And possibly one Canadian province.
OM HANSON, licensed driver and resident of Ames, Iowa, announced to his wife, Alice, that he plans to drive through all of the lower 48 United States, breaking only for meals, bathroom stops, motel stays, and "a little look-see here and there." He claims he can complete his mission in a couple of months, "but we'll see." He also pledges to think about driving up to Canada, "but then driving right back down."
Alice Hanson, according to her husband, "was kind of taken aback, you might say, because my decision pretty much came out of the blue."
"Yes, I was not expecting my husband to tell me he was going to be out of town for as long as two months," admitted Mrs. Hanson. "But now that it's sinking in, I'm beginning to accept it. I have my own car, you know."
Not normally a man who goes for long drives, Tom Hanson said he was "tired of just sitting around. So I thought, 'Heck, why don't I pledge to drive through every state in the lower 48?' I bet no one has done that before, although naturally I can't be sure."
Mr. Hanson has not solicited any sponsors for his trip, but the local Girl Scouts chapter has donated 25 boxes of Lemon Chalet Cremes.
"We had extra," confirmed troop leader Amy Binkle.
The idea to tack on a Canadian province "just sorta came to me while I was eating my Corn Flakes," explained Mr. Hanson. "For instance, I could drive up to Manitoba through North Dakota, then drive home through Minnesota, which would be my last state, then."
"Don't you think that's kinda out of your way, Tom?" inquired his wife.
"Yeah, maybe I don't need to go all the way up there. We'll see how it goes."
A few of the Hansons' neighbors have gotten wind of the plan, and are weighing in.
"'Whattaya need to leave the Missus at home for, Tom?' I asked him," recalled Bill Wilson. "I said, 'Why don't you just take her along? You can share the driving,' I said."
Mr. Hanson reconsidered. "Bill's got a point there. How 'bout it, Alice? Up for the tour?"
"I'll think about it, hon," said Mrs. Hanson.
"We could frame our speeding tickets, if we get any," said her husband, enticingly.
"Or I could make them into place mats," offered Mrs. Hanson. "OK, then, I'll mix up some Kool-Aid for the thermos."
© 6.1.10 Kate Heidel