Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Postal Summary

Well, that lap around the sun went by quickly. Welcome to my 13th annual summary of the post offices and places I've visited. This was another comparatively light year: 424 new post offices spanning eight states, for a total of 10,984 post offices. This year I also revisited several dozen post offices for updated postmarks and photographs.

Two sizable trips accounted for all the new territory explored this year: one in March lasting 14 days in Texas, flying into and out of San Antonio, whereupon I put 4,140 miles on a rental car while visiting 250 post offices; and a week-and-a-half-long July jaunt through eastern Appalachia and the Carolinas, which yielded 174 new post offices. I had been hoping to break the 11,000-post office barrier during that trip, though I caught Covid for the first time and had to cut the trip short.

As always, my use of the term post offices for these purposes should be taken broadly: it includes carrier-only facilities, freestanding mail processing facilities, and Contract Postal Units (CPUs).

With the explorations in Texas I have now visited every post office between San Antonio and El Paso, thus completing the western panhandle. I used this paper map for trip-planning, with highlights to show the area I've now covered.

Highlighted paper map of Texas showing post offices

Scenes from 2022 postal explorations:

Dell City, Texas, one of the most isolated post offices in the country (in terms of distance from neighboring post offices), in the western panhandle:
Dell City, Texas post office

Columbia, South Carolina's Crossroads Center CPU, with operator Hugh; my second visit to an amazing operation that deserves its own write-up:
Hugh, at Crossroads Center Contract Postal Unit; Columbia, South Carolina

Georgetown, Texas. Lobby of the City Post restaurant, a former Depression-era post office that's home to some incredible dining:
City Post restaurant lobby, Georgetown, Texas

Fort Lee, NJ's New Deal post office—in the process of being unceremoniously dismantled thanks to the Borough's mayor—in front of its replacement, which officially opened on September 16 after more than a year of delays; taken December 29: Fort Lee, NJ: old and new post offices, Dec. 2022

2022 by the Numbers

I visited as many as 34 post offices in one day this year, in Texas. State by state—and territory by territory:

Texas: 235 post offices
Focus/Foci: All of San Antonio metro area, and toward the west, including Hill Country and all post offices toward and along the Rio Grande, north of Laredo, and to the southeastern corner of New Mexico; Belton to Houston and back to San Antonio.

Virginia: 75 post offices
Western Virginia, along and west of I-81 into the mountains; Blacksburg and Christiansburg area.

North Carolina: 47 post offices
Boone and southwest, in the mountains

South Carolina: 27 post offices
North of Columbia

New Mexico: 15 post offices
Southeastern New Mexico; Carlsbad

Pennsylvania: 12 post offices
Southeast of I-81, near Maryland border

West Virginia: 8 post offices
Near Peterstown

Maryland: 5 post offices
South/west of Frederick

Counting Counties:
I visited 65 new counties in 2022, mostly in Texas. Here is my current Counting Counties map, with a darker green showing my most recent travels:

Thanks for reading. I have so many stories, and I always mean to sit down and write. Life just gets busy though, don't it?

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