Last year I sat down with a map of the United States and realized that, despite all my traveling, I somehow missed six states. Who knew? And, looking at the map, I saw that they all fell down a vertical line that made a little sweep to the right at the base. The states are: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. My idea was to do a different sort of trip to hit all of these: I would take a Greyhound bus from north to south and, in each state, bicycle a relatively long rail to trail.
But, because of miscommunication on the ground with the ND tourist board, I had to nix that state. And, there was no point in going out of my way to visit SD without also hitting the north. (North and South Dakota will have to wait until the winter when I cross country ski a rail-to-trail in both states.) That left four states. I just returned from this trip that was full of adventure, including almost being hit twice by lightning in Little Rock. Here is my pre-trip interview with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy that is the not-for-profit advocacy group for converting old, abandoned railroad beds to pedestrian/bicycle lanes. My next post will be about some of the highlights from this journey.