Friday, October 15, 2021
HomePatriot DispatchesDriving On Old Highways Is Good For Your Health

Driving On Old Highways Is Good For Your Health

For the past three years I’ve taken a vacation in late June or early July, and this year it lasted for three weeks. This is a very therapeutic thing to do, and for me the best parts of the vacation are when I drive on the secondary highways in areas of pure prairie and a big sky. This year, on June 19th, I was driving out of the northeast exit of Yellowstone National Park onto a stretch of highway 212 known as Scenic Beartooth Drive. I was driving in the Beartooth Range of the Rockies at elevation of about 11,000 feet, and snow was still on the ground.

I drove on highway 47 in southeast Montana between I-90 and I-94 on my way to Medora, North Dakota located in the Badlands part of southwest North Dakota. I love that area in North Dakota, and have vacationed there the past three years. In northwest South Dakota I traveled on highway 16 to Mount Rushmore. I eventually got to highway 83 and drove into Nebraska and Kansas. I turned onto US 56 and drove thru the Oklahoma panhandle until I reached highway 385. Highway 385 took me thru the Texas panhandle to Brownfields Texas. At Brownfields, I turned onto highway 137 to Lamesa, and in Lamesa I turned onto highway 349 to get back home to Midland, Texas.

People who jet to a destination instead of driving along old highways are truly missing out on the opportunity to soothe the soul and rest up for political activism this fall. It’s good to take a break from the internet and not instantly learn the latest news concerning loss of liberty. The other good reason for travels in these parts of these eight states is the people you meet are the best rugged individuals you’ll ever come across. These people aren’t interested in going on the dole to the federal government. They aren’t looking to go on social security disability after their 99 weeks of unemployment compensation runs out, because they are working. They aren’t looking for federal food stamps or complaining about a state tax hike on cigarettes or beer. They don’t see themselves as helpless victims of tornadoes or winter snow storms. They just dig out and rebuild.

According to a CNBC special report five of these eight states are among the top ten, and the other three are in the top 24. Texas is #1 for the third time since this annual report started in 2007.

#1 Texas (#2 in 2011)
Governor: Rick Perry (R)
Top corporate tax rate: No corporate income tax but do have a gross receipts tax with rates not strictly comparable to corporate income tax rates
Top individual tax rate: None
Gasoline taxes/fees: 20.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 6.9

#5 North Dakota (#13 in 2011)
Governor: Jack Dalrymple (R)
Top corporate tax rate: 5.20 percent
Top individual tax rate: 3.99 percent
Gasoline taxes/fees: 23.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 3.0

#6 Nebraska (#10 in 2011)
Governor: Dave Heineman (R)
Top corporate tax rate: 7.81 percent
Top individual tax rate: 6.84 percent
Gasoline taxes/fees: 27.6 cents
Unemployment Rate 3.9

#7 South Dakota (#13 in 2011)
Governor: Dennis Daugaard (R)
Top corporate tax rate: None
Top individual tax rate: None
Gasoline taxes/fees: 24.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 4.3

#10 Wyoming (#21 in 2011)
Governor: Matt Mead (R)
Top corporate tax rate: None
Top individual tax rate: None
Gasoline taxes/fees: 14.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 5.2

#15 Kansas (#11 in 2011)
Governor: Sam Brownback (R)
Top corporate tax rate: 7.00 percent
Top individual tax rate: 6.45 percent
Gasoline taxes/fees: 25.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 6.1

#23 Oklahoma (#28 in 2011)
Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
Top corporate tax rate: 6.00 percent
Top individual tax rate: 5.25 percent
Gasoline taxes/fees: 17.0 cents
Unemployment Rate 4.8

#24 Montana (#38 in 2011)
Governor: Brian Schweitzer (D)
Top corporate tax rate: 6.75 percent
Top individual tax rate: 6.90 percent
Gasoline taxes/fees: 27.8 cents
Unemployment Rate 6.3

Montana is the only one of these eight with a Democrat governor, and I expect Republican Rick Hill will be elected governor this November. I also expect most of these Governors are going to join Texas Governor Rick Perry in refusing expansion of their Medicaid program.

The photos below are not taken by me, but they are memorable reminders of some awesome therapeutic places I have been.


This is a portion of the Beartooth Scenic Drive on highway 212 in northwest Wyoming


This is a portion of highway 47 between I-90 and I-94. The “Big Sky Country” moniker for Montana is very apt.


This is the motel I’ve stayed at for the past three years. The rock formations in the Badlands are awesome.


This is part of highway 16 leading up to Mount Rushmore in northwest South Dakota.


This is a stretch of highway 83 near Valentine, Nebraska.


This is a stretch of highway 83 near Oakley, Kansas.


This is a stretch of highway 56 in the Oklahoma panhandle near Boise City, Oklahoma.


This is a stretch of highway 385 in the Texas panhandle going toward Brownfield, Texas.


This is the skyline of Midland Texas that let me know I was almost home and my vacation was coming to a close.

pilgrim
I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.

15 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

15 COMMENTS

  1. Pilgrim, about 6 years ago my daughter and I took a week long bus trip/ tour from Scottsdale to Vegas. We went to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Zion, Bryce Canyon and landed in Vegas. As you say, road trips can be the best but it was still a marathon.

    Thanks for pointing out all these great states and what they have accomplished. Ohio will also join the Medicaid boycott and of course the Dems are apoplectic.

    • I hope someday you have an opportunity to travel in Montana and see cattle grazing on the prairie under a big sky.  I have traveled in deserts in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, but I prefer the prairies to the deserts.

  2. I’m a prairie gal, too, ‘pil, being from Kansas. Next trip is to be with family in AZ, but, unfortunately, it’s too far for me to drive. Hope to put my hiking boots to use on Mt. Lemmon – my brother-in-law who’s a musician is also a hiking tour guide as a sideline.

    I love travelling the scenic routes and blue highways. Followed Old Route 66 from “where the road began” in Chicago down to St. Louis. Then followed scenic routes along the west bank of Mississippi River all the way down to New Orleans. Took us three days to get there because we kept losing Route 66, and there were so many things we decided to stop and look at. My daughter documented the trip in 35mm for her history/humanities class. Only bad thing that happened was making a wrong turn in East St. Louis. Yeow!

    • I hear ya on that yeow.  I’m real picky about where I choose to drive on the secondary.  East St. Louis and Chicago’s South Side are a couple of places I would not want to drive on the secondary roads.  Oakley Kansas and Valentine Nebraska are fantastic for driving secondary roads.

      •  Ha ha ha. East St. Louis wasn’t on our “route”  –  it was an example of sheet happens!

        What’s in Oakley, Kansas?  The best scenery on the River Road was in far Southeastern Missouri – Mark Twain National Forest. Breathtaking – too bad we were driving it in pea soup fog at night. What an adventure!

        • I must confess that I kept driving instead of stopping at the amusement sights.  Oakley’s claim to fame on a highway billboard is the world’s largest prairie dog.  There was another billboard I did a double take on concerning seeing the famous Fick Fossil.

    • I didn’t have any problems in these 8 states with pot holes.  There was an unpaved road issue in Wyoming right before I got into the national parks there.  According to the CNBC Special report they all received good scores.  Texas is #1, Kansas is #6, Montana is #14, North Dakota is #15, Nebraska is #19, Wyoming #26, South Dakota #27, and Oklahoma #37.  I did not see any pot hole in the Oklahoma panhandle.  
      Rhode Island #50, Vermont #48, New Hampshire #46, Massachusetts #45, Connecticut #43, and Maine #42 makes New England the worst region for pot holes.

  1. Pilgrim, about 6 years ago my daughter and I took a week long bus trip/ tour from Scottsdale to Vegas. We went to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Zion, Bryce Canyon and landed in Vegas. As you say, road trips can be the best but it was still a marathon.

    Thanks for pointing out all these great states and what they have accomplished. Ohio will also join the Medicaid boycott and of course the Dems are apoplectic.

    • I hope someday you have an opportunity to travel in Montana and see cattle grazing on the prairie under a big sky.  I have traveled in deserts in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, but I prefer the prairies to the deserts.

  2. I’m a prairie gal, too, ‘pil, being from Kansas. Next trip is to be with family in AZ, but, unfortunately, it’s too far for me to drive. Hope to put my hiking boots to use on Mt. Lemmon – my brother-in-law who’s a musician is also a hiking tour guide as a sideline.

    I love travelling the scenic routes and blue highways. Followed Old Route 66 from “where the road began” in Chicago down to St. Louis. Then followed scenic routes along the west bank of Mississippi River all the way down to New Orleans. Took us three days to get there because we kept losing Route 66, and there were so many things we decided to stop and look at. My daughter documented the trip in 35mm for her history/humanities class. Only bad thing that happened was making a wrong turn in East St. Louis. Yeow!

    • I hear ya on that yeow.  I’m real picky about where I choose to drive on the secondary.  East St. Louis and Chicago’s South Side are a couple of places I would not want to drive on the secondary roads.  Oakley Kansas and Valentine Nebraska are fantastic for driving secondary roads.

      •  Ha ha ha. East St. Louis wasn’t on our “route”  –  it was an example of sheet happens!

        What’s in Oakley, Kansas?  The best scenery on the River Road was in far Southeastern Missouri – Mark Twain National Forest. Breathtaking – too bad we were driving it in pea soup fog at night. What an adventure!

        • I must confess that I kept driving instead of stopping at the amusement sights.  Oakley’s claim to fame on a highway billboard is the world’s largest prairie dog.  There was another billboard I did a double take on concerning seeing the famous Fick Fossil.

    • I didn’t have any problems in these 8 states with pot holes.  There was an unpaved road issue in Wyoming right before I got into the national parks there.  According to the CNBC Special report they all received good scores.  Texas is #1, Kansas is #6, Montana is #14, North Dakota is #15, Nebraska is #19, Wyoming #26, South Dakota #27, and Oklahoma #37.  I did not see any pot hole in the Oklahoma panhandle.  
      Rhode Island #50, Vermont #48, New Hampshire #46, Massachusetts #45, Connecticut #43, and Maine #42 makes New England the worst region for pot holes.

Must Read