Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: “I’ve been everywhere, man”

  • http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-lyrics-of-johnny-cashs-ive-been-everywhere-charted-on-a-dynamic-google-map.html


    I remember as a teenager counting on one hand all the places I had been outside of Utah.

    My first exit from the Beehive State (not counting the two years as a toddler we lived in Tacoma, Washington) was on a FFA springtime fieldtrip from Richfield to Logan.

    FFA is the Future Farmers of America club I was in during high school. Our advisor, McKay Jenson, took us on a tour of Cache Valley farms and we ended crossing the border for a brief jaunt into Idaho. My first great interstate adventure, after all those years of anticipation, I discovered farms in Idaho looked exactly like farms in Utah.

    I was deflated! Fortunately, travel opportunities became more plentiful post high school.

    Summer of 1984, one week after graduating high school, I was in Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Basic Training (boot camp) for the Army National Guard. Later that year I spent a week in Kansas City, Missouri for the national FFA convention. In November 1985 I left for a two-year proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Florida Tampa Mission. I first made it to California the summer of 1989 for a family reunion.

    A pivotal moment that changed the direction of my professional life came in 1993. I spent that summer in Raleigh, North Carolina working an internship in the circulation department of the News & Observer newspaper. While the experience was incredible, it convinced me a career in newspapers was not what I wanted. The best part was gaining a wonderful friend in my boss Kurt Phipps, along with his wife Sally and their daughter Karen.

    I’ve visited or vacationed in various places throughout Utah over the years. Those I’ve visited many times include Zions, Bryce, Capital Reef, Cedar Breaks, Canyonlands, Fish Lake, Cove Mountain, Joseph Mountain, Bear Lake, St. George, and Temple Square in Salt Lake City. I love traveling Highway 89. I’ve made many, many trips back to Richfield and still love driving the backroads of beautiful Sevier Valley.

    Outside of Utah, I’ve been to Yellowstone; the Tetons; Mt. Rushmore; Disneyland; Kirtland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Martin’s Cove, Wyoming; Las Vegas; the Oregon Coast; Liberty, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Atlanta; I love Florida’s west coast, especially Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach.

    This year we enjoyed the beaches of Hawaii and remembered at Pearl Harbor.

    I’ve been to many places throughout Idaho, including Boise, Idaho Falls, Island Park/West Yellowstone, and most recently Soda Springs where we discovered there are ghosts at the Enders Hotel.

    I’ve had a few airport layovers but they don’t count as a visit let alone a vacation.

    The Army has given me many travel opportunities. As a National Guard soldier I’ve only been assigned to Utah based units in contrast to the full-time “regular” Army who are stationed around the country and the world. My training, however, has taken me to a few bases, most frequently to Camp Williams and Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, occasionally to Gown Field/Orchard Training Area in Idaho; also to Fort Lewis, Washington; Camp Guernsey, Wyoming; and Fort Carson, Colorado.

    My biggest military travel opportunity was a deployment to Iraq with the Boys of Bravo Battery. This has been my only trip to date out of the country. The 18-month deployment was from July 3, 2004 to November 18, 2005. Here’s where I spent my time:

    • Fort Bliss, Texas at El Paso; July 3 thru the end of September
    • Fort Polk and Alexandria, Louisiana; October and November
    • Camp Buehring, near Udairi, Kuwait; November 30 to mid-December

    Once entering Iraq, I was stationed at four different FOB’s (Forward Operating Bases):

    • FOB McKenzie in the Samarra Region; mid-December to February 1
    • FOB Dibis in the city of Dibis; February 1-May 20
    • FOB Warrior at Kirkuk; May 20 to mid-September
    • FOB Speicher near Trikit; mid-September to mid-November

    Coming home from Iraq I spent two days back in Kuwait at Camp Buehring and a week in Fort Lewis, Washington. Additionally, via my flights to and from Iraq, including a two-week R&R in August, I flew through Gander, Newfoundland; Shannon, Ireland; some military base Germany; and Hungary. Because of security concerns, our three hour layover in Hungary had us sitting on the plane at the far end of the airport allowed to stand only on the roll-up stairs.

    My favorite vacations are camping anywhere in the mountains. I’m partial of the Wasatch Mountains surrounding Logan Canyon and Bear Lake. Tony’s Grove is my favorite.

    Traveling is fun, whether across country, around the world, or simply to the itsy-bitsy town of Paradise nestled deep in the southern corner of Cache Valley. Making a log of my travels has been a delightful journey of almost everywhere I’ve been, man!

    Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.

    Les Patterson

    p.s. Enjoy a little Johnny Cash singing “I’ve been Everywhere, Man” while jotting down and sharing a few of your travel memories.