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50 State Challenge, Part 3

This is the second half of the list of states that I visited, with details of what I did in each state while there.  This second half took only four years to accomplish, while the first half of the list took 17 years to get through.  After a 7 year gap of not visiting any new states, I started visiting different regions once again.  I did not travel very far from Omaha, Nebraska between the years of 2002 and 2006.  I took a band trip to Colorado in 2002 and I did not go on any major trip until 2006, when I visited southern Illinois for a conference.  In 2007, I went to the same conference, but after 2008 things began to pick up again.

14.  Indiana (2008):  My first time in the Hoosier state was just a one hour period of time while passing through the northwest corner of the state en route to a conference in Michigan.  The following year, I went to another conference at Purdue University in West Lafayette.  In 2010, I passed through Indiana, staying the night in Elkhart, where Notre Dame mania oddly parallels Nebraska Cornhusker mania, and then passing through Indianapolis on the return trip.

15. Michigan (2008):  I was there for two reasons.  The first stop in Michigan was the small town of Allegan, which is located halfway between the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids metro areas on the west side of the state.  Three of us from UNMC got a tour of Perrigo corporate headquarters.  Perrigo is a pharmaceutical company that specializes in manufacturing generic drugs.  If you have ever taken any store brand over the counter medication or dietary supplement, it is most likely manufactured at Perrigo.  We toured some research facilities there, but that is all I can legally say about it, as we had to sign confidentiality waivers.  A cool part of this trip was visiting the outlet store, where soon to expire over the counter drugs can be had for pennys on the dollar, so it is a regional draw.  I got mostly vitamins and supplements while there.  The best thing though, is that our tour guides from the company paid for the spree, which was about $10 worth of stuff for me.  I was going to pay on my own since each bottle of vitamin or medication was around $0.10 each.  The second part of Michigan that I visited was the college town of Ann Arbor for a conference at the University of Michigan.  It was a fun conference, although not very scientific.  Since the registration cost for the conference was quite low, it is a conference that I regularly attend.  The site rotates each year among different Midwestern universities, so this conference has given me an opportunity to visit states that I otherwise would have missed.

16.  Georgia (2009):  To some people this may not count, as this was for a stopover in the Atlanta airport.  It was part of a larger trip to Moscow, Russia, which was my first time leaving the United States.  I will write more about it later on, as that was an experience in and of itself.

# Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation (2009):  This does not count as a US state, but I mention it here as it is related to why I was in the US state of Georgia.  Moscow Oblast is not to be confused with Moscow City.  They are two separate entities.  Moscow Oblast is like the state that surrounds the federal district, which is Moscow City.  Moscow has all of its airports outside of the city limits, so I landed in this oblast.

## Moscow City, Russian Federation (2009):  The main destination for my overseas trip.  I will write more on it later on.

17.  Ohio (2010):  My trip to Ohio was to visit Columbus for a conference at the Ohio State University.  This trip was similar to the trip to Michigan that I took two years earlier.  It involved visiting Abbott Labs in the Chicago area before heading to Columbus for a conference.  Other than the trip to Russia, this has so far been my favorite trip as a Ph.D. student for some reason.

18.  Nevada (2010):  About four weeks after the previously mentioned trip to Ohio, I was traveling again.  This time, I went to Las Vegas for a personal development workshop hosted by Steve Pavlina.  It was an intense experience for me, but it spurred a lot of change in growth in my life over the past 20 months.  I previously wrote about many details about the workshop in some of my earlier posts on this blog.  This blog is actually one thing that I decided that I wanted to do as a result of attending my first workshop.

19.  Arizona (2010):  I first visited Arizona as a day trip to the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas.  The dam is located right on the border between Nevada and Arizona.  Later that same year, I changed planes at the Phoenix Airport.  I have not seen much of the state on land, but I have seen many landmarks from an airplane.  My current boss used to have a faculty appointment at Arizona State University, so Arizona seems to remind me of my current boss as well as John Mc Cain for some reason.

20.  Minnesota (2011):  Much like Georgia, I have only been to this state as a result of changing flights.  I changed flights at the MSP airport.  Although Minnesota is about 3-4 hour drive from where I live, it took me this long to even spend a couple of hours in this state.  I would like to visit it on a longer trip at some point, though.

21.  Maryland (2011):  I went to Baltimore for a conference, which I have posted earlier this month regarding my east coast trip.

22.  Delaware (2011): I passed through the northwest corner of this state in an Amtrak train on my way from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  Again, I already posted about this trip here.

23.  Pennsylvania (2011):  I have been to Philadelphia for a little over 15 hours, as I previously wrote about.

24.  New Jersey (2011): I passed through New Jersey on a train from Philadelphia to New York City, as I previously wrote about.

25.  New York (2011):  I went to New York City as my final destination in my trip up the east coast, as I wrote about here.

26.  Wisconsin (2011):  I visited Madison for a conference at the University of Wisconsin.  This was a relatively short trip, and unfortunately it was not a particularly exciting trip.  It was the first week of summer when I visited and the weather was gray and dreary.  It barely made it to 70 as a daytime high during that weekend.  It was so cloudy and the streets of Madison curve around lakes, so I lost my sense of direction that weekend, which is rare for me.

That is where I have been so far, and I have 24 more to go.



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