John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Maps and books

That little application that generates a map of the states you've visited is pretty neat. Back in my day, if you wanted a map like that you had to make it yourself. Of course, the advantage of doing it the old-fashioned way is that I know the image will actually show up.

I do like that a few people, such as mrghoul and jenelope, have posted the circumstances under which they visited the states in question. I think that's a good idea; it's more interesting than just a map. In fact, I thought about doing the same thing when I posted my map earlier this month. Unfortunately I didn't, so now I look like a copy-cat. Oh well.

California
I've been there three times, most recently August 2003.
Colorado
I changed planes at Denver International on my way to California last August.
Connecticut
I stayed overnight in Stamford on a weekend trip to NYC in 1998 or 1999.
DC
I'm in DC right now, unlikely certain wimpy co-workers I could mention.
Delaware
I've driven through many times, but the last time I stopped there was way back in 1992, when my brother and I were tooling around the Eastern Shore on a day trip.
Florida
My one trip to Florida was in 1995, for a bat mitzvah.
Georgia
I've been there twice, most recently in late September 2001 -- my first post-September 11 trip.
Illinois
I was there in December for a few days. Also, I lived there for 20-some years.
Indiana
I stopped for lunch there on my way driving to DC from Chicago in 1996.
Iowa
I lived there for three years, and was back for a visit last October.
Kansas
I was there in 1990 or 1991 with my then-girlfriend Mel, who lived in Kansas City.
Maine
I stood up for my friend Mark at his wedding in York in 1999.
Maryland
I lived there for a year or so, and most recently was there on Sunday.
Massachusetts
My last trip was way back in April 2002, for a Buffycon.
Michigan
I was there a couple of times as a kid on family trips, and more recently attended a friend's wedding in Lansing in the mid-90s.
Minnesota
I changed planes at MSP on my way to Iowa in October.
Missouri
I went to Columbia for my friend Joni's wedding in the mid-90s.
Nevada
I've been there twice: a November 2002 Buffycon, and a quick side trip to Carson City during my California trip in August 2003.
New Hampshire
I saw The Phantom Menace in Concord in 1999. More recently, I went there for a Buffycon hosted by zengoalie and mistagoalie in 2001.
New Jersey
Most recently, I was there over Labor Day weekend in 2001 for a Buffycon.
New York
My first trip there was in 1986 for my brother's wedding; my most recent in April 2001 to meet Amy Wynn Pastor.
North Carolina
I've been there four times: thrice while my sister was in grad school, and more recently in May 2002.
Ohio
I visited Cleveland in, I think, 1997.
Pennsylvania
Not counting my brief stops at Pittsburgh International Airport in December, my last visit was in November 2003, when I celebrated Thanksgiving in Chambersburg.
Rhode Island
While vacationing in Massachusetts in 1997, I took a day trip to Rhode Island, touring the state Capitol and taking a sailboat ride on Narragansett Bay.
South Carolina
I visited Charleston over Memorial Day weekend in 2002.
Tennessee
I was there in October 2002 for Redneck.
Texas
I've been there twice, both times to visit people I met online. The last time was April 2003.
Vermont
In 1999, I drove to the top of Stratton Mountain to look at a big rock. See below for details.
Virginia
Well, I live there, if that counts for anything.
West Virginia
My first visit was in 1992, and since 1996 I've gone back at least four times a year for one thing or another.
Wisconsin
My last visit was in December, to visit my sister on Christmas After Day.

OK, Vermont. Back in 1999, I was called upon to make a business trip to Albany, New York. Because I had never been to Albany and I wanted to have time to tour the Capitol, I scheduled the trip for a Friday and made plans to stay up there for the weekend. As I am wont to do when planning for a trip, I pulled out my road atlas and pored over the New York map, looking for interesting things to do and see near Albany. That's when I realized how close Albany was to the Vermont border. Never having been there, I immediately decided that my trip to Albany would include a side trip into Vermont.

I turned to the Vermont map and scanned the southwestern corner of the state for fun and exciting attractions. And immediately my eye was drawn to a tiny pink square labeled "Daniel Webster Monument." It was located along a road indicated on the map in light gray, which in my Rand-McNally atlas means that it's a minor road. And it was located more or less in the middle of nowhere. Obviously, this was something I had to see.

That turned out to be harder than I expected. The level of detail in my road atlas turned out to be inadequate; some of the roads leading to the monument were so insignificant that they were unlabeled, so while I knew enough to head up toward Arlington, I had no clue as to where I needed to turn off to reach the monument. Eventually, I stumbled upon a public library, and with the assistance of a helpful reference librarian I found my way to Kelly Stand Road, a mostly unpaved road through Green Mountain National Forest. I drove for what felt like quite a long distance (in truth, it was only about seven miles) and had started getting nervous about having gotten the directions wrong) before reaching the top of Stratton Mountain and seeing a sign for the monument, which according to the sign was just a short distance ahead.

Finally, I reached the turnoff for the monument. I parked the car, hiked up a small, grassy incline, and found myself in front of a large granite boulder. Affixed to the front of the rock was a plaque, which explained that in 1840, Daniel Webster had addressed a crowd of 15,000 people at that very spot. Webster was campaigning on behalf of Presidential candidate William Henry Harrison; he supposed chose the spot because he had been invited to speak by three different groups, and determined via triangulation that Stratton Mountain would be most convenient, or equally inconvenient, for everyone.

So that was the Daniel Webster Monument. I went back to the car, continued down the mountain and eventually worked my way back to Albany. Was it worth the trip? I think so. It wasn't much of a monument, but it was definitely weird, and I like things that are weird. I doubt I'll go back, though.

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