AtoZ Challenge 2020 – 8154: An Epic Road Trip – The T Stories #atozchallenge

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with  the course of three weeks.  My A to Z posts this year will have the “8154” theme, which will also be the title of my forthcoming new book that will document the epic road trip.  Each entry will highlight a few stories with photos based on the alphabet and not the order of the trip.  I hope you will enjoy this bouncy ride across the back roads of America.  Please enjoy the T Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Tillamook Creamery – Tillamook, Oregon

Driving down US Highway 101 in Oregon, you can drive through the town of Tillamook.  There you will find the Disneyland of Ice Cream places.  Tillamook Creamery is huge and it is a giant tourist attraction.  There are self-guided tours to see how cheese is made (along with samples!).  You can read the history. You can buy all sorts of Tillamook souvenirs.  And then there is the Ice Cream.  They also sell some uniquely-flavored sodas – Stubborn Soda – on tap in their large dining room. Stubborn is a line of crafted sodas made with high-quality ingredients and unexpected flavor combinations and is a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Tillamook Creamery – Tillamook, Oregon
Discover Tillamook
Tillamook Creamery Dining Area
Unique Stubborn Sodas at Tillamook Creamery
Ice Cream anyone?

Tennessee

Tennessee Welcomes You – Memphis, Tennessee

Boom or Bust Byway – Trails & Byways Sign – Vivian, Louisiana

Louisiana has a number of scenic / historic byways.  On our trip we drove along the Boom or Bust Byway, which takes you down Louisiana Highway 2 and pays tribute to the fortunes made and lost in the oil industry. We followed the highway from Vivian to Oil City.

Trails and Byways sign in Vivian, Louisiana

Town House Motel Vintage Sign – Matador, Texas

Town House Motel Old Neon Sign – Matador, Texas

The Tribune Smokehouse Restaurant – Davenport, Washington

Tribune Smokehouse Restaurant – Davenport, Washington

Turkey, Texas

Turkey, Texas is one of those fun-named towns.  Texas has a load of them.  In fact, on the same day that we went through Turkey, we visited places named Happy, Matador and Loving, among others.  This small town of just over 400 people was the home of country swing singer Bob Wills. Because of this, they call themselves the Western Swing Capitol of the World. It is also home to the first Phillips 66 service station built in Texas.

Turkey, Texas
Downtown Turkey Texas from Texas Hwy 86
Turkey, Texas Post Office
Turkey General Store
Tex Ritter and Bob Wills Poster in Turkey, Texas
Turkey Water Tower
This is a Turkey in Turkey, Texas

The Beetles T-shirt – Cambria, California

Cambria, California is a lovely (but expensive) little town on California Highway 1.  Known for the Hearst Castle, it is also a favorable location for surfers, as evidenced by this t-shirt.

The Beetles T-shirt found in Cambria, California

Texico, New Mexico

We drove through Texico, New Mexico on our way to Muleshoe, Texas.  It is located on the New Mexico – Texas border with the town of Farwell, Texas.  A set of railroad tracks divides the two towns.

Texico, New Mexico
Texico Water Tower

Tightwad, Missouri

I have written loads about this town over the years.  We drove through on this trip as well.  It had been nearly eight years since I had visited this strange-named town in south central Missouri.  When I last visited, the Tightwad Bank was still in business (now closed) and there was a Tightwad Cafe (now an antique shop).   The 2010 US Census indicated 64 people lived in Tightwad.

Welcome to Tightwad, Missouri
Tightwad Bank Sign

Tacoma Narrows Bridge – Tacoma, Washington

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is certainly one of America’s beautiful Suspension Bridges.  There are twin bridges that span fromthe city of Tacoma to the Kitsap Peninsula.  When the bridges were built in 1940 and 1950, they were the third-longest suspension bridges in the world behind the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) and the George Washington Bridge (New York City). Since then, others have been built and it is now the fifth longest suspension bridge in the United States at 5,979 feet long.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge – Tacoma, Washington
Another view of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Taylor, Nebraska

You have to really plan on going to Taylor, Nebraska if you want to get there.  It is not on any major highways.  But, it has a unique draw for the Taylor Villagers, over 100 life-size paintings that “Capture the Spirit of Our Past.”  The local Sandoz family has been painting these since 2003.  There is now a map available to look for these unique folk throughout Loup County, Nebraska.

Welcome to Taylor, Nebraska
Taylor Villagers on a stroll
Taylor Villagers at work
Taylor Villagers admiring the candy store
Taylor Villagers shopping
Taylor Villager churning butter

 

Taylor, Nebraska Post Office

Tower Motel Vintage Sign – Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Tower Motel Vintage Sign – Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Trees of Mystery – Klamath, California

While driving the Avenue of the Giants through the Redwood National and State Parks in California, we drive by the Trees of Mystery.  We didn’t have a lot of time, but I had to stop for some shots of the giant Paul Bunyan.  What a place.

Trees of Mystery – Klamath, California
Sleepy Indian Sculpture at Trees of Mystery
Selfie with giant Paul Bunyan and Babe, the big blue ox at Trees of Mystery

Tulia, Texas

Tulia was a drive through town.  I found the Welcome to Tulia pillar in the middle of town to be interesting.  Turns out that there are other Texas towns in west Texas with similar pillars.

Welcome to Tulia, Texas

Texas Highways

Texas is a big state!  Even driving across from west to east in north Texas, there are lots of highways. Here are some of them.

Texas Hwy 49 Jefferson, Texas
Texas Highway 97 near Flomot, Texas
Texas Highway 43 near Karnack, Texas
Texas Highway Signs in Muleshoe, Texas
Texas Hwy 49 at Texas – Louisiana Border near Vivian, Louisiana
Texas Farm Road 1760 at Texas – New Mexico Border in Farwell, Texas
Texas Farm Road 1075 – Happy, Texas
Texas 1919 near Seymour, Texas
Texas 1919 in Crowell, Texas
Texas Hwy 70 in Turkey, Texas

Teepees – Crow Agency, Montana

Teepees in Crow Agency, Montana

Trails End Motel Vintage Neon Sign – Sheridan, Wyoming

Trails End Motel in Sheridan, Wyoming

Wild Turkeys – Custer, South Dakota

Wild Turkeys near Custer, South Dakota

Twin City Lines – San Francisco, California

Twin City Lines logo on Street Car in San Francisco, California

WATCH FOR MY NEW BOOK “8154” — COMING SOON TO AMAZON

I am currently working on my FOURTH book, titled “8154” to represent the mileage of my epic road trip with family.  You can visit my Amazon Author Page to see my other books at https://amzn.to/3azY36l

 

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