This post comes with a disclaimer. Writing this on a different day would certainly mean a different list. The list of awesome places to visit grows longer every day. Plus think of all the places I don’t even know exists yet. These are the places I have to discover by discovering them. Places I may stumble across. Places that may not have their own twitter account. But until I’m on the road and actively seeking adventure and searching out unique places, and for today, here are a few that remain high on the list.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
- Even before RVing was an idea in my head, exploring the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list. It just seems to me a place every American should experience in her life. It’s always been on the list. But it worked its way to the top of the list when I got into hiking 12 years ago. I need to say, many hiking purists might call what I do more of a nature walk than an actual hike since what I love are “flat hikes” (my term) or hikes without a lot of up and down. Despite this, I firmly decided I would be one of those people who would walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and not be tempted to take the donkey back up again. Okay, I’m sure I’ll be tempted. But I will not to do it.
- Places of genealogy significance. I have to back up here and say, first, I actually need to determine what are my places of genealogical significance. In theory, I’ve always been interested in genealogy. I say in theory because I’ve done so little in this area, I cannot legitimately call myself a genealogist, or even a genealogy hobbyist. Maybe I can get away with calling myself an enthusiast because I am enthusiastic about the idea of being a true researcher of my family’s past. I envision discovering gravestones, walking the same found as generations past, picking through town hall records and touring old homesteads (if the current owners would allow it). I have this fantasy where in some old attic is a treasure trove of stuff just waiting for me to care about it. Well, find it, talk the current owner into giving it to me and then care about it.
- Ever since I saw the National Geographic show Dogtown, I wanted to visit the Best Friends Sanctuary outside of Kanab, Utah. This amazing no-kill rescue sprawls over 20,000 acres in the red rock canyons of southern Utah and offers refuge to 1,700 animals. More than visit the place, I want to stay a week or two and volunteer. Besides Dogtown, there is Cat World, Horse Haven, Marshall’s Piggy Paradise, Bunny House, Parrot Garden and Wild Friends. On site, they have cottages, cabins and, even, a few RV sites. Can you say dog sleepover? Yep, once you are an established volunteer, you can host a doggy sleepover. People, 8,000 in fact, come from all 50 states and around the world to volunteer. It’s a no-brainer that Best Friends Sanctuary is on my list.
- Like most kids, after I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I wanted to live in a lighthouse. I outgrew (well, almost) the idea of living in one, but I haven’t outgrown my fascination with them. There are about 1,000 lighthouses in the U.S. and, surprising to me, Michigan has the most with 150. When I think lighthouses, I think east coast and west coats. I want to both visit lighthouses on my adventures and volunteer at a few. Top of the list is Cape Blanco Lighthouse in Oregon.
- Walk part of the Pacific Coast Trail or Appalachian Trail in preparation for a bucket list item of one day doing the entire trail. I read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Byson and became obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. Then, years later, I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and became equally obsessed with the Pacific Coast Trail. (Full disclosure: I never even heard of the PCT until I read that book.) Walking a few miles on either or, better yet, on both would be a start of a dream come true.
- I’ve never been to a winery or a vineyard. But I love wine so it only makes sense to add explore wine country to the list. I want Sideways without the drama. When I think of wine tasting I think Napa Valley. But I know that’s short-sighted. The truth is I have no idea where grapes are grown in the U.S. But it’s one more thing to look forward to discovering. Plus wine tasting and vineyard tours. Plus, and obviously, buying good wine to toast beautiful sunsets from a comfortable chair outside my home on wheels.
- Everywhere. Duh!
Would love to hear from you. What places are on your list to visit before you kick the bucket?