48 States in 48 Years

The quest for 50 states in 50 years continues….

Great news! I’m back on track after a recent week long adventure covering four different states. Yes, the quest for 50 states by my 50th birthday is back in reach after my travels to Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska. And to capture these states, it took a flight to the heartland of Kansas City to eventually attend an Iowa State college football game and then a drive to the Nebraska border to visit Omaha. These travels put me back in position to have just two states left in the next two years to achieve 50 by 50.

Of course, Ttere is more to see in each of these states, but sometimes, states are quick, others you can spend considerable time and honestly it is all just another variable on this quest, a quest of a lifetime (well 50 years).

Here are my most recent four.

Kansas #45

at Kansas Speeday in the state of Kansas outside of Kansas City

Can’t wait to see a NASCAR event one day, maybe it will be in Kansas

I couldn’t figure out when driving from the Kansas City airport if I crossed into Kansas, but driving across welcome to Missouri signs made we wonder where the state line is located.

A trip to Kansas City will find travelers spending most of their time on the Missouri side of the city, but Kansas is right there, a stone’s throw at times. Actually part of the city is in Kansas. Many people I met from bar tenders to museum curators resided in the more residential Kansas side of KC.

But after the airport, I took my car rental to visit the Kansas side of the city. So, I drove down the highways en route to the Kansas Speedway and decided to see how close I could get to the complex. Just as I pulled up on the “Michigan” gate I stopped to take a selfie and then talk to a gentleman who was going through to the track. I couldn’t follow, but it did remind, perhaps I need to have a sports quest and get to experience a NASCAR race.

Part of the visiting places always seems to remind you of the fact you want to experience more in life and in your travels. Well, add it to the bucket list I thought.

Missouri #46

the Kansas City Chiefs sign in Union Station Kansas City, Missouri

Inside Union Station for dinner and jazz, there is always a Chiefs sign.

I spent my nights in the Power & Light district of Kansas City on the Missouri side. and had many adventures from prohibition themed jazz music venues to cocktails bars, to visiting museums and more. Kansas City certainly provided entertainment, history, culture and a very memorable Kansas City cuisine (especially barbecue).

Learn all about my time in Kansas City through my recent Staying Adventurous podcast, Kansas City, Here I Come.  Definitely worth a listen and the city is definitely worth a visit.

Iowa #47

at Iowa State in Iowa

always a great way to enjoy a new state – college football

After time in Kansas City, I drove to Iowa to attend a college football game with my friends of Campus Crashers. In the past this group enabled me to visit other states such as Oklahoma which allowed for a  visit to Oklahoma City, and Arkansas affording my natural time sunset in the Ozarks.  Both trips added those states to my collection and my quest.

But as Iowa State hosted Iowa, a big in-state rivalry game, we were set for another unique adventure in the middle of America. College football remains truly a great way to appreciate many states and Iowa was no different.  We set up an amazing tailgate and met countless locals who shared the stories and adventures available to us inside Iowa. The state is more than just a field of dreams.

And yes, I certainly did enjoy a corn dog, it’s classic culture through cuisine for sure. Actually, they were made inside the stadium at a furious pace for concessions. The line was long too.

Nebraska #48

Entering Nebraska on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska

Hello Nebraska and happy 48th!

I needed to extend my trip to visit Nebraska and since it was was just a few hour drive I made it happen. My first stop in Nebraska was The Lewis and Clark National Trail Historic Headquarters and Visitor Center. What a perfect way to enter Omaha, Nebraska. At the facility there is a bridge too, that marks the crossing of state lines. That moment essentially served as my birthday present to myself for 48th birthday weekend. I crossed into my 48th state.

The state slogan,  “Nebraska, honestly, it is not for everyone,” made me laugh, but I realized this moment – it was for me. I celebrated with a brunch in Old Market and then took a walk through the National’s Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park in downtown business district. It serves as an interactive tribute to the pioneer spirit. It remains one of the largest bronze sculpture exhibits in the world too.

After a quick week adventure across 4 states I eventually flew home with a smile. I may have crossed off four more states, but in reality I discovered more about my country, just like I do on every trip I take. And this time, it was places I’ve never been and meeting people who call it home. It is a continuing education and one where I don’t skip class and appreciate extra assignments too.

One take away was there is so much more to learn about these four states, but that’s beauty of this quest…. There is more to go and more to learn and I look forward to my next adventure for repeat states and especially for the remaining two states.  Next up: North Dakota, I hope to see late summer for another birthday adventure.

Walking on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha Nebraska

crossing into Nebraska is a perfect time for a selfie.

What quest are you on? Do you have the desire to visit all 50 US States? Share below how many states you have visited or what quest is top of your travel list?

Stay adventurous and stay on a travel quest, Craig

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  • william b kaliher

    Love it–Craig– hope u make all 50— I’ll never get all 50 but I was in Alaska when it was a territory– so would that be counted as being in that state– look forward to reading of you closing those last two out–

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Thanks Bill … and Alaska counts. Personaly, if Puerto Rico ever becomes 51, I’ll count that one already…. so IMHO you are good there amigo, But there are no judges – it’s what you beleive; it is your adventure.

      And yes, two to go, I’ll document them here….they’ll be covered on the podcast and on the site.

      Plus, the next quest could be Mexico? They have 32 states and I’m at 20, a lot of wood to chop there…. but hey, that would be an awesome next adventure

      stay visiting states, Craig

      • william b kaliher

        Laughing Craig–i have one to go in Mexico– sure appreciate your mailings–keeps me on my toes–travel wise

      • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

        Well, you know where you need to go next.
        Stay loving Mexico… Viva!, Craig