Burlington, Vermont. Thursday,
It's getting hectic in our small office, as we're continuing to set up meetings with planners and planning commissioners in communities I'll be visiting -- while also working on the Summer issue of our publication, the Planning Commissioners Journal.
You may not be aware, but we're a very small operation. Besides myself (Wayne Senville), there's our general manager Betsey Krumholz (note to planners: she's not related to Norm Krumholz!), and Peggy Ellis-Green, who handles all sorts of office work. I first met Betsey during the six years we served together on the Burlington Planning Commission. Peggy has been with us for several years. Among other things, she's a pedestrian advocate, who power walks just about every day.
Betsey & Peggy were a bit taken aback about half a year ago when I first mentioned the idea of this road trip. And at that point I was thinking of just three or four weeks -- not the six week trip we're now planning. But now they're looking forward to having me out of the office for a while! No doubt, things will run much more smoothly.
Betsey & Peggy have also been providing me with tips on how to be a good guest, since I'll be staying with quite a few folks who have graciously volunteered to host me, and advice on things like what kind of polo shirts I need to order (with pockets, and wrinkle-resistant).
Some folks have asked me, "Why Route 50?" Part of the answer is that I wanted some sort of organizing structure for the trip (and, as I've since found out & will report on in a future post) there's quite a large literature about American cross-country road trips. Indeed, Horatio Nelson Jackson, the very first automobilist to cross the U.S. from coast-to-coast (along with his dog, Bud, in 1903) was from here in Burlington, Vermont -- in fact, his former residence is just two blocks from where I'm sitting now.
But why Route 50. In checking various cross-country routes, we simply had considerably more subscribers along, or near, Route 50 than any other route. Since one of my priorities was to meet & speak with individuals who have been receiving the Planning Commissioners Journal, that was an important factor.
I've been excited by the positive response we've received from virtually every community along Route 50 we've contacted. In fact, I know there's already too much to hope to squeeze into six weeks.
Next week, I'll report on some of the new skills I've been learning (or, more accurately, wrestling with): from blogging, to audio editing, to my new "friend" Flickr.