It is a funny thing, that before I entered my 75th year on this old planet and the movie the Bucket list came out, I never gave a Bucket list much of thought. But it finally dawned on me that at three quarters of a century of age, how many more years have I got of pushing the old coach around. The kids are all grown up, educated and partnered off, our parents are no longer an issue taking time and effort, and it is just Lucy, Earl the kitty kat, and I.
With that we left New Hampshire in October and have been working down our, or should I say, my bucket list. During my working career as an auto writer we were constantly wined and dined by the auto makers when they had new models to show off to the press. As a nationally syndicated columnist I was invited to trips all over the world by the companies in hopes that I would write nice things about the new products. My bucket list is to revisit a lot of these places and show Lucy and ya Earl too, what caught my eye but I did not have enough time to see the way I would have liked. Yes in that time I drove cross country 20 or 30 times, but always against a time deadline, making the trip in as little as 42 hours. (in a 12 cylinder Jaguar.) There are actually three lists, one for never seen it before, and the second for been there but need to do it again, and of course a tally of what has been done on this trip.
NEVER DONE IT BEFORE
- A cab ride on a steam locomotive
- Fish off Cape Hatturis for Bass and Blue Fish
- White water rafting trip
- Spend a day on a working tug boat
DO IT AGAIN SAM
- A cockpit ride in a 727 or larger jet
- Drive Daytona or other high banked track at speed
- Pilot a glider
- Sunset party at Key West
DO IT AGAIN SAM’S DONE ON THIS TRIP
- Drive the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to San Diego
- Visit Mount Rushmore for more than an hour
- Ribs at Kansas City BBQ in San Diego
- Visit the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes big flying boat
- Sunrise from the top of the Cascades
- Pacific coast sunsets
- Spend time on route 66
- Drive the Lincoln Highway
- Visit San Diego Zoo
NEVER DONE IT BEFORE’S DONE ON THIS TRIP
- Ride a Vista Dome railroad car through scenic country like in the old RR ads
- See the Grand Canyon
- Touch the 4 corners of the continental US
- Visit Yellowstone
- Visit Quartzsite (what a hoot)
- Boondock on the desert
- Visit the aircraft carrier Midway
As the song goes these are but a few of my favorite things, and I supposed to some that it is slightly out in left field, but what do you expect from a Geezer? The trip is not over yet and there is still time to add to the list. I will do that when we get back to New Hampshire in April. However one thing stands out in my mind. There is so much to see and do here in the lower 48 that I have little or no desire to cross the boarders.
At this point in the trip we are just outside San Antonio with the next stop Houston and then to New Orleans and Florida. Just rollin along.
Brad “the Geezer” Sears
I’ll be 47 this year but from reading your list I think I would like to travel around with you. Your list sounds like a blast.
I have done 15 of your 24 and would like to add two to your list.
Visit Carlsbad Caverns NM and stop by the Titan Missle Museum Az. I have seen much more but I believe that the above two recommendations fit best with your wish list.
Hi Brad, Of your list of 24 I have done 8. For that white water rafting trip, contact OARS, Inc. 40 years ago I made a PR film for them on running the Grand Canyon. They have river trips on just about every river in North America. Just go to http://www.oars.com.
Bless you Brad! I turn 69 next month and although I saw the movie, I haven’t given much thought to my own “bucket list”. If you happen to be in western North Carolina, I’ll take you on a white water rafting trip. In ’91 I had the opportunity to fly across country in one of those air force tankers (KC 135 I believe) and got to ride for a while in the cockpit. It was fabulous. In ’06 my family gave me the Richard Petty Driving Experience as a retirement gift. I drove one of Kyle Busch’s old Chevys around the Charlotte Motor Speedway for some 8 laps. My top speed was only 133 but it was a blast. As a younger man I owned and flew a little Cessna 150 and hated to give it up.
I am really envious of the dones and done agains on your list. I hope I can generate my on list and carry them out. There truly is a lot to see in these great United States. Good luck and let us hear of more completed items on your list.
My “want to” list includes, but is not limited to, see Alaska, jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane while in flight -one more time, circumnavigate the US in one “trip”, take a cross-country train trip, and a few others that I gave up on so long ago that I have all but forgotten them.
You remind me of a feeling I have had for many, many years when you stated in your piece, ” There is so much to see and do here in the lower 48 that I have little or no desire to cross the boarders.” My Alaska thoughts are the only desires I have that don’t keep within these guidelines, and this is still kinda within the United States.
I’m not quite 75 yet, but I am bearing down hard on that decade.
I have never made the train trip that you have finally made. I have set my feet in all 48 “mainland” states at one time or another. I have dipped my toe in the Atlantic Ocean one week and in the Pacific Ocean the very next week. I am excited to have seen as much of this country as I have and that just makes me want to see more………… and feel sorry for those who have not been able to see as much as I have.