If there is one word that describes my experience with Major League Baseball in 2017 it would be:
I still sometimes find myself unable to actually process all the things I did and all the places I saw. Sure, some of it is due to the limitations of the human brain, along with personal factors (lack of sleep, over-exertion, mental health, etc.), but most of it is just pure astoundment.
- I drove all the way out to Seattle!
- I traveled through the Rocky Mountains and experienced some winter-ish conditions.
- I saw Puget Sound and went record shopping in an American mecca for music.
- I ever so briefly experienced Portland.
- I experienced both sides of The Bay (San Francisco AND Oakland).
- I ascended through the Tahoe area at night and slept in the Biggest Little City In The World.
- I sped across Utah’s salt flats.
- Then I experienced the natural high of Wyoming (the elevation made me feel lightheaded).
- And somehow made it across South Dakota overnight.
- I caught a home run at Target Field and celebrated shortly after with Craig Finn?!
- I hit Pittsburgh, Philly, and Baltimore.
- Then I experienced the capital city and Stateless Washington, DC – along with numerous museums and attractions.
- Then I ended that leg with the rains of Cleveland.
- I spent the 4th of July in St. Louis and saw the fireworks in Nashville.
- I cruised to Atlanta…
- Then I sweated myself silly in Tampa.
- I got to experience dome baseball again, while the thunder rumbled on during a typical Floridian summer night.
- I had my first brush with kidney troubles (dehydration from Tampa?).
- Then I had my second brush with kidney troubles – a canceled trip and kidney stone birth in Merrillville, Indiana.
- A quick overnight trip allowed me to have a wonderful experience in Milwaukee.
- I then gave Cincinnati another go and was rewarded with a shining experience from the Queen City.
- I capped the season off with a broken wrist and my first cast.
- And I did most of this with Evie by my side (minus the Pittsburgh-Philly-Baltimore-DC-Cleveland trip).
- I drove straight through from Reno to Minneapolis.
- I drove straight through from Lake City, Florida to Minneapolis.
- I put almost 13,000 miles on automobiles.
- I rode my bike in Seattle, Oakland, and Cincinnati.
I have specific memories/feelings that are so vivid, yet so unbelievable. The idea that I experienced these things is crazy enough, but to say that I did all of this in about 6 months is truly remarkable. I won’t forget that moment in Montana when a quick rain storm turned into hail/ice/snow and made me almost drive off the rode due to lost traction. I won’t forget that amazing drive from Seattle to San Francisco, and the awe of seeing so much of California’s beauty. I won’t forget the beating sun, sweltering humidity, and general oppression that made Tropicana Field seem like a crown jewel of modern architecture (let alone a magnificent ballpark). And then there was the riverfront area at sunset in Cincinnati…
But I also won’t forget that I did 10,109 of these miles with Evie by my side (and stealing the hotel/airbnb beds). Nor will I erase having my best friend by my side for 2,555 miles… whether or not I put a scratch/dent in a rental car. And I surely will not overlook the numerous friends I met up with along the way – new and old. I did so much of the traveling “solo,” but I certainly would not be looking back on this year/experience so fondly if it had been in complete isolation.
Thank you, friends from other cities, and the ones who share Target Field as our “home away from home.” You made 2017 the most epic year of baseball I will ever have.