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Travel experiences are always close

Sometimes you can make your own travel experience by just stopping and asking questions
By Robert Reid Modified: August 3, 2010 at 9:07 am •  Published: August 1, 2010

No matter where you are, and I believe this, you can find something to explore, see or do.

A few years ago, I turned down a shot to update the Caribbean to take on the Great Plains for Lonely Planet's USA guidebook (best trip I've ever taken). And I learned my most valuable travel lesson in Kansas.

After seeing grain elevator after grain elevator marking plains towns, I finally stopped at one and asked if I could see inside. Glen, a giant native Texan with "Terminator" sunglasses and a blue jumpsuit on, was happy to oblige.

We squeezed into a one-man elevator, and he showed me empty silos, weird machinery and views looking over miles of Kansas wheat.

I don't drive by them the same way again. And I learned the power of simply creating attractions, by stopping and asking to see stuff.

I've been thinking about re-enactments lately.

Last year, I drove from my home in New York City to Gettysburg, Pa., to find out how re-enactors decide who dies first. I got as many answers as the number of people asked: that it's decided by lottery, a commander dictates hits during action, or you just fall when someone's pointing his musket at you.

This year, I volunteered to partake in the 234th re-enactment of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, an event that occurs, with limited fanfare, every July 8.

76-Second Travel Show: 'How to be a Colonial Reenactor'

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What's your favorite Oklahoma travel secret or your best state experience? Share it with Robert Reid at for a chance to win a Lonely Planet's USA guide. And if you've got a travel question, just ask him.

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