She gave him a smile with a future in it.

Retroactive halcyonity. In the present.

Heart and Nerve and Sinew

We started our first road trip the night of our wedding.  Five moves and four kids later, we still hit the road every month or two.  To touch history, smell nature, teach, and learn.

I have a thing for stats and ours are below. The data is data. But it’s the times at the rest stops when you’re pulling out toilet paper for a makeshift seat cover while wondering if the stain is permanent or new and your kid sits down and you wince and whisper, “don’t tell your mom I didn’t get the toilet paper down” that make all the hassle of travel worth it.

All stats below are as a complete family and through the date of the last road trip blog (currently August 8, 2021).

The stats of life:

Days on the road: 435

US States:  48/50 (AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, COCT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MIMN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RISC, SD, TN, TX, UTVA, VT, WA, WV, WY, WI)

Presidential Museums: 34/44 (Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson x2, Madison, Monroe, JQ Adams,  JacksonVan Buren, W. Harrison, Polk, Lincoln, Johnson, GrantHayes, Garfield, Arthur, ClevelandB. Harrison, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, CoolidgeHoover, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, CarterReagan, Clinton x2)

Major League Baseball Stadiums: 8/30 (Brewers, Cubs, Indians, Nationals, Royals, Phillies, TigersYankees)

National Parks:  26/63 (Acadia, Arches x2, Badlands, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Bryce Cayon, Canyonlands, Carlsbad Caverns, Cuyahoga Valley x2, Denali, Gateway ArchGrand Canyon x2, Grand Tetons, Great Sand Dunes x2, Guadalupe Mountains, Hot Springs, Joshua Tree, Kenai Fjords x2, Mammoth Cave, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest x2, Redwood Forest, Rocky Mountain, Saguaro, Shenandoah x2, White Sands, Yellowstone)

National Battlefields: 6/11 (Antietam, Ft. NecessityManassas, Monocacy, Stones River, Tupelo)

National Battlefield Site: 1/1 (Brices Cross Roads)

National Historical Parks: 13/51 (Adams, Boston, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove, Dayton Aviation, George Rogers Clark x2, Manhattan Project (Los Alamos, Oak Ridge), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller, Paterson Great Falls, PecosSaratoga, Thomas Edison, Washita Battlefield, Women’s Rights)

National Historic Sites: 20/78 (Allegheny Portage Railroad, Andersonville, Andrew Johnson, Bent’s Old FortBrown v. Board of Education, Clinton Birthplace Home, Eisenhower Home,  Garfield, Grant, Hoover, Little Rock Central High School x2, Minuteman Missile, Saint Gaudens, Steamtown, E. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, T. Roosevelt Birthplace, Tuskegee Airmen, Van Buren, Washita Battlefield, Weir Farm)

National Memorials:  11/30 (Arkansas Post, Florissant Fossil BedsJohnstown Flood, Lincoln, Lincoln BoyhoodMt. Rushmore, Oklahoma City, Russell Cave, Thomas Jefferson, Vietnam Veterans, Washington, World War II)

National Military Park:  2/9 (Gettysburg, Pea Ridge)

National Monuments:  18/87 (Agate Fossil Beds, Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, Booker T. Washington, Capulin Volcano, Casa Grande, Castillo de San Marcos, Castle Clinton, Colorado, El Malpais, El Morro, Ft UnionJewel Cave, Homestead, Hovenweep, Scott’s Bluff, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Walnut Canyon)

International Historic Site:  1/1 (St. Croix Island)

Canadian Provinces & Territories: 6/13 (NB, NSON, PEQC, YT)

Canadian National Parks:  2/41 (Cape Breton Highlands, Prince Edward Island)

Canadian National Historic Sites:  (Alexander Graham Bell, Fortifications of Quebec, Green Gables)

Other Awesome Museums/Sites:  34/??? (Adler Planetarium, Air Force AcademyAir Force Museum, American Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, American Museum of Science & Energy, Alaska Sealife Center x2, Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour, Art Institute of ChicagoCanadian Aviation and Space MuseumCanadian Tulip Festival, Casey Jones Museum, Churchill Downs, Dinosaur Journey MuseumField Museum, Garden of the GodsHershey’s Factory Tour, Indiana State MuseumIndianapolis Motor SpeedwayLincoln Park ZooLost World Caverns, Louisville Slugger Museum x2, Meteor CraterMinnesota Forest History Center, Montreal Museum of Fine ArtsMuseum of Aviation, Metropolitan Museum of ArtNational Air and Space Museum, Niagara FallsNickelodeon Universe, Sternberg MuseumRideau Canal, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Shedd Aquarium, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Willis TowerWinterlude)

The first day of our first trip.