This is a former post that was resurrected and updated.
1. River rafting the Grand Canyon like these Imax film makers. And to think that this is an Imax film. Even with the Dave Matthews Band music behind it.... goll dang.
UPDATED quick review of that: From the moment that the water starts flying out at you and you are thrust through the chutes of the Colorado River, you know that it's on - even with Robert Kennedy Jr. and Robert Redford on board for some sort of political star power, you know that this is a super fun experience of natural joy. Dave Matthews' more cheery songs add to the mix - as does the journey to Havasupai...
PERFECT LEAD IN!!
2. I'd definitely go check out Havasupai Falls. If I won Powerball, I could go in and out without staying overnight and worrying about meth addicted Native Americans trying to rob or kill me.
3. I'd definitely go back to the Wave. Just because I can. I'd take my dad because he was really into the pictures and the story that went with it. While I'm there, I'd be taking in Buckskin Gulch. I'd also want to get a houseboat to do Lake Powell properly as well. Cathedral in the Desert would be fan-frickin-tastic.
4. I've never been to Oregon, so I would definitely have to take a visit to Crater Lake. Let's be honest; looking at this picture, how can you resist it?
5. I've never been to Washington either, so I'd have to see Olympic National Park and Puget Sound and all of the places around Seattle. I'd definitely check out a game at Safeco to see the master hitter that is Ichiro.
BUT THAT SAID... I'd really like to see the waterfall paradise of North Cascades National Park and especially Green Lake Falls. I need to see what it looks like - maybe to be the first to be able to take some kind of picture to put on the web and prove that it really is as good as those satellite photos say.
6. I'd definitely be all about Machu Picchu to do the archaeological wonder of South America. I'd definitely have to have my Neruda packed for that.
7. I'd also be going to Egypt to see the pyramids, but just like with Havasupai Falls, I wouldn't be staying. I've only heard bad things about Egypt and frankly, I'm a picky eater.
8. In order to get all 50 states, I'd have to go to Iowa as well. I'd be checking out Effigy Mounds National Monument. I've wanted to see them for quite a while, so I'd definitely be driving through there to see the sights.
9. In Michagan, I'd be foregoing the sights of Detroit and Ann Arbor and going north to Isle Royale National Park. Lake Superior in winter looks incredible, but I could handle it in fall as well.
10. This woman I work with and her husband own this place in Maine. My parents went there last year. It's right next to Acadia and all of the other great coastal Maine spots. how can you go wrong?
11. The closest state to me that I haven't done other than Michigan is Vermont. I definitely want to make it to the White Mountains in the near future. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Lake Champlain. That independant spirit. So much better than stodgy Reading, PA. Then again, I don't live there anymore... so I'll kick back in Amish Paradise.
12. Someday, I will go back to England. There are a lot of places that I want to revisit, but I'd really like to see the Uffington Horse again.
13. The ideal summer vacation could just be Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, western South Dakota and Devil's Tower. The Black Hills and the Rocky Mountains are incredible.
14. Any of the national parks in Alaska would be cool to see. Denali would be the best to see, but frankly, just to be up in grizzly country and to watch them feed on salmon (like my parents did) would be awesome.
15. Hawaiin volcanoes at the National Park of the same name would also be great and would get me another state on the list.
16. North Dakota doesn't offer much in choices, but I'd like to see Roger Maris' grave in Fargo. Sure, there are naturey things to see, but I'm more about paying my respects to Roger.
17. I would drive down from South Dakota to the most redneck looking bar right over the border and drink beer and eat lunch in Nebraska just to get that state. What else is there to see in that state? It's one of the 9, so...
18. Apparently, Jesus statues are everywhere (like this one in Monroe, Ohio), and while I'd be down for pictures of that, I'm really all about seeing Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame.
19. Darwin, Minnesota, houses the world's largest ball of twine. Then again, Cawker City, Kansas, boasts large string as well. I'm so there.
20. Dale Sr. is Americana. I'd really like to see his grave and memorials in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
21. I'd like to go on an African safari to see the mountain gorillas. They're in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
22. If I hit Powerball, I could afford scuba lessons, so I would be all about the cenotes of the Yucatan. If I was there, I'd have to see their pyramids as well.
23. If you were in Antarctica, wouldn't you go see the penguins? I know I would, but I would also want to see the arch at Spert Island and fumeroles as well. I'm a wuss when it comes to the cold, but I could definitely be down with that.
24. Easter Island is way up there on the list of the things to do and see as well.
25. On the subject of archaeology, I would want to see Rock Lake to see the lost pyramids underneath it as well. Tell me that scuba training wouldn't make my life the bomb?!!
26. I'd want to go to the Columbia River in Washington to see where they found Kennewick Man - just to pay my respects.
27. Fenway Park on the Monster seats for the World Series. Tell me that wouldn't kick ass!!! I could afford it if I won Powerball.
28. The entirety of the Zion Narrows has eluded me due to my lack of technical climbing ability. I would train in that and take it on. If I was trained for that, I would do random canyons in the southern Utah parks, but especially go to see Blue John Canyon.
29. I'd like to go back to New Orleans to see what that's like now that Katrina has done horrors to her once picturesque self.
30. I'd like to take that proper trip to the Scotish Highlands and really see the islands (such as the Orkneys, the Inner and Outer Herbides, and finally get to see Loch Ness.
31. I would definitely want to go to Yosemite National Park and pretend that I could take pictures like Ansel Adams. I could definitely afford his equiptment.
32. I'd also like to go to Cork, Ireland, if only to see the cliffs and feel a little bit of the Irish countryside that people rave about.
33. How can I forget Glacier National Park in Montana? How could I never have been there already?
34. Angel Falls in Venezuela would be fun, too. I don't think I'd want to be there that long, and I wouldn't want to go until Chavez left power, but still... that place is beautiful.
35. Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is the grandaddy of all waterfalls and I definitely couldn't miss that.
36. Last but not least (until these places are completed and I can move on to other places), I would like to see Japan. Tokyo would serve the purpose.
The thing is, you never know when you're going to lose your favorite places. The Taliban bastards blew up the Buddhas of Bamyan and fortunately, I got to see the Old Man in the Mountain before it collapsed.
I can always go back to DC, Ricketts Glen, Baltimore, and the yearly Florida vacation (you know where to go for those pictures), but other places aren't as easy. Granted, I'd have tons of cash, so if you're a really good person, I'd probably invite you along.
Hell, I might even visit you and encourage you to come with - twisting your arm if necessary.
That said...Where would you want to go?
Top 5 places I wouldn't want to go.
1. Anywhere in Italy.
2. Anywhere in Iraq.
3. New York City (won't go back except for the 9/11 Memorial).
4. The touristy beaches of the Mid Atlantic states
5. Rockville. I'm not going back there.