Last year I decided to take on a challenge from my author friend Tui Snider, namely, to participate in the 2016 Bloggers A to Z Challenge. It was not easy. The rules of the challenge are to post 26 blog posts, one a day, except on Sundays, and all based on a self-defined theme and in alphabetical order. You can see my entire list of last year’s posts with links on my Reflections Postfrom May 2016. Check it out at http://lessbeatenpaths.com/a-to-z-challenge-complete-list/
Ultimately, despite the grueling challenge, I have decided to tackle it again this year. Read more to see the theme!
As a travel blogger (and sometimes blogger of things odd and quirky and offbeat), I plan on keeping my theme along the same lines. From the time I was 5 or 6 years old I have had a wanderlust-filled life. My desire to see the world has continued into my 60th year of life.
My best definition of wanderlust comes from one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien. He is famed for the quote “Not all those who wander are lost.” This comes from a poem (“All That is Gold Does Not Glitter“) in “Fellowship of the Ring,” one of the three books in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
The unique thing about WANDERLUST is that it doesn’t just have to be on travel. It can be defining course in one’s life. I even created a Selfie Meme with a play on Tolkien’s words. “Not all who wonder are uncertain.” Life is full of discovery and I hope to show a few wanderlust discoveries over the month of April.
Novelist Roman Payne wrote in “Europa: Limited Time Edition”
“Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.“
So, come wander with me along the glorious paths of discovery as I chart a course from A to Z in April.
Recently, life has gotten pretty hectic for old Sumoflam. So much so that my blogs are taking a beating and seemingly forgotten. I am now teaching Japanese full time at the University of Kentucky and that, coupled with my website work, has taken a toll on available time.
Traveling, blog writing and photography are my passions. They are my art. When I can’t be working on them, it hurts. I feel like I am missing out on some of life’s joys.
Today we are traveling to the Pittsburgh area and I had a few minutes to write a couple of notes. I have had some travel opportunities in the past few weeks…Ohio, Nashville and now Pittsburgh. These make me happy.
So, for the past couple of months we have seen beautiful sunsets in Ohio, bike trails in Virginia, hung with Antsy McClain in Nashville and just been generally busy, trying to make time on the weekends to be together and escape from the rigors of week day life.
Following are just a couple more pics I want to share. Soon I will be back at blogging as I figure out how to budget my time and make time for this enriching passion of mine.
I still have posts about Bike Trails, Central Ohio, Nashville, Virginia and more in the works
In the meantime, enjoy a couple of pics and enjoy the ride. Life is awesome, but its getting better.
During the month of April I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge has each blogger select a theme and then do a post thematically from A to Z during each day of April , except Sundays. My blog is number 1337 out of 1670 participating blogs. This year my A to Z posts will take you across the back roads of America to many unique towns. To see what other bloggers will be posting about, check out the link: A to Z Theme Reveal List for 2016
The X Towns
For the X towns, I am taking a little deviation. Since there are really only two places in the United States whose names begin with X (namely Xenia, Ohio and Xenia, Illinois), I am including a few places that have X in the name as well.
Xenia, Ohio is in central Ohio and is the County Seat for Greene County. I visited the town in 2008 specifically to hit the many covered bridges in the area. Though most are not really in Xenia, but rather are in Greene County, Xenia was just the main destination. Greene County has at least seven of them. I have pictured a few above. An, not far from Xenia is the town of Clifton and there is a bridge there as well as the Clifton Mill. A great place to visit. You can see more photos and read the history of these bridges on my 2008 post HERE.
OK. I admit it. Lexington, KY is my home town. There is a great deal to see here as this is the Horse Capital of the World and also the center of the Bourbon industry. The city has some great eateries (try the Lexington Diner!!) It is the home of Keeneland Race Track, the Kentucky Horse Park and now also has a couple of dozen murals. Rather than provide links, just go to this blogs’ Search Bar and type in Lexington to see a number of posts about Bourbon Trails, Horse Photos and the amazing murals and wall art that dot the city thanks to the PRHBTN group and LexArts.
Texarkana, Arkansas (and its neighbor in Texas) share a common road and share a post office, the only US Post Office that sits on a state line and is on two states. See more about one of my many visits (or drive thrus) of this town HERE.
Oxford County, Ontario
I have mentioned in my blog posts a number of times that I spent 8 months living in Woodstock and Paris, Ontario. Woodstock is the seat of Oxford County, which offers an abundance of interesting places to visit including the location of the first baseball game played in North America. Read more on my detailed 2008 post HERE.
I spent a few weeks in Rexburg, Idaho in 2013 and got to travel extensively. Nestled in the mountains of Idaho, it is close to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. It is a small college town and home of BYU-Idaho. Definitely a great place to visit. Check out my detailed post about Rexburg (one of many) HERE.
Cotopaxi, Colorado (Honorable Mention)
In 2013 I drove from Rexburg, Idaho to Dallas, Texas for business. Part of the trip took me on US Highway 50 which went through the small, but beautiful Cotopaxi, Colorado. See the entire trip HERE.
Exie, KY (Honorable Mention)
Not much to say other than there is a place called Exie, Kentucky and it has this Greasy Creek Homestead place. It lies at the intersection of U.S. Route 68 with Kentucky Routes 487 and 745, south of the city of Greensburg.
Texline, Texas (Honorable Mention)
Like Exie, Texline, Texas is a blink your eyes and you’ll miss it place. On the border of New Mexico and Texas, the town is in northwestern Dallam County, Texas and has a population of about 500. The town is named for its location near the New Mexico-Texas state line. I drove thru there in 2013 on the same day as I drove through Cotopaxi, Colorado above.
Did You Miss My Other A to Z Challenge Posts? Click on a letter below to see the others.