Making a “Places I have been” map

For a while, I have maintained a list of places I’ve lived or visited as a note on Facebook. Recently, I decided to repatriate that content to this blog as a page. I also decided it would be nice to have a color-coded map of the states with the same information. Here’s how I made the map: I started with a blank SVG map of the states from the Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons license.

Michigan and Ontario photos

The Mackinac Bridge, connecting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the Mitten, is the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. Bikes parked on Mackinac Island, where cars are banned: The International Bridge, connecting Michigan and Ontario (from the Ontario side): In Sault Ste. Marie, you can see two sets of fireworks in early July, for Canada Day and Independence Day: The Soo Locks (allowing ship traffic between Lake Superior and Lake Huron):

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: round-trip Empire Builder, Chicago to Portland

A friend asked me (via the Eff Bee) about my recent trip from Chicago to Portland, and back, on Amtrak’s Empire Builder. (I just got back yesterday.) I wrote a fairly long comment on Facebook, and I thought it would be good to reproduce it here (lightly edited): It cost me $376.20 for a round-trip ticket from Portland to Chicago. I got a reserved coach seat instead of a sleeper car compartment.