Top 10s

Sunset in Joshua Tree NP
Sunset in Joshua Tree NP

I covered 8270 miles in the USA and visited 20 states (TX, LA, AR, MO, KY, IN, OH, WV, WI, MI, PA, NY, IL, KS, CO, UT, NV, CA, AZ, NM) which means, completely incidentally, that I ‘need’ to visit only Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Iowa (how did I ‘miss’ Iowa again?), Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida (and that would make quite a good trip as it happens) and Vermont for the set of the lower 48 contiguous states.

Just for fun, here are;

The top ten landscapes/views of the trip:

  1. Arches National Park, Utah – the three gossips etc
  2. El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
  3. the first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean after driving across the USA (near Monterey Bay)
  4. the open road anywhere where it stretches ahead with no cars (preferably with distant mountains)
  5. crossing the Mississippi River from Missouri into Kentucky on day 2 of this journey
  6. Sunset in the Joshua Tree National Park, California
  7. The Organpipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona
  8. the road from Utah into Nevada
  9. Old growth forest in Ohio as a very rare glimpse back in time
  10. The view from the Passenger Pigeon Memorial in Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin, looking over the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers.

The top ten wildlife sights:

  1. Blue whale – Monterey Bay, California
  2. Sea Otter – Monterey Bay, California
  3. Roadrunner in Joshua Tree National Park, California
  4. Mexican free-tailed bats pouring out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, Texas
  5. Killer whales – Monterey Bay, California
  6. Kirtland’s warbler, near Mio, Michigan
  7. Bobolink in the rare uncut, unfertilised pastures near Ithaca, New York
  8. Coyote – first in the Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas (and many sightings after that)
  9. Giant sequoia – Yosemite National Park, California
  10. California sea lion – Monterey Bay, California

The top ten breakfasts;

  1. Mom’s Cafe, Salina, Utah
  2. Tony’s family restaurant, Sealy, Texas.  This was only on Monday so I haven’t written about it. Good hash browns and very friendly staff.  As I hoiked up my trousers as I paid the bill (check) the lady on the till told me I hadn’t eaten enough if my ‘pants’ were falling down, and another waitress told me that ‘we’ll miss you’ when I said I was heading back home.
  3. Mark’s cafe, Brownstown, Illinois
  4. Cup of coffee made by Jessie Barry with an avocet drawn, perfectly, in the froth.  Ithaca, New York
  5. Jerry’s family restaurant, Coshocton, Ohio
  6. Jake’s place, Hardinsburgh, Kentucky
  7. Red’s restaurant, Fordyce, Arkansas
  8. Andrea’s Cafe, 29 Palms, California
  9. Todd’s restaurant, Ryan airfield, nr Tucson, Arizona
  10. Fresh, cheap avocados eaten in the car in California



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4 Replies to “Top 10s”

  1. Great journey but I have just done 1180 miles in the UK in a week to do one story [and a bit about a book]. It is amazing what this country has to offer!

  2. Have to wonder if conservationists do more miles than anyone else.Feel rather pleased with the fact our car does about 5,000 miles per year.As a retired farmer and farmers being called the major polluters and being the reason for less farm birds I wonder if the real culprits spend lots of time in vehicles polluting air,grass verges,roads which wash into ditches then rivers and killing millions of insects on front of vehicles also killing millions of insects with their pollution.
    Of course being masters of excuses they will come up with several.

  3. I think Dennis has made an interesting point, it does seem a bit at odds Mark the number of miles covered in a car (why not a train, probably not possible) not to mention the airflight it seems odd too as I know of a man who also moans on and on about how "humanity is destroying the planet", yet this year so far he's been New Zealand, Peru, Africa twice and is planning a trip to PNG, now as an exucse he says "I've offset the carbon footprint with tree planting" fair enough? Nope, no amount of tree planting will replace the damage fossil fuels have done to areas like the Niger Delta, I also understand one "tree-planting" scheme was labelled in the FT as a scam ran by a hedgefund (no pun intended) also has anyone who's contributed to a carbon offset scheme ever gone to see the trees that have been planted? After all if people aren't lying off course there should be a massive new woodland area somewhere in the UK! I've heard some do plant these trees but are chopped down for toilet paper after just three years!


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