Welcome to Assignment: America, a site dedicated to one man's attempt to visit all parts of the United States of America. This is the challenge: to visit all 50 states and all 50 capitals. For proof, I will take a picture of each state's welcome sign as well as a picture of its capitol building.
A little background: I have always loved road trips ever since I was able to drive. Even as a kid, I loved to play with toy cars and road signs, so the love for the open road has always been calling me. After I graduated from college, I decided I would like to travel across the country to visit all 50 states. The original idea was to take a picture of every "Welcome to" sign, but I felt that would allow cheating (such as just taking a picture of the sign without actually visiting the state). So I decided to add on visiting the capitol, since most are located in the heart of the state. I have traveled quite extensively throughout the U.S. previously, but I started fresh as of May 2005.
To visit each state's page, either click on the state on the map below or use the drop-down menu to the left. This is my progress thus far:
Key: Red indicates a state where I have pictures of both its welcome sign and its capitol. Blue indicates a state where I have just crossed its border and got its welcome sign. Green indicates a state where I just visited the capitol but didn't get its welcome sign. Yellow indicates a state I have visited previously, but not since beginning Assignment: America and does not count toward the goal.
For different representations of my progress, check out the sign map and the capitol map.
I do not claim to be the first to think of this idea, and I'm sure I won't be the last. However, I have added a few of my own unique touches by taking pictures of some other random symbols from each state, such as license plates and state route signs. I also keep a log of all the road trips I have made, and all of the images for Assignment: America can be found together on the All-in-One page. I also have a collection of other random pictures from the various states in my Assignment: America photo gallery. I toyed around with the notion of visiting the biggest city in each state as well, but decided that would be impractical; populations change, capitals don't.
Unlike some other sites I've seen that have a similar objective, my pictures do not include me in them. I don't enjoy looking at pictures of myself and therefore decided that visitors wouldn't as well. So you'll just have to trust me that I visited these places despite my mug not being in every shot. Plus, I think that being in each picture ruins the shot and takes away from the purpose of this mission, since this project isn't about vanity. For that, I would refer you to the About Me page or the main Photo Gallery.