State Maps – The Beginning and End of the Project

I had so much fun writing about these maps and guides! I can hardly wait to use them as I travel the USA!

In September of 2020, as the Pandemic was prohibiting travel, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

So here it is December of 2021 and I’ve finally finished writing about the wonderful items I received. One reason it took so long to end the project was that I waited a few months to give all states ample time to send me a map. 37 states sent me travel information. I received nothing from 13 states. I’m curious as to why this happened. Maybe they didn’t receive my request? Or maybe they sent the item but it got lost in the mail? Or it was a pandemic and they didn’t think traveling was a good idea?

Here is the rundown of how I proceeded with my project. I wrote about some of the highlights of what the states sent me in their maps and guides. 2020 was definitely the Year Of Outside – nearly all maps and guides featured their National, State, or local Parks. If I had visited the state, I enclosed a few of our photos. We aren’t photographers so many photos may be blurry, or crooked, or chopped off, or otherwise uninteresting. But they’re special to us. I learned more about myself as I wrote. I learned that it’s easier for me to see others’ typos or mistakes, than it is for me to recognize my own. Something that’s probably true for many people, and not only in the realm of writing. I found I made a mind-boggling mistake when I wrote about New York. I claimed I had never been there, yet I had. Hello, Niagara Falls! I just haven’t been to all the other places New York is famous for. So that was embarrassing.

Some days the words seemed to flow and fall gently onto the blog with no effort. Many other days, despite being really excited to write about these awesome places, words would not show-up! I felt like I was repeatedly hammering the keyboards for hours, then erasing entire posts. And a person might think that after all that work, my writing would be stunningly impressive. But mostly it’s average at best.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention the tech glitches along the way, one of which was in retrieving my photos from my own computer. After my computer updated to Windows 11, it has been nearly impossible to open my photo files for more than a few minutes before it automatically closes. A few glitches came with WordPress: suddenly not allowing me to do anything – until I refreshed the page and lost all my work, or my post disappearing when I pressed publish, or block editor locking and refusing to let me continue typing in a certain block… “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed.” Why? Grr…

However,

The fun opportunity to write in a positive way about our country was a blast!! It helped me see the United States in a whole new way.

I chose to write about the states in alphabetical order:

  1. Alabama              Montgomery
  2. Alaska                  Juneau
  3. Arizona                Phoenix
  4. Arkansas              Little Rock – no map
  5. California            Sacramento – no map
  6. Colorado             Denver
  7. Connecticut        Hartford – no map
  8. Delaware             Dover – no map but lots of cool things
  9. Florida                  Tallahassee
  10. Georgia                Atlanta
  11. Hawaii                  Honolulu
  12. Idaho                    Boise – no map
  13. Illinois                  Springfield
  14. Indiana                 Indianapolis
  15. Iowa                     Des Moines – no map
  16. Kansas                  Topeka
  17. Kentucky              Frankfort
  18. Louisiana             Baton Rouge
  19. Maine                   Augusta
  20. Maryland             Annapolis
  21. Massachusetts   Boston – no map
  22. Michigan             Lansing
  23. Minnesota           Saint Paul
  24. Mississippi           Jackson
  25. Missouri               Jefferson City
  26. Montana             Helena
  27. Nebraska             Lincoln – no map
  28. Nevada                Carson City
  29. New Hampshire Concord
  30. New Jersey         Trenton – no map
  31. New Mexico       Santa Fe
  32. New York            Albany – no map
  33. North Carolina   Raleigh
  34. North Dakota     Bismarck
  35. Ohio                     Columbus – no map
  36. Oklahoma           Oklahoma City
  37. Oregon                Salem
  38. Pennsylvania       Harrisburg
  39. Rhode Island      Providence
  40. South Carolina   Columbia
  41. South Dakota     Pierre
  42. Tennessee           Nashville
  43. Texas                    Austin – no map
  44. Utah                     Salt Lake City
  45. Vermont              Montpelier
  46. Virginia                Richmond
  47. Washington        Olympia
  48. West Virginia      Charleston
  49. Wisconsin            Madison
  50. Wyoming             Cheyenne – no map

I intended to write about books that also held value during this Covid/political/religious crisis. I started writing about a few favorite books and authors who I find eternally insightful, but then felt that alternating the books and the maps, seemed a bit ‘too much’. So, I ended the year focusing on the maps.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

If you’re interested in my thoughts on books I’ve read, or the values I’ve admired during these crazy times, click here: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/real-things/

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State Maps – Wyoming

Wyoming is the final state, Number 50, in my State Map Quest!!

Wyoming sent no travel information.

 We’ve been to Wyoming.

Sulphur Caldron is one of the most acidic hot springs in Yellowstone.

Old Faithful erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for 1 1/2 to 5 minutes. Its maximum height ranges from 90 to 184 feet. Yellowstone National Park, WY.

—–

For the sake of accuracy, the next photo is of Devils Tower/Bear Lodge, officially a National Monument in Wyoming, but is near the border of South Dakota, near the Badlands/Black Hills, so it easily gets attributed to SD. In South Dakota’s 2020 Vacation Guide, they listed Devils Tower National Monument, explaining that it anchors the northeast corner of the Black Hills.

Devils Tower (also known as Bear Lodge Butte) is officially in the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills, near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River.

The naming of Devils Tower was a misinterpretation by an interpreter, of a native name to mean “Bad God’s Tower”. Native American names for the monolith include “Bear’s House” or “Bear’s Lodge”… In 2005, a proposal to recognize several Native American ties through the additional designation of the monolith as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark met with opposition from United States Representative Barbara Cubin, arguing that a “name change will harm the tourist trade and bring economic hardship to area communities“.  (Source: Wikipedia)

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Wisconsin

Wisconsin sent me Travel Wisconsin Explore the Scenic Route 2019-2020 Official State Map and the Travel Wisconsin Official Travel Guide.

The Travel Guide opens with the slogan – “Memories Are Made Here

As with many other guides, Wisconsin divides their state into Regions. Seven Vacation Regions listed are:

  • Northwest – photos of this region include, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Osceola & St. Croix Valley Train, Downtown Eau Clair, ATV Rider, Apostle Islands
  • Northeast – photos of this region include, Brandy Lake, High Cliff State Park, Svens Bluff, Peninsula State Park, Vilas County
  • East Central – photos of this region include, Lake Winnebago, Kohler-Andrae State Park, EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, Whistling Straits Golf Course, Sheboygan
  • Central – photos of this region include, Granite Peak, Wausau, Nine Mile Forest, Sand Valley Golf Resort, Nekoosa, Wolf River
  • Southwest – photos of this region include, Fly Fishing, Richland Center, Maiden Rock Winery, Stockholm, Buena Vista Park, Alma, La Crosse Queen
  • South Central – photos of this region include, State Capitol, Madison, Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells, Taliesin, Spring Green, Devil’s Lake State Park
  • Southeast – photos of this region include, Lake Geneva, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis, Lake Michigan, Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee

In this 132-page guide, Ways to Play starts on page 97 and goes to the end. Ways to Play offers listings for each Region under the following headings:

  • ATV/UTV Trails
  • Biking Trails
  • Birding
  • Boat Tours & Ferries
  • Brewery & Distillery Tours
  • Canoe & Kayak Rentals
  • Canoe Rivers
  • Casinos
  • Charter Fishing
  • Cheese Tours
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Lighthouses
  • Scenic Drives
  • Skiing & Snowboarding
  • Snowmobile Contacts
  • Snowmobile Rentals
  • State Parks
  • Train & Trolley Tours
  • Waterfalls
  • Waterparks
  • Winery Tours
  • Ziplining

Travel Wisconsin Explore the Scenic Route 2019-2020 Official State Map has the state on the main side, and a whole lot of other stuff: Ledger, Index to  Cities and Villages, Wisconsin State Patrol Non-Emergency Assistance, County Location Index, Wisconsin Historic Sites, Wisconsin Veterans Sites, Memorial Bridges, Memorial Highways, Mileage Chart, and Wisconsin Amtrak Stations.

The other side has State Parks, Forests & Recreation Areas, State Trails, Selfie Stands Around the State, and lots of small maps of many of the cities in the state.

We’ve been to Wisconsin several times, some of those trips have been with extended family. Wisconsin Dells is a fun place, especially if you like water parks. Most of our group liked the Duck Boat rides at the Dells. The boats drive on land, and then splash into the water, and float down the river. The Duck Boat Captains were really entertaining.

The Dells is fun, but in my opinion, The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Annual Air Show, is the most fun thing ever to do in Wisconsin!! This is an annual event. Every year airplane enthusiasts can go see planes and watch aerobatics and relive history. (well except during covid years, then as with most other events it was broadcast on the internets). We were to the air show a few years ago. 😊 I saw acres and acres of airplanes; I was so happy, my face hurt from smiling!

The AT-6 “Nella”. The aircraft is named after Fifinella, the mascot of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. Nella was an advanced training aircraft used at the all-female Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX where the WASP attended military flight training.
C. E. “Bud” Anderson is a WWII Triple Ace who flew the P-51 Mustang Old Crow, while assigned to the 357th Fighter Group “Yoxford Boys”, 8th Air Force, Leiston Field, United Kingdom. 
My favorite P-51 Mustang – The Rebel.

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – West Virginia

West Virginia sent a neat 2020 Vacation Guide. On one side it shows Spring/Summer Vacation ideas. Flip the Guide over, and turn it upside down and it shows Fall/Winter Vacation ideas. Information overlaps the two sections. Such as this quote:

Welcome to almost heaven

Each step away from the churn and burn of the daily routine is a step closer to the place you belong. The place full of mystery, wonder and surprise. A remote, placid lake. A world-class trout stream. A luxury cabin in the mountains. In West Virginia, you’ll feel far away from everything. And a little closer to heaven. Feel free to stay awhile.”

Both sides contain The Paradise List:

For Spring/Summer, The Paradise List includes:

  • Natural Sanctuary
  • Get Outside
  • Unforgettable Overnights
  • Family Rafting
  • Tours Through Time
  • Dine and (Moon)Shine
  • Lake Life
  • Arts and Culture
  • Celebrations

For Fall/Winter, The Paradise List includes:

  • Ultimate Rush
  • Water Ways
  • Shopping Treasures
  • A-List WV
  • Dashing Through the Snow
  • Cool Temps, Hot Nights
  • Sweets of the Season
  • Amazing Architecture
  • Celebrations

The middle of the Guide gives the DNA of the Nine Distinct Regions and a bit of trivia:

  1. Hatfield-McCoy Mountains – Visit this area if you love History, Outdoor Recreation, Camping. Did you know – the Hatfields and McCoys stopped fighting in 1891.
  2. Metro Valley – Visit this area if you love Great Food, Art and Music, Family Fun. Did you know – Heritage Farm Museum and Village in Huntington is West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Affiliate.
  3. Mid-Ohio Valley – Visit this area if you love Historic Architecture, Rivers and Lakes, Bike Trails. Did you know – Calhoun County Park in Grantsville is a Dark Sky destination – one of the best places to stargaze.
  4. Northern Panhandle – Visit this area if you love Independent Shops, Small-Town Festivals, Early State History. Did you know – Marble King in Paden City was the first American company to manufacture Cat’s eye marbles.
  5. Mountain Lakes – Visit this area if you love Water-based Recreation, Glassmaking, Living History. Did you know – President Lyndon Johnson dedicated Summersville Dam in 1966. It’s one of the largest rock fill dams in the United States.
  6. Potomac Highlands – Visit this area if you love Outdoor Recreation, Historic Train Excursions, Scenic Views. Did you know – If you need a break from the online world, there’s no Wi-Fi near Green Bank Observatory – it interferes with the radio telescope.
  7. Eastern Panhandle – Visit this area if you love History, Charming Small Towns, Outdoor Recreation. Did you know – After a long day of land surveying, young George Washington relaxed in the region’s warm springs.
  8. Mountaineer Country – Visit this area if you love Arts and Culture, Sports, Good Food. Did you know – The likeness of a dribbling basketball player in the NBA logo is that of WVU legend Jerry West.
  9. New River/Greenbrier Valley – Visit this area if you love History, Outdoor Recreation, Good Food. Did you know – You can walk the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge – it’s 876 feet above the canyon.

One side of West Virginia’s Official Highway Map has these Nine Regions colorfully mapped out, with fantastic ideas to enjoy each region. The Legend on this side has markers for: State Park with Lodging, State Park, Town/City, State Forest, and State Natural Areas. In a small side area, West Virginia Information Centers are both mapped and listed.

On the other side, the entire state is mapped out, and surrounding the larger state map are smaller maps of major cities. The Legend tells us what all the map symbols mean. The Driving Distances offers a different view of the regular mileage chart, this has a mini-map with the mileage between locations written in red, and the time written in black. And finally, there’s the Map Index, listing where places are located on the state map.

I’ve been to West Virginia. Unfortunately, I can’t locate a single photo. You would think that when a state claims of being “Almost Heaven”, I should have something to show for it, but I don’t. That means revisiting! Yay!

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Washington

Washington sent me this charming Washington State Visitor’s Guide.

Washington is a fascinating state because it has a huge variety of landscapes – mountains, islands, peninsulas, ocean shores, volcanoes, gorges, rolling hills, and big cities.

The WAnderlust Wonderful Wildlife features some critters to look for in Washington:

  • Bald Eagles
  • Wolves
  • Bear
  • Deer and Elk
  • Mountain Goats
  • Harbor Seals
  • Orcas
  • Giant Pacific Octopus
  • Salmon

The Washington State Visitors’ Guide divides the state into Regions. Within each section, there are small maps with things to see and do Along the Way, as well as other highlights of that region, supplemented with long lists of Accommodations. Regions are as follows:

  • Greater Seattle – Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, and beyond – Explore the diverse cultural attractions and dining options in Washington’s biggest cities.
  • North Cascades – Bellingham, Mount Baker, and Skagit Valley – Take in the striking beauty of the mountains and all historic Bellingham has to offer.
  • The Islands – Camano, Whidbey, and the San Juan Islands – Enjoy outstanding cuisine and life at a slower pace in charming harbor towns, plus the chance to spot magnificent Orca Whales.
  • Peninsula & Coast – The Pacific Ocean and the Olympic, Kitsap, and Long Beach Peninsulas – A stunning national park, white sand beaches, and more await.
  • The Volcanoes – Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams –  Marvel at their majesty.
  • The Gorge – Vancouver, USA and the Columbia River Gorge – Discover the quaint towns along the scenic Columbia River Gorge.
  • North Central – Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Lake Chelan, Ellensburg, and the Methow Valley – The state’s heartland brims with activity and farmland bounty.
  • Wine Country – Tri-Cities, Yakima Valley, Prosser, and Walla Walla – Taste world-class wine (and beer) in Yakima, Walla Walla, and beyond.
  • Northeast – Spokane and the Inland Northwest – The Inland Empire has it all, from urban adventure in Spokane to thrilling outdoor pursuits.
  • Southeast – Palouse, Pullman, and Hells Canyon – The rolling hills of the Palouse, a bustling college town, and the country’s deepest gorge are just a few of this region’s draws.

We were in Washington a bunch of years ago. The mountain views are spectacular!

Snoqualmie Pass Recreation Area sign.

Seattle in the fog. Below is a similar photo from the night before.

The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, WA.

CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks Stadium (please note this photo was taken years ago and stadium names may change).

Safeco Field is home for the Seattle Mariners (please note this photo was taken years ago and stadium names may change).

The sign for Hoquiam, WA, where my mom was born (miss you ma).

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Virginia

Look at those happy, cute pups on the front of the Virginia Guide! Pet-friendly places to stay, to take walks, and things to do can be found on page 28.

A quote from the Virginia 2020 Travel Guide:

A vacation in Virginia is about doing the things you love with the people you love most – and making memories that will last a lifetime.”

One sweet feature entitled, “LOVEworks”, tells the story of a single mother and her daughter as they go in search of finding ‘love works’, artistic creations of the word Love, around the state. They’ve toured the state three times and visited more than 200 LOVEworks.

Virginia is for lovers”, was created more than 50 years ago, and it’s one of the most iconic slogans in the world. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. This guide hopes you find what you love in Virginia.

As with most other guides, Virginia is divided into Regions. Each Region is mapped showing the cities in the area and what they have to offer:

  1. Coastal Virginia
  2. Coastal Eastern Shore
  3. Chesapeake Bay
  4. Northern Virginia
  5. Central Virginia
  6. Southern Virginia
  7. Shenandoah Valley
  8. Virginia Mountains
  9. Blue Ridge Highlands
  10. Heart of Appalachia

Some great reminders when visiting – Leave No Trace, Be Responsible, Don’t Take Anything, Don’t Leave Anything, Don’t Walk on Unwalked Land, Respect Wildlife.

The Scenic Roads & Byways in Virginia has maps highlighting Virginia’s state and federal scenic designations:

  • Capital Country
  • Allegheny Highlands
  • Northern Virginia
  • Culpepper-Fredericksburg
  • Southern Highlands
  • Northern Neck

Virginia’s Free Official State Transportation Map 2018-2020 invites us to enjoy the state’s Natural Wonders, such as:

  • Natural Tunnel State Park
  • Breaks Interstate Park
  • Burkes Garden
  • Natural Bridge
  • Luray Caverns
  • Great Falls National Park
  • Great Dismal Swamp
  • And more

On one side of the map is the state, Legend, Mileage Distance Chart, Index to Counties, and an Index to Cities, Towns & Communities. On the other side are many small maps of major cities and areas, including Arlington and the Nation’s Capital. Points of Interest has lists for: Culture, History, Commercial Parks & Resorts, Public Transportation, and Recreation.

We’ve been to Virginia, into the deep caverns, and high skyline drives.

Beautiful Horses near where we stayed in Shenandoah, VA.

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Vermont

I received 3 travel items from Vermont – Explore Vermont Byways, Vermont Official Summer/Fall Vacation Guide 2020, and Vermont Official Road Map & Guide to Vermont Attractions.

Explore Vermont Byways lists the byways, sites along the routes, and gives a detailed map to find your way. Byways:

  • Lake Champlain Byway
  • Northeast Kingdom Byway
  • Green Mountain Byway
  • Mad River Byway
  • Scenic Route 100 Byway
  • The Crossroad of Vermont Byway
  • Stone Valley Byway
  • The Shires of Vermont Byway
  • Molly Stark Byway
  • Connecticut River Byway

As a bonus, there are also Motorcycle Routes!

  • Northern Route
  • Central Route
  • Southern Route

Vermont Official Summer/Fall Vacation Guide 2020 continues to divide the state into 3 Regions. Brief descriptions are given to introduce each region. And then the regions are expanded upon with a Directory to help vacationers find Lodging, Dining, Attractions, Shopping, Recreation, Events, and Services.

  • Northern: Big city amenities, world-class outdoor activities, arts and history combined with a rural landscape for a four-season destination.
  • Central: Historic downtowns and small villages with galleries, theaters, breweries, and eateries and an abundance of outdoor recreational activities.
  • Southern: Classic New England villages and towns with shops, theaters, chef-owned restaurants, museums and recreation to entertain all.

One of the Feature stories in the guide is entitled, “See Vermont Through the Eyes of a Writer”. Robert Frost wrote “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” at his now historic home, preserved as the Robert Frost Stone House Museum. Detective writer, Archer Mayor has lived in Vermont for 40 years, and writes the “Joe Gunther Mystery Series”. Megan Price began writing the “Vermont Wild” series in 2010. Inspired by adventures of fish and game wardens, Price turned their stories into entertainment. Some might know Gesine Bullock-Prado from the tv series, “Baked in Vermont”. John and Jennifer Churchman turned the story of their baby lamb, Sweet Pea, into a children’s book.

The Resources section of the guide has its own Table of Contents, and fills nearly 25 pages with information with many things to see, do, eat, and stay. One activity that caught my eye is the Aerial Sightseeing: Hot Air Balloon, Plane, Helicopter Rides, and Skydiving – These are the things I would love to do!

Vermont Official Road Map & Guide to Vermont Attractions has the regular objects – the state, Legend, and Location Index. One unique item on this side of the map is the Vermont Attractions Association Member Key – this shows where attractions are located on the state map.

The flip side of the map has a Gateway Map with mileage for many of the larger nearby cities. Public Recreation Areas are listed with the accommodations available. State of Vermont Contact Information, Vermont Dept. of Tourism & Marketing Partners, Think Vermont, History & Heritage, Hunting & Fishing License and Regulations, and Four-Season Recreation, are all available on this side of the map. Also, there are tons of small paragraph write-ups on many of Vermont’s Attractions.

I haven’t been to Vermont yet, but I’m glad to have this information for when I’m able to make a trip!

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Utah

Utah sent 3 items: Life Elevated Utah Official Highway Map, Life Elevated Utah guide, Utah’s National Parks & Public Lands.

The back of the Official Highway Map boasts of Utah’s –

  • 5 National Parks
  • 7 National Monuments
  • 43 State Parks
  • 27 Scenic Byways
  • 14 Ski Resorts
  • 9 Million Acres of National Forest
  • 145 Geocaches
  • 260+ Museums
  • 21 Peaks Above 13,000 feet

Other information on this side of the map explains Utah’s ultimate goal of Zero Fatalities on the roadways. Also there is Road Information, a list of Winter Road Closures, Visitor Information and Welcome Centers, and small maps of major Cities.

The main side of the map has the state of Utah, along with a Legend, Populations Elevations & Locations, and a Mileage Chart.

The 64-page Utah guide opens with a wonderful quote:

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes … And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” ― Pico Iyer

Some Bucket List items include:

  • Night Sky Astronomy Festival
  • Biking White Rim Trail
  • Rafting Cataract Canyon
  • Camping Devils Garden
  • Canyoneering
  • Olympic Park, Park City

Chapter 4 of the guide puts together the Top Rated *TripAdvisor places, activities, and adventures that fellow travelers enjoyed.

The Guide offers several Scenic Byways:

  • All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12 is 124 miles long.
  • Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is 500 miles long.
  • Mirror Lake is 55 miles long.
  • Trail of the Ancients 300-400+ miles long.
  • Patchwork Parkway is 51 miles long.
  • Nebo Loop is 32 miles long.
  • Logan Canyon is 41 miles long.

Utah’s National Parks & Public Lands showcases the things Utah is most famous for:

  • Zion
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Capitol Reef
  • Arches
  • Canyonlands
  • And more

We’ve been to Utah and toured Olympic Park in Park City. This area was so pretty.

I love this picture we took of Park City, Utah. It’s a bit blurry but it looks like a charming little village in an oldy-time story.

Utah Olympic Park, we visited the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Museum.

Salt Lake Flats

Road sign to Delle and Salt Lake.

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Texas

Texas is number 43 on my map quest (there are only 7 states left). I’m so excited to finish this project! It’s been so much fun!

Texas sent no Travel Information.

We’ve been to Texas many years ago, and hope to go back again some day in the future.

The Tower of the Americas (we’ve heard it also be called the American Needle) is a 750-foot observation tower-restaurant located in Downtown San Antonio, Texas. The tower was designed by San Antonio architect O’Neil Ford.

Galveston Beach

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/

State Maps – Tennessee

Tennessee’s guide tells us to Take It Outside.

So let’s head outdoors with their list of suggestions. Hey, Geocaching is on their list! Awesome!

  • Rock Climbing
  • Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, & Parasailing,
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Boating
  • Waterfalls
  • Caving
  • Ziplining
  • Biking
  • State & National Parks
  • Rafting
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching
  • EnChroma* viewfinders were installed in 2018 in 12 scenic locations, alleviating red-green color blindness for visitors who have this condition.

As a kid I had always heard that if you’re pursuing a career in country music, Nashville, Tennessee is where you needed to be to become a success. This guide has a fun game showcasing several other places that inspire music. Just tear out the game page and fold it into a passport. Take this passport with you as you visit any of the 11 places listed. Show your passport to get discounts, and collect stamps for a souvenir. And show your progress using #TNMusicPathways.

Two other articles I enjoyed reading were “Kid Reviewed Family Approved” – loaded with museums, playgrounds, and waterparks; and “Women Who’ve Shaped Tennessee & the World” – this article begins by recognizing that it’s been only 100 years since women gained the right to vote, and it lists some of today’s enterprising women in areas such as music, entertainment, culinary, sports, philanthropy, and nature.

Like other guides, this guide divides Tennessee into Regions: East, Middle, and West. Each of these sections were so tightly packed with information, it was difficult to choose just a few things to share. In these sections were many listings under the headings of: Regional Feature, Rural & Real, Events, State Parks & Recreational Areas, Visitor Services and Featured Attractions, as well as much more information about regional notables.

East mentions areas like:

  • Chattanooga & Southeast
  • Knoxville & Middle East
  • Northeast
  • Smoky Mountain Region

Middle mentions areas like:

  • Nashville & Surrounding Areas
  • South Central
  • Upper Cumberland

West mentions areas like:

  • Memphis & Surrounding Areas
  • Northwest
  • Southwest

The 194-page information-packed guide also includes a map inside, at the end.

We’ve been to Tennessee a few times. The photos below are several years old.

Nashville, TN A cloudy day City Scape.

Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN

The Parthenon, Nashville, TN

42-foot-tall statue of Athena in the Parthenon, Nashville, TN, created by sculptor, Alan LeQuire. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicrafts.

Athena’s Shield

I’m not quite sure how we ended up at The Parthenon, as I don’t think I was aware of it being in Nashville, but it was very interesting to tour. I’m glad we went.

A brief history of my state map project: During the Pandemic of 2020, I asked each state in the USA for a map. I wanted to plan a future trip once Covid was over, teach the grandbabies about the big awesome world, and have my own collection of maps. I don’t always have the technological ability to find or follow maps online. Also with my homemade papermaking, any paper products we don’t use will be remade into something fun and useful with the Grandbabies.

If you’re interested in reading more about the story of my State Map project, click on the “State Maps” category in the side bar of this blog. America’s Byways gives the beginning explanation. Or click: https://rosevettleson.wordpress.com/category/state-maps/