Friday, November 30, 2012

Tis the Season!

Tis the season to be jolly! Celebrate with us on our sister blog Lower 48 (Plus 2)!

Starting, Monday, December3, we'll take you on a journey across America to discover some of the great traditions, sights and sounds that make Christmas in the United States unlike any other place on Earth.

See you there!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

NASA Is 54 Years Old Today!

We, just a few days ago, celebrated the anninversary of Neil Armstrong's historic "one small step for a man..." moment in history, and it just so happens that the United States Space Program recognizes another milestone in its existence.

There's more here.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Page on The Lower 48 (Plus 2)! It's All About Maine!

I am a Misplaced Texan living in Maine. It's a long story of how I ended up here and if you'd like, I'll share it with you some day. I will always be a Texan first, but I am very happy in this little part of New England. My wife and children were born and raised (and in the girls' case, still being raised) in Maine, so it is now my home away from home. Maine is a beautiful state with abundant wildlife and some great scenery. On this page, I will share with you a little about my personal life in relation to how other Americans live their daily lives, and post photos of this wondrous locale nicknamed The Pine Tree State.

Learn more here.....

New Feature on The Lower 48 (Plus 2 )! The Fruited Plain in Pictures!

I added a new page to The Lower 48 (Plus 2 ) ! It will be a work in progress as there literally millions of photos of beautiful places within the borders of our Country. I think we got off to a pretty good start with this collection.

Read more here...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Ordinary American, An Extraordinary Man

Armed w/ a Canon
Part of the stated mission of this blog is to highlight Americans who bring a lot to the table. Many times these great Americans are the guy or lady next door. They are ordinary folks who would go unnoticed other than when you see them loading up to go shopping or strolling out to the curb to get their daily mail. You might see them a thousand times, greet them on occasion and even have a conversation with them from time to time. Still, you don't really know them. This is so because these people don't call unnecessary attention to themselves or let on that they are indeed forged of a hotter fire. On the outside you recognize these folks as your neighbors or fellow church goers, but hiding inside them is a person you should know about.

Read the rest here...

A Homesick Texan - Visual Healing Included

The images you will see below represent a piece of who I am.

I am a Texan. A died-in-the-wool, 100%, I'll Brag About the Lady That is Texas Till My Last Breath Texan. Texas is my home. She is the Damnedest Lady You Ever Saw that welcomes me with open arms every time I go back and caresses me with a kind of comfort only she can give. An inexplicable peace of mind that reassures me that I am an Eternal Piece of Something Blessed by God.

I have not been Home in almost eight years, but She is in my heart every waking minute of every waking day. My wife thinks I'm nuts. Maybe I am. One thing is certain, however. I am a Texan.

By the Grace of God I am a Texan.

And I am homesick.  

Be wowed by the beauty of Texas here....

Escape the Heat! Visit Michigan or North Dakota!

North Dakota
With record setting heat engulfing much of the country, I thought today we'd take a look at places in the USA that would be a welcomed vacation from the oppressive heat.

Sit back, grab a cold glass of lemonade and grab a pen and paper so you can take some notes on some outstanding vacation spot that are sure to make you forget about the oven you just escaped from.

Read about all the great fun awaiting you!

July 4, 2012

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary...

Thus begins the Declaration of Independence, (full text at link) a document so powerful that it would change the course of World History. This amazing manuscript was adopted by representatives of the Original 13 Colonies on July 4,1776 and concluded with these stirring words, "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." 

More on the Declaration here...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Operation Neptune: D-Day

Image from Library of Congress

Today is D-Day. In memory of what has been called the single most important military engagement in the history of Man, today we'll explore a little bit about D-Day, its history and significance. I will provide you with links to materials from those far more knowledgeable on the subject than I. 

Library of Congress

As with any story about American History, the Library of Congress is the ultimate resource. The link I provided will take you a page that is the beginning of a boat load of contemporary news stories on D-Day. You'll feel as the Americans of 1944 felt as the events of this brutal battle unfolded.

Get more History of D-Day here...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Mexico - Land of Enchantment

Land of Enchantment
New Mexico is celebrating its Centennial this year! Scenic and historic, the Land of Enchantment is throwing a party all summer long with festivals and events that will surely be second to none.

 The actual date of New Mexico's Centennial is June 16, so for those of you in the West and Southwest United States, you still have time to plan a trip to what will I'm sure be something that will leave you with memories that will last you for the rest of your life.
New Mexico at Night
From its magnificent scenery to its incredible history...(cont)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrate Wisconsin's 164th Year as a State!

Cheesehead Lighthouse
Today I want to fill you in on some stuff about one of my favorite places in the Lower 48 - America's Dairyland,Wisconsin.

I spent a couple of months in Wisconsin about 25 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday. What a beautiful place with some great people. Great people including my very good friend Kevin who lives near the Mississippi River not far from La Crosse. Wisconsin is also home to my favorite NFL team, the 13-Time World Champions, Green Bay Packers! No, I am not a fair weather fan. I have been a Cheesehead for over fifty years, so I don't want to hear any guff from you guys, OK?  :)

Continued here...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Boothbay, Maine - Coastal Splendor

Boothbay, Maine
With the onset of gardening seasom here in Maine, I am looking back with great fondness on this year's garden. I live in an apartment with my wife and kids, so I am limited as to exactly what I can do gardenwise, but I plow (pun intended) ahead by doing as much as I can without pissing off the Property Manager. And those you that know me know that I teeter right on the edge of "acceptable" and "don't you dare". Such is life.

While time is short until first frost here in Maine, we still have time to enjoy the bounty before us and I know just the place to enjoy said bounty - the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. From  we learn of the humble beginnings of CMBG, "This magnificent and ambitious project began with a kernel of an idea generated by Rollins Hale of Boothbay Harbor. He and other mid-coast Maine residents who shared the belief that northern New England in general, and Maine in particular, were in need of a botanical garden founded the grassroots organization in 1991." Sixteen years later, on June 13, 2007, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens became a dream come true. The Gardens now encompasses 248 acres, a 9500 square foot Visitors Center, a seasonal cafe and a gift shop, as well as a bevy of  blooming botanical beauties bound to bewilder you.

The CMBG also serve as an educational experience, with information about natural history, botany, horticulture and the ecology of the area. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens can be reached here. CMBG is privately funded (as far as I can tell) and that alone is reason enough to label it as 248 acres of awesome.

Coastal Maine Accomodations and Activities

While much of the country has enjoyed Spring for several weeks, we are just getting started with it in New England and a place like Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a perfect reminder of the bounty that awaits us.So getting to a wonderland like CMBG is a must for Northeast US residents.

Boothbay is a neat little town in a great area for family fun and exploration. Given Boothbay's location, fishing and boating are the obvious activities at hand. But there is much more to the area than that. There is dinner theater, music arts and along with water sports, terrific opportunities to see the flora and fauna of Coastal Maine. This handy Calendar of Events has an itenerary that has a variety of offerings surely to please everyone in your family.

As far as places to stay, you'll find everything from campgrounds to fine hotels. Dining, including bakeries and specialty food shops dot the seaside and believe you me, they are outstanding!

More Info

I realize that I haven't covered all you need to know to plan a trip to Boothbay, so click on the Boothbay Region Information Center's web site and scroll down to the bottom for contact numbers and such.

Be sure to click on one of the ads on this page to look for the right hotel/motel for you.

Order your FREE Maine Travel Guide at

Friday, May 25, 2012

We've Grown Up! New Site Has More Info Than Ever on All 50 States!

Three States Plus One has expanded! We have grown from our original three states plus one to the Lower 48 (Plus 2)! The new blog will feature more information on each of the fifty states in the United States to include food, lodging, history and stories of interesting people relevant to that day's "State of the Day".

The Lower 48 (Plus 2) allows you to learn about the featured state, its festivals and attractions as well as plan a trip to that state all in one location! We will be giving you year round information, so you can go fishing in the summer or snow skiing in the winter with all the tools you need to make your trip a memorable one.

If you're not quite sure where you want to go or what you want to do, we'll even look up the information you need to help you make a decision FREE of charge! All you have to do is email us at lower48plus2 AT gmail DOT com, make your request and wait for our reply. It's that easy!

America is a wondrous place with many exciting and even off the beaten path things to see and do, and The Lower 48 (Plus 2) is just the place to help you discover the hidden gems that are a part of this great country

Simply click on over to The Lower 48 (Plus 2) and see what all the fuss is about!

Head Tour Guide
The Lower 48 (Plus 2)

Copyright ©

All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker