States of Mind – Part 10

For the past ten years I have been making an effort to visit all 50 states. As my personal quest nears its completion, I decided to write down recollections of the 46 I’ve seen so far, listed roughly in chronological order of my first visit. This multi-part series began on July 1 and concludes today.

With seven large states left, it would be necessary to divide and conquer. In 2010, my wife and I got a reasonable price on airfare to Wyoming. My ticket was free, thanks to some old frequent flyer miles. Jackson Hole and Teton Village are delightful resort communities. Yellowstone National Park is nothing short of spectacular. We could easily go back and spend our entire week inside the park. We still talk about seeing some curious bison at Old Faithful.

We exited the park in West Yellowstone, Montana, where we enjoyed ice cream with huckleberries. The path we plotted from Yellowstone to Seattle took us through Missoula where we found an affordable hotel called Ruby’s. I mainly chose it because I was amused by the photo of Ruby on the sign. We also went to see St. Ignatius Mission on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Driving through the narrow stovepipe of Idaho still counts, although there is a lot of the state we didn’t see. We realized quickly that the resort town of Coeur d’Alene would be fun to re-visit. In some ways, it reminded us of our too-short stop at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, the year before. Nevertheless, we had a nice time before continuing on through the Scablands of Washington state.

As you may have figured out, I was able to write this ten-part series in advance and publish it while traveling to see my “final four.” Starting tomorrow, I will recap my summer vacation to Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska and a few other spots along the way.

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