The Bucket List

A few years ago, Rob Reiner directed a film called The Bucket List. In it, two very different men, played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, found themselves hospitalized for treatment for terminal cancer. Before they die, they decide to make a list of things they’ve always wanted to do before they die, a list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.”

I don’t have such a bucket list of activities. Instead, I have a bucket list of locations, places I’d like to go, preferably with my RV, before I die. Here, in no particular order, is my list:

Mexico – I’ve followed the travels of Tioga George off and on through his blog and seen some of the sights of Mexico through the pictures he’s posted. It looks to be a beautiful place where one can RV with relative economy. Yes, there are safety concerns, but those are mainly near the border with the U.S. and in and around large cities, places I have less interest in seeing. I am mainly interested in the mountains, some of the smaller cities, some of the historic temples and ruins, and Baja California.

Maine – I’ve always been intrigued by this rocky region, and having an RV has only intensified the desire to one day visit. In particular, I’d like to visit Acadia National Park. A few years ago, my wife bought me a National Geographic guide to the National Parks. The pictures of the park, coupled with the video show in Ken Burns’ outstanding series on our national parks, did nothing to cool my desire to one day travel to this part of our country.

Nova Scotia – If I am travelling to Maine, I might as well go a little further and visit Nova Scotia. Actually, I’ve been interested in this area since my days when I was into all things Scottish. I learned that the name actually means New Scotland. Nova Scotia, specifically Cape Breton Island, is also the birthplace of one of the great modern-day fiddle players, Natalie MacMaster. Her music evokes the life of that region to me and makes me want to visit all the more.

Texas – Specifically, I’d like to visit Southwest Texas. Even more specifically, I’m interested in visiting Guadalupe National Park. The stark beauty of the region is somehow compelling to me. If I am ever able to make the trip, I’d also be interested in seeing Big Bend National Park.

New Mexico – I’ve been interested in visiting New Mexico for several years. Although Albuquerque is the state’s largest city and no doubt worthy of a visit, I am more interested in visiting the Santa Fe area. I also like the fact that for $225 ($180 if a New Mexico resident) you can buy a year-long camping pass good for all 35 of New Mexico’s state parks. With it, primitive camping is free, electric hookups are just $4 a night.

Although these five areas have enough to see to keep me busy for quite a while, they are not the only places that would be on my traveler’s bucket list. I’ll list five more of my “must see before I die” places next time.