“I’ve been everywhere, man…” the song ran through my head as I drove home from the Western Hunting Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, recently. It was an interesting show. There wasn’t as much HD truck stuff as I was hoping for, but I still had a great time. Heck, I have a great time everywhere I go. That is one of the biggest perks the job of a magazine editor has: the ability to travel all over the country (and sometimes to other countries) and see some incredible things.
The other day I was trying to map out all the states I’ve been to in my lifetime. Just this past 12 months allowed me to check off visits to Alaska, Washington, and Idaho. The year before, I saw South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. I can only think of about five I haven’t been to: Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut…and North Dakota. Someone give me a reason to go to these states!
It’s not just the opportunity to put your shoes on the soil of another state that’s so interesting, it’s experiencing what the area has to offer. I remember marveling at the Niagara Falls after visiting Stainless Steel Brakes Company in Buffalo, New York. And while in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the TS Performance Outlaw event, I took a detour to examine the Lost River Cave where Jesse James and his gang took refuge after a bank robbery in the late 1800s. While in Axton, Virginia, for a motocross race I got to see the turning leaves everywhere. A trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for a truck show brought me up close and personal with the Amish community.
“The chance to suit up and actually spray paint out of a gun in the direction of a fender was a big deal for me.”
Commercial airlines lost their glamour many years ago, but they allow you to get to places and see cool things. Some other forms of transportation have been interesting, though. I got to fly in a helicopter to observe vehicles being tested at Continental Tire’s Uvalde, Texas, proving grounds. I spent 30 minutes driving a Ferrari pretty fast. I’ve gone 120 mph in a racing boat. I raced dirt track street stocks for about five years. I rode dirt bikes though the backroad trails of Louisiana until we got lost and heard banjo music. I’ve even been able to drive racing go-karts for an article, and lots of other activities. It’s just mind-boggling the amount and variety of things I’ve been able to do because of this job.
The other day DuPont asked a select few magazine editors to come to its Southern California training facility and experience hands-on what it’s like to spray the eco-friendly water-based paints. Like many others, I had heard the grumbling about water-based paints, and DuPont was eager to get the word out that the company’s paint is not only easier to apply, but it looks better when it’s done. The chance to suit up and actually spray paint out of a gun in the direction of a fender was a big deal for me. I leaned a lot about DuPont’s water-based paints and am pretty sure I could paint my own truck now. Then again, I’m pretty sure I’m a great Ferrari driver, could go down Niagara Falls in a barrel, could take Jesse James out in a gun battle, and many other illusions of skill and grandeur. I think the title of Editor has left me a little distorted in my view of the world, but that’s OK. Now, about those trips to Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and North Dakota…