Stateside Road Trip travel blog

Clinton Library

Mississippian culture site

Woodland era cultural site

I'm taking a day off in Memphis, staying with friends. I went for a trail walk this morning.

Since leaving home, my route has taken me along bits of historic routes such as the California Trail, the Mormon Trail, Santa Fe, Chisholm, and the Trail of Tears.

I've also noted a multi-state golf trail, designed to get the travel inclined golfer to spread the money around.

I walked some easy trails with Dawn and the kids at Dinosaur Monument, then alone at Grand Canyon.

Along I-40 in Oklahoma, the proliferation of casinos seemed ripe for a marketing type to devise a gambling trail.

I have loved trails most of my life. In the 70's I would see an Ira Spring photo of a trail in a guidebook and want to go walk or hike it. I would hike with my (now ex) wife with daughter Dawn in a baby sling. Dawn and her sister Erin hiked with me as little girls, not always enthusiastically, in Yellowstone, the Cascades, and other areas. I did epic solo hikes, once walking about 25 miles in one day in and out of North Cascades National Park.

When I got into cycling, I learned to value and love the likes of Seattle's Burke-Gilman and Spokane's Centennial Trail. When brother Josh needed a 50 mile bike ride for a merit badge, we rode Idaho's Trail of the Couer d'Alenes - all downhill from Plummer. Mo and I cycled in Europe including the Camino De Santiago in 2003, and stateside riding Missouri's Katy Trail two years ago.

I was led by fate or fortune to leverage trails into a career of sorts. After volunteer leadership in The Mountaineers, I became Executive Director of the Washington Trails Association. At WTA, I worked with Ira Spring. My work with WTA brought me to the attention of state agencies.

One of the agencies invited me to apply for a job helping to write a state trail plan. I applied and got the job.

I really did write a state trail plan for Washington. It was an early success I coasted on until I retired.

All of which is to say I am grateful for trails and the places they have taken me to.

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