Thursday, April 16, 2009

4,000 MIles and 90 Counties Across Texas

During two weeks in late February and early March, 2009, I put more than four thousand miles on this car, rented at the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas airport. On that trip, which took me on a very zig-zag route around the state, I completed visiting my final 90 of the 254 counties in the Lone Star State, and also completed several counties in Oklahoma.

I've heard other county counters brag about collecting 20 or more counties a day in wide open areas like this. Personally, I averaged seven counties a day, going from dawn to dusk, but stopping often along the way. Still, I felt like I was cheating myself my rushing through so many towns and rural areas without seeing all they have to offer. To me, there are only two kinds of places on earth, those I have never visited, and those I have visited but hope to return to someday to explore more thoroughly.

In these two photos I have stopped to take a few pictures at the Glasscock/Reagan county line on Texas Ranch Road 33.

With 254 counties, Texas has by far the largest number of counties of any state in the United States. The second highest number is 159 counties in Georgia. Tiny Delaware has the smallest county count with only three. The average state is subdivided into 66 counties.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finishing Arizona in La Paz County

This dramatic view is the first glimpse I had of La Paz County, Arizona, March 28, 2009. It was my final Arizona county, and the 2,916th county overall, in my quest to visit each of the 3,142 counties or their equivilents in the United States. The view is from Mohave County, looking across Bill Williams River into La Paz County, along Arizona Highway 95, near Parker Dam.

La Paz County is one of the newest counties in the United States. It was established in 1983, being formed from the northern half of Yuma County. La Paz is the first and only new county created in Arizona since the territory gained statehood in 1912. Soon after the formation of La Paz County, Arizona laws were changed to make splitting other existing counties much more difficult.

I had first visited Yuna County way back in 1968, while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but I had not been in the part of the county that broke off to be come La Paz. The county is named for an old settlement - now a ghost town - along the Colorado River. Parker, Arizona, just across the Colorado River from California, is the county seat.