Steve McAlphabet Motorcycling Music Across America
The 12th State Of My Journey

The 12th State Of My Journey

Wisconsin is my 12th state to visit on this trip. It is the second state that I have visited that I have never been to before. I plan to visit three more states that I’ve never been to before, leaving two left to visit on another trip.
I had a few intentions when I set out on this journey, and I may not meet all of them, but I am glad that I am meeting some of them. Initially, I had the big lofty goal of visiting all 48 contiguous states on this trip, but that is probably not going to happen. I also intended to visit the states that I have never visited before, and while I will visit five of them, as I said, I will probably save two for another day.
One of my sisters asked me what I had learned so far on my trip. Honestly, I’m not sure that I have learned anything that I didn’t already know, but I have come to grips with a few things that I haven’t wanted to before.
For instance, I have reconciled myself with the fact that I tend to create huge, lofty, nearly unreachable goals, and I should not get down on myself when I do not fully achieve them. I have always been a ‘shoot for the moon and fall among the stars’ type, and that’s nothing to scoff at. A lot of people never even shoot for the moon or the stars.
I’ve also realized that the motorcycle I am on, with the guitar and extra gear strapped to it, is not the ideal vehicle for the journey I initially intended. Because it is such an amazing wind catcher (and because there are far too few places to hang my hammock in states with few trees), I am not feeling very inclined to pass through the Midwest corridor, which means that I will not be riding through the Rocky Mountains or hitting the West Coast on this trip.
I will also not be visiting North Dakota or Iowa, and will leave them as the two of the 48 contiguous states that I have yet to visit (without losing any sleep or shutting a single tear). However, visiting Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska is certainly sufficient for me, and I have absolutely adored riding through the other states as well.
I’ve also realized that I really don’t enjoy busking. I understand that a lot of musicians pay their dues by playing out on the streets for passersby, but not every musician does, and I would rather lump myself in with the latter. Perhaps it is the entitled prima donna in me that wants people to sit and listen to my songs, but I find playing on the streets a bit demoralizing and I don’t think that either I or the passersby get a whole heck of a lot out of the experience.
Fortunately, I have booked a songwriters’ showcase in Nashville, Tennessee on my birthday, August 4, I’ll be playing in a jam session tonight here in Wisconsin, and I have a few hosts that want to play with me between here and there, but I’m pretty much done with trying to make it as a busker.
I’m not sure exactly what I will do after Nashville, but I think I will be heading back to Sarasota by the end of August. It has been and continues to be a wonderful trip, and I look forward to continuing on down the road. Although this trip may not turn out to be the epic 6 month journey I originally dreamed up with my big, wide eyes, after not leaving Sarasota for 10 years without someone else driving, riding a motorcycle for roughly 7000 miles to visit 17 states in under 3 months is still an endeavor I am sure to cherish for years to come.