Places I Have Been, #2: When Was I Last There?

This is a more detailed version of one of the earliest posts on this blog, “Places I Have Been.” In this version, I color-coded the states and provinces to show when I was last in each of these places (the color-coding is explained below the picture). Also, no, I haven’t left North America — yet — but visits to all the other continents on Earth, plus the Moon, are definitely on my lifetime “to do” list.

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Here’s the color-key. It starts in the present, and then proceeds in reverse chronological order.

Red — I’m here right now. Arkansas is also the state where I have spent well over 90% of my life, and I was born here, as well, 47½ years ago (January, 1968).

Pink — These are states I’ve been to since turning 45, not counting where I am at the moment. It’s also the set of states my wife and I have visited together — so far.

Purple — I was last in each of these states during the first half of my forties.

Dark blue — I was last in Kansas in my thirties, flying there, with two other math teachers, for an educational conference.

Yellow — Louisiana is the only state which I last visited in my twenties.

Green — These are states I last visited at age nineteen. So far, that’s the furthest I have traveled in a single year. The green Mexican state on the map is Chihuahua, where I visited Cuidad Juárez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Light blue — These are the states and provinces I last visited as a “tween” (ages 10-12). The Northern vacation trip was with my family, and, so far, that’s the only time I’ve been to Canada. Virginia made the map when I won a trip to Washington, DC (too small to be seen above), as one of a busload of young newspaper carriers, for selling twenty newspaper subscriptions to Arkansas Gazette — one of America’s many “lost newspapers,” and one which I very much miss. Alabama and Florida are included because of a field trip, all the way to Key West, with a college class — one of the benefits of growing up as a “professor’s kid” who spent a lot of time on campus.

Brown — I have been to South Carolina once, but I wasn’t even close to ten years old at the time, and now I barely remember this family trip to the Atlantic coast.

Gray — I was so young, when my parents took me to Colorado, that I have no memories from that trip at all. I don’t think my younger sister had even been born yet, in fact. All I remember is being told, much later, that, yes, I have been to Colorado.

North American Geographical Oddity

You’re standing on the mainland of North America — not on an island. From where you are, you can travel due East, and you’ll come to the Pacific Ocean. If you travel due West, however, you will come to the Atlantic Ocean. What’s more, this is true for a relatively large percentage of locations in the country where you are located — a greater percentage than would be the case for any other country on the North American continent, if there even are others.

In what country are you standing?

(Scroll down for the answer.)

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panama

You’re in Panama! Now, before anyone protests that Panama is in Central America, not North America, let me point out that Central America is part of the North American continent, just as Europe and India are part of the Eurasian continent. (Yes, I looked them up.)

The Pegasus Crude Oil Pipeline

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The Pegasus Crude Oil Pipeline

I live quite near Mayflower, Arkansas, site of an oil spill and ongoing cleanup efforts. You’ve probably seen it in the news.

Living in a landlocked state, we did not have “oil spill” on our worry-lists here.

You may live near this pipeline, too, and not even know it. That’s why I’m posting this map (which I did not create, but simply found with a Google image-search). There may be other such pipelines here, as well. Few people notice them — until one breaks.

An Alternate Map of the USA

According to this map, I live in Little, Oklahoma.  I work in Rock, Louisiana, not far away. I buy most of my Chinese food (>50% of what I eat) a few kilometers to the North, in the former North Little Rock, now renamed Argenta, Missouri.

It was fun partitioning the state I live in (using the Arkansas River, and “Tornado Alley,” also known as Interstate 30, to do it), and otherwise playing around with the map of the country and continent where I live.

By the way, I actually do believe that if the USA ever falls apart, Soviet-Union-style, Texas really would be the only former state to give itself a subtitle.

Places I Have Been

I’ve been to each of these states & provinces.

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D.C., also, although you probably can’t see that.

I really need to get off this continent soon. I’ve been on this one for nearly 45 years, or even longer if time spent in utero counts.