There’s a reason people live on America’s east or west coast: That’s where the opportunities are. But New York / Washington / Los Angeles / San Francisco have a lot of other natural advantages. There’s something primal about being near the ocean. There’s something historic about being near New York. There’s something hip about being in California.
As many of you know, Rusty and I recently took our annual coast-to-coast road trip across the country. I do this to clear my head, and to rekindle the passion I have with the open road inherited from my father, an original Route 66-er. As an aside, I do it to collect stories and get out of the typical media mindset that only the two coasts matter.
My sense is that America’s flyover states don’t mind at all that you think this way. In contrast to the insanity that is life in America’s biggest cities, many smaller places across America are doing just fine. I’ve already written about Missoula and the “sane circles.” But for the next couple of days I’m going to try to show you that any arrogance you might have about living in top-tier cities is misplaced. Or at least try to convince you that at least once…instead of flying over America, you should drive through it.
I’ll start with a focus on Missouri, where I went to graduate school. And where you learn straight off that while you are nowhere near an ocean, water is still the driving force of life.
Most of these pictures are in or around Columbia, Missouri, where I went to graduate school. Columbia itself is quite distinct from the county it sits in — Boone County — so median income and housing data can be a little misleading. Still, acccording to RealtyTrac, here it is: Median household income in 2014 was $45,500, and the median home price was $180,000.
Sorry there’s so many photos on this page; if it loads very slowly for you, yell, and I’ll remove some.