Looking at a map of Missouri, where I used to live, I became fixated on where in North America I have not been, and ten places stood out aspirationally.
Orlando. ORLANDO! Yes, THE Orlando. Ruth took our children to Disney World one year but I had to work.
Adak. I’m fascinated by this Aleutian Island way, way out there with its population down to 326 but still serviced by Alaska Airlines. I’ve been to Unalaska and found it a great destination. But Adak? There are no hotels, no motels. It doesn’t seem like a place to pitch a tent for much of the year. Hmmmmm.
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. Ruth and I have been to the other 12 PLMs so must complete the set. Why is it officially named Jimmy and not James? The first PLM is never called the Herb Hoover Library. We’re all comfortable with Bill Clinton, but it’s the William J. Clinton Library. Does Barak Obama have a nickname?
Door County. Everyone I know who has been there has liked it. I’ve been to Madison multiple times, all over Wisconsin in fact, but I still haven’t opened the Door.
Iqaluit, North America’s newest capital city, calls out to me every time I see it on a map. Its 2011 population, the one currently reported on Wikipedia, was 6,699. Today the temperature is 9º Fahrenheit. Bell Canada promises that 4G will arrive in 2014.
Lana’i. I’ve been to Hawaii but never to this one-town, 141 square mile island with a population under 4,000. I recently read that it has more than 20 miles of pristine beaches, most of them accessible by 4WD only. Lana’i is reportedly where the residents of the other islands go for romantic getaways. Hmmmmm.
Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket. A two-family reunion was held on Martha’s Vineyard some years back, but Ruth and I didn’t go, missing a prime opportunity.
Yellowknife. One year we were in Edmonton, Alberta, and Matt, my son, asked if we could drive up there. I checked the map, noted the distance just to the border of The Northwest Territories, and told him, “Another time.” Still pending.
I’m a big fan of Rand McNally’s designated scenic highways, and Nevada’s 93 is dotted almost all the way from Ely to Las Vegas. Moreover, it connects to 375, which is intriguingly called the EXTRATERRESTRIAL HIGHWAY. I must discover why.
Monroe City. A woman once asked me where I was from and I said, “Missouri.” She smiled and said she’d been there twice for reunions because she has family in Monroe City. ”Where’s that?” I had to ask. She wasn’t sure herself. ”Somewhere near Hannibal,” she said vaguely. I checked the map and discovered it was only about 100 miles from where I grew up. Is there some reason to go there? I’ll find out.