ 9:12a

I know I have.

eloise young
10.10.05 @ 11:25p

Yes. Delaware. And Illinois. And Missouri. And Arkansas.

15 to go!

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