Glenwood Springs woman visits 48 state capitols in 2 months
“Call it a midlife crisis, call it pure unadulterated shenanigans, call it anything you want,” wrote Autumn Colle of Glenwood Springs on “48 states, 48 dates” Facebook page.
“Starting September 1 and going till October 30, I’m traveling with ‘Tina,’ my Kia Soul, we are going to hit every State Capitol in the Lower 48 … Meet new people, visit the state capitol building, take some selfies, put sticky googly eyes on inanimate objects, and buy a lottery ticket.”
That’s the mission statement as Colle set out to spend nearly every day since Aug. 30 on the road in pursuit of her goal.
Colle is a Glenwood Springs native who recently decided she needed to challenge herself. She quit her job, opted out of her apartment lease and left her current place of residence in Olympia, Washington.
“It’s kind of frightening and liberating at the same time,” Colle said. “Essentially, I’m jobless and homeless.”
But with risk comes reward. As of Oct. 26, Colle had visited 43 of the lower 48 state capitols.
“I’m so close to being done I can taste it,” she said. “It’s been more mentally exhausting than I ever thought it would be to drive every day and be in a new town every day.”
The idea of visiting each state capitol came to Colle after a friend convinced her to visit the capitol building in Olympia.
“I didn’t realize you could just walk into these buildings without an appointment,” she explained.
And so the planning began. Although her original plan many years ago was to walk across the country after reading, “A Walk West: Walk Across America 2,” but realizing the level of difficulty it would be to do that alone she decided that state capitol buildings were calling her. She found a map on Google that had a preplanned map with the quickest route from state to state.
In each state she would have a “date,” whether it was a friend, family member, friend of a friend or just herself.
“Many of the states I was my own date, but I did meet some fantastic people along the way,” Colle said.
She drives an average of four hours a day, arrives to her destination by noon and spends the afternoon exploring.
“Be prepared to drive a lot, or to take more time. Don’t do it in two months, spend more than one afternoon in each city,” Colle recommended when asked what sort of advice she would give someone thinking of doing a similar trip.
“I would almost say do it with someone, but then I’ve actually enjoyed being alone because it’s forced me to be in situations where I may not have had as much fun if someone else was with me holding my hand,” she said.
Colle is expected to finish her tour today, Oct. 31 — on her 40th birthday and exactly two months after starting.
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