Visit Every _____ In Your _____

Visit Every _____ In Your _____

I recently learned about Vermont 251, which is a club that celebrates people who have visited, or are attempting to visit, all 251 towns in Vermont. The idea was first proposed by a writer for Vermont Life Magazine in the summer of 1954, and it has been going strong ever since.

You don't win anything when you complete your 251. Except for bragging rights, of course! And aside from the warm glow of a difficult job well accomplished, people who complete Vermont 251 have seen everything their state has to offer.

I know someone who is only about 30 towns shy of making her 251. Every few weeks when the weather is nice, she and her boyfriend pack a lunch, a thermos of coffee, and a map of the state and head out to knock another one off her list. She takes photos to document her trips, and posts them to her Flickr stream. Most likely she will finish her task by the end of this year, and what a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Most of us, of course, live in states which are larger or more populated - or both. I live in Washington, one of those big huge squares on the left-hand side of the map. And let me tell you, with the price of gas, there is no way I'm going to try to visit every town in this state. Half of them are on the other side of a rather arduous mountain range, for one thing! And the farthest town, Walla Walla, is about a six hour drive. Each way!

That's a project I'd like to do if I was retired, and either had tons of money, or the price of gas drops considerably. But I'll tell you a goal that's more realistic: visiting every town in my county.

According to Wikipedia, my county has eight incorporated cities and towns, ten census-recognized communities, and 28 "Other communities." Looking over the list I can see at least two "other communities," Fishtown and Skagit City, which are off the list, since they no longer exist. And their former locations are now private property, so that's out. (I like this project, but not enough to get shot for it.)

44 towns is a good number, enough to provide fodder for day trips for at least two years of traveling seasons, personal schedules and weather reports being what they are.

If I still lived in Seattle, I would probably draw my lines closer still. I often idly thought about visiting every neighborhood in Seattle, but I never quite got around to it. Which is a pity because even though I lived in Seattle for over fifteen years, there are still neighborhoods that I have never visited!

That's the main goal of a project like this, of course. We spend so much time treading the same paths back and forth. How easy it can be to overlook the nearby attractions, and what better way to more fully appreciate what's all around us every day.