October 6, 2023
Congratulations to Andrew Ressler for completing all 50 and visiting some EXTREMELY cool and unique places.
First State - Massachusetts
Last State - Oregon
Favorite States or Places - South Dakota, West Virginia, Hawaii
By Andrew Ressler
Since I was a child, I’d dreamed of visiting all 50 states. By the time I entered college, I’d only been to 15, all along the East Coast, but that changed rapidly once I hatched a plan to drive from Atlantic to Pacific and back in order to visit the Beach Boys Historic Landmark, a pilgrimage of sorts for my favorite band. While it would take me four more years to realize that specific trip, I began wandering in the meantime, seeking whatever unusual things interested me.
Historical places fascinate me, not only American history from 1776 onwards, but also the countless sites left behind by the Natives, from giant earthwork complexes to intricate stone chambers hidden deep in the woods. Abandoned places, from ghost towns to downed planes to old army bases and forts, also caught my attention. Along the way I got into highpointing, the art of climbing the highest peak in each state, and have completed 31 so far, including Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. As an Eagle Scout, I am drawn to nature, ranging from our iconic national parks to hidden waterfalls and caves left off of most maps. I recently got the opportunity to work with the park service banding and taking blood samples from bald eagle chicks in Minnesota. Wherever possible, I seek out adventure.
My travels have also brought me to many places in Europe and Asia (more continents to come), particularly the German-speaking countries as I grew up with the language. When not traveling, I spend my time reading, exercising, learning new languages, and playing piano, in addition to my work as a data scientist.
Visiting all fifty states is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done in my life. Far more than just a checklist, each state presents unique cultural experiences, awe-inspiring nature if you know where to look, and great stories both past and present. I’d recommend this goal to everyone — if you’re unsure on how to get started or looking for tips and tricks, drop me a line at @beachboysandrew