But…Puerto Rico?

I did a thing over the long Fourth of July weekend; I set foot in the only one of the 50 states I hadn’t yet. Idaho!


When my company sent me to Portland, Oregon for a conference earlier this year, I realized that only Idaho remained and I needed to seize the opportunity. Aside from the bizarre pleasure of conquering some arbitrary political boundaries, I was further motivated to make the trip because I had just finished a year long freelance project helping the lovely Deb Glaser develop her online course for reading teachers (it’s really cool – check it out!). Deb lives in Boise and we had never met in all that time. I thought I should pop on up and say hi.

So, on June 29th, two women and a Finnish Lapphund packed into my boxy SUV and headed out on a 2,109 mile road trip. That’s a lot of miles to cover in six days, but it’s not so bad considering we were cruising along between 85 and 95 mph for a lot of the trip, and even topped 100 now and then.

Although Idaho was my 50th state, it was only Trotsky Bear’s sixth. He probably won’t make it to many more because he was not nearly this happy by the end of trip! He did not want to leave the air conditioning of Deb’s house to make the 12.5 hour drive home on July 4.

What can I tell you about a road trip from Boulder to Boise in July? It’s hot. Hot, hot, hot and no shade anywhere. But we saw some unique and beautiful places.

wild horses outside Green River, Wyoming. we drove through a lot of off-road trails to find these two and nearly got stranded in a wash-out area. always an adventure!


Golden Spike National Historical Monument. we were all dying of heat that day, nearing sunstroke, and I couldn’t help feeling so much respect and gratitude and awe for all the Chinese and other laborers who built these railroads
the Snake River Canyon. it’s much steeper and scarier in person than this photo reveals
the magnificent Shoshone Falls
at our AirBnB in Picabo (yes, there’s a relation to the skier)
lava fields, in Idaho. seriously
hiking in Sun Valley, Idaho. we may have had an encounter with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a cafe just prior to this
a scene like this (outside Mountain Home, Idaho) is worth coming to a screeching halt from 75 mph just to soak it all in
you know you are in Napoleon Dynamite territory when this is all there is off the highway for 30 miles in any direction

So, what’s next? If Puerto Rico becomes a state, I’ll have to head down there to keep my accomplishment in tact. Then maybe I should aim to reach all the other territories. Has anyone been to American Samoa? Or Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands? Travel tips welcome!

my favorite photo of my travel companions

2 thoughts on “But…Puerto Rico?

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