On every trip I take, I pass highway signs telling me this exit or that will take me to intriguing places called Dime Box or Pumpkin Crossing, but I've never had the time to go see what was there.
One day, I suddenly thought how great it would be to spend a whole month in each state - see what there is to see and talk to the people who live there. I'd have a chance to find out what these united states actually consist of. Of course, a month in a large state like Montana may be a little different than a month in a smaller state like Delaware. But I expect I'll go back to many places, once this initial trip is over.
In the mid-'90's I had a teacher who told our class he thought there was no longer any such thing as specific state identities – that those identities were a product of a time when people rarely traveled outside their own immediate areas and had only radio for mass communication. But at that point, I had lived in Texas, Alaska and Washington state, all of which have quite distinct identities, so I argued with him. Being the teacher, he had the last word, but I know I’m right.
This trip is a search for those identities.