So it ends as it began, with a picture of beautiful Mt. Hood. There are differences, though. This one, as you can tell, was taken on the move (no doubt a dangerous driving maneuver) because I was anxiously approaching home. It was taken headed west, whereas the beginning one was taken going the opposite direction.
It was quite simply a great trip. I covered a total of 7,683 miles through 16 states (including, unexpectedly, Texas and Oklahoma) in 23 days. Given how far south I went (Albuqurque) on the way to Cooperstown, it is surprising that the eastbound half was 3,855 miles and the return was 3,828. I saw 14 games and went to 15 stadiums (I’m still bitter that the Cards game was rained out at Busch!), including minor league venues.
A big part of the fun was meeting lots of wonderful folks. Everyone to whom I described the trip seemed genuinely pleased to hear about it. Some expressed envy, and all seemed to think it was “cool.” As I’ve tried to convey in these posts, there were interesting, quirky and entertaining aspects to the players, games, parks, food, ads and other sights and sounds along the way.
My planning was not great. I did not calibrate carefully enough the distance between games (for a couple I simply forgot to look at it). I didn’t leave time for non-baseball travel attractions. So I’m certain there are many things I missed, such as the world’s largest ball of twine or the deepest hand-dug well, and so on. I also suffer from the “just want to get there” syndrome – once I started driving, I’d spend way too much time calculating how many miles or hours remained until I got to the next park. But if I’d done the trip taking all that into account, I’d still be traveling, so maybe it’s just as well that I have these flaws.
Thanks to all who suggested a blog. Sometimes I felt pressed to write a post, but knowing that you were following along forced me to pay closer attention and, as a consequence, I got a lot more out of the trip than I otherwise would have. Thanks also to all who posted comments or sent me emails of encouragement or correction. It was nice to know I wasn’t really alone. And speaking of that, thanks as well to friends and family who joined me along the way. That enhanced the experience tremendously.
If you want to discuss the trip or any aspect of it personally, call me. If you entertain thoughts of a similar trip, just do it.