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

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with one of my daughters and three grandchildren.  We traveled 8154 miles through 20 states over 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 M Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Muleshoe, Texas

We made our from Clovis, New Mexico into Muleshoe to visit the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and hopefully see some Sandhill Cranes (which we didn’t see at the refuge unfortunately). Getting there required some driving on dirt roads and other back roads, but it was worth the ride!

The town of Muleshoe is on U.S. Highway 84 and was named for the nearby Muleshoe Ranch. The town of about 4500 people was established in 1913 and incorporated in 1926. The National Wildlife Refuge is about twenty miles to south and was established in 1935, making it the oldest refuge in the state of Texas.

Muleshoe, Texas
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge
Mule Deer seen on a back road to Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

Montana

One of my favorite states in the country.  When I was a senior in high school in 1973/74 in Murray, Utah,  having moved from Montana in the summer of 1973, I talked about Montana so much that I was given the nickname of Monty Montana.

Welcome to Montana

Mobil Gas Station – Quitaque, Texas

Old Mobil Gas Station in Quitaque, Texas
Mobil Gas Station in Quitaque, Texas
The famous Mobil Pegasus

Missouri

Welcome to Missouri
Visiting Missouri with grandkids

Manchester, Washington

Manchester, Washington is a small unincorporated community in Kitsap County.  It is a short drive from Port Orchard. Manchester has a little port that has a spectacular view of Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound as well as a great view of Seattle across the Sound.

Welcome to Manchester, Washington
Sunrise on Puget Sound as seen from Manchester, WA
Seattle as seen from Manchester, WA

Matador, Texas

We drove south from Turkey, Texas on TX Hwy 70 and drove through the quaint town of Matador, Texas along the way.  Matador sits on US Highways 62 and 70.  The town was established in 1891 and was named for the nearby Matador Ranch.  It has a population of about 600 people.

Matador, Texas
Matador, Texas Water Tower
Main Street Cafe ghost sign in Matador, Texas

Martian Soda, Martian Poop Soda and Maple Syrup Soda – Nipton, California

I have already written about a couple of other unique sodas that we found at the Nipton Trading Post in Nipton, California.  These are also products made by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop.  Not only do they have the Kumquat flavored Martian Soda, but they also sold a Martian Poop Soda with a marionberry flavor.  I actually drank one of those and it wasn’t too bad.   The Maple Syrup soda is one of a number Rocket Fizz’s Lester’s Fixins Sodas including a variety of Bacon sodas, Pickle Soda, Mustard Soda and more.

Martian Soda we found iat the Nipton Trading Post in Nipton, California
Martian Poop Soda with a Marionberry Flavor
Maple Syrup Soda as found at the Nipton Trading Post in Nipton, California

Mizu Japanese Steakhouse – Tukwila, Washington

After arriving in Port Orchard, Washington, we joined many other family members for dinner at the Mizu Japanese Steakhouse in Tukwila, Washington, outside of Seattle.  This is one of those fun Hibachi Grill places with the cooking acrobatics, grilled shrimp thrown into your mouth and onion volcanoes.  Lots of fun and fire.

Mizu Steakhouse in Tukwila, Washington
Fun and Fire at the Mizu Steakhouse
Family enjoying dinner at Mizu. There were about 18 of us there.

Moonview and Moonglow Cabins – Uncertain, Texas

During our visit to Caddo Lake, we took a drive around Uncertain to check out the accommodations, which are all so unique.  One place has a Moonglow Cabin and Moonview Cabin.

Moonview Cabin om Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas
Moonglow Cabin in Uncertain, Texas

Mt. Whitney and Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park in California 

Yo may think of giant trees when you think of Sequoia National Park, but there are some amazing mountain scenes as well.  High up in the Sierra Nevadas, these granite monoliths are lovely.

Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park
Another shot of Mt. Whitney
Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

Moose Drool Brown Ale – Big Sky Brewing – Missoula, Montana

I don’t drink alcoholic beverages — never have.  But, I have friends that do and so I stopped at Big Sky Brewing in Missoula, Montana to grab a six-pack of Moose Drool Brown Ale for a friend here in Lexington. I love the name and my friend loved the taste (AND the poster I got him.)

Moose Drool Brown Ale

Mount Rushmore National Memorial – South Dakota

With grandchildren and driving across the United States, a stop at Mount Rushmore National Memorial is important.  The kids were able to get their Junior Ranger Badge there and I was able to to get some great photos.  We actually drove north from Custer State Park up US Highway 16A (Iron Mountain Road) and saw views of the iconic carvings through tunnels from way up high.  What an amazing experience.

Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore
Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore
Another view of Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore as seen from a tunnel on Iron Mountain Road. The tunnel was built intentionally to frame the monument

Moriarty, New Mexico

Another iconic Route 66 town.  The old road runs right through town.  The City of Moriarty was named for the first permanent family to settle in the community. Michael Timothy Moriarty, his wife and their three children arrived (at what is now Moriarty) in the fall of 1887, and homesteaded their land.  Though it is a Route 66 town, Moriarty also has two Interstate 40 interchanges.

Moriarty, New Mexico

Memorial Chapel – Happy, Texas

A Happy Church in Happy, Texas

The Memorial Chapel in Happy, Texas

Mesa Verde Ranch – Lemon Cove, California

Mesa Verde Ranch Big Orange fruit stand in Lemon Cove, 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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AtoZ Challenge 2020 – 8154: An Epic Road Trip – The L Stories #atozchallenge

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with one of my daughters and three grandchildren.  We traveled 8154 miles through 20 states over 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 L Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Loving, Texas

As we traveled we realized that we would be arriving in Loving, Texas on Valentine’s Day.  How cool would that be if we could send Valentine’s cards, with a Loving, Texas postmark on February 14?  But, sadly, it wasn’t to be.  We did get there on Valentine’s Day with a bunch of valentine cards.  Since the post office was closed, we just dropped them in the box outside.  No postmark from Loving…just North Texas.  Boo!  We tried!

Loving, Texas Post Office
Landen holding all of the Valentines to be sent from Loving, Texas. They WERE sent from there.
This Baptist church is always Loving…
We didn’t eat here, but there is apparently a Loving Cafe. I wonder if they make everything lovingly.

Lazy D Restaurant – Taylor, Nebraska

We went through Taylor, Nebraska in order to see the Taylor Villagers, life size paintings of life as it used to be in the small community of Taylor.  Most businesses have one or villagers attached to their business.  Lazy D was one of these.

Lazy D Restaurant, Taylor, Nebraska

Lexington Hotel Old Neon Sign – Gallup, New Mexico

This old neon sign is a vestige of the old Route 66 era.  Built in 1931, the hotel operated through about 1999.  The sign remains.

Lexington Hotel old neon sign, Gallup, New Mexico

Lewis and Clark across America

Lewis and Clark Historic Trail in Nebraska
Lewis and Clark Trail in Seaview, Washington
Lewis and Clark Motel in Bozeman, Montana
Lewis and Clark in Old Shawneetown, Illinois
Lewis and Clark statues in Buffalo, Wyoming

The Little Friendly Climax Market – Climax Springs, Missouri

As we drive westward through Missouri, we hopped on to Missouri 7 to head to Tightwad, Missouri.  Along the way we drove through Climax Springs and saw this fun little store.  They were closed, but the signs were great.

The Little Friendly Climax Market, Climax Springs, Missouri
Little Friendly Climax Market, Climax Springs, Missouri

Long Beach, Washington

The Long Beach Peninsula is supposedly the longest beach in the United States.  Located off of US 101, it is a lovely beach and you can even drive on the beach.  The beach is about 28 miles long continuously and so they claim it to be the longest.  The town is also home to the World Kite Museum, some Lewis and Clark history and Cape Disappointment.

Long Beach, Washington
Long Beach Sign in Long Beach, Washington
Giant frying pan in Long Beach, Washington

Little Bighorn Battlefield – Crow Agency, Montana

In our efforts to hit National Parks and Monuments on the road trip for the kids to get Junior Ranger Badges, we made a stop at Little Bighorn.  We took our time, watched the historical movie about the Battle of Little Bighorn, which is sometimes referred to as “Custer’s Last Stand.”  Sadly, the biggest thing we learned was how the U.S. Government of the day really had no idea about the Native Americans there.

Little Bighorn National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana
Little Bighorn National Cemetery
Sumoflam at Little Bighorn

Lincoln Heritage Trail – near Old Shawneetown, Illinois

The Lincoln Heritage Trail is about a 1000 mile trail from Kentucky and then through Indiana and Illinois.  It goes through the many towns with historical ties to Abraham Lincoln.  When we were in Old Shawneetown, Illinois, I took a shot of the sign there.

The Lincoln Heritage Trail in Illinois

La Loma Motel – Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Yet another photo of an old Route 66 neon sign.  Many of the New Mexico towns along Route 66 have historic neon signs.

La Loma Motel in Santa Rosa, new Mexico

Lombard Street – The World’s Crookedest Road – San Francisco, California

Lombard Street in San Francisco
View of Lombard Street from above
View of San Francisco from Lombard Street

Langlois, Oregon

On our trip south on US 101, we made a stop in Langlois, Oregon to visit with some old friends.  I had never been here and we found this to be a lovely little town.  The citizens claim that their town should be World Famous because 1) It is one of only five towns named Langlois in the world, 2) they believe that the name, a derivative of the French “L’anglais,” meaning the Englishman and 3) because their “Greasy Spoon Cafe,” is one of only eight so-named places in the world.   I really wanted to get breakfast at The Greasy Spoon, but they were closed for remodeling.

Welcome to Langlois, Oregon
Langlois, Oregon Post Office
The Famous Greasy Spoon Cafe in Langlois.
Ocean View road in Langlois, Oregon. Drive up to the top of the road for a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean
The lovely ocean view from Langlois, Oregon

Lois’s Drive-In – Wenatchee, Washington

I couldn’t resist grabbing a shot of this old drive-in cafe, which is obviously no longer in business. The foggy mountains in the background make it so much more unique.

Lois’s Drive-In, Wenatchee, Washington

Lookout Pass – border of Montana and Idaho on Interstate 90

Lookout Pass is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of the northwestern United States. In the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, the pass is on the border between Idaho and Montana, traversed by Interstate 90 at an elevation of 4,710 feet above sea level.  It was packed with snow on our trip.  I like that it is Exit 0 as well.

Lookout Pass in Montana

Leavenworth, Washington

Travel on US Route 2 in Washington and chances are you will drive through Leavenworth, a wonderful little Bavarian-style village nestled near the gateway of the Cascade Mountains. All of the buildings and signs in the town are set in Bavarian scripts and there are many unique shops.  It is one of those places where you could spend all day shopping, walking around and breathing in the fresh mountain air.

Welcome to Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth in the mountains
Some of the signage of Leavenworth, Washington

Louisiana Highway 1 – Vivian, Louisiana

After our visit to Caddo Lake in Texas, we drive around the lake in Louisiana so we could add another state to our 20 state road trip. We too Highway 1 through Vivian as we headed north.  Here are a couple of shots.

Welcome to Louisiana
Louisiana Routes 1 and 2 near Vivian, Louisiana
Drive down Louisiana Hwy 1 near Vivian, Louisiana

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

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with one of my daughters and three grandchildren.  We traveled 8154 miles through 20 states over 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 K Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Kamilche Trading Post – Shelton, Washington

The Kamilche Trading Post is in Shelton, Washington, right off of US 101.  We stopped there because I wanted to get a nice shot of the large Totem Pole on the side of the place.

Kamilche Trading Post is associated with the Squaxin Island Tribe, a community of over 400 people.

Kamilche Trading Post
Kamilche Totem Pole
Totem Pole at Kamilche Trading Post on the Squaxin Island Reservation.

Knuckles Bar & Grill – San Francisco, California

I got a kick out of this sign in San Francisco.   Don’t know anything else about Knuckles.  But its a great sign.

Knuckles in San Francisco

Kopey’s Steaks Cafe – Waterville, Washington

As we drive through the nice little town of Waterville, Washington, I caught this sign.  Once again, I don’t know much about Kopey’s Straks Cafe, but they apparently offer meals for breakfast, lunch and even steak for dinner.

Another old sign. Kopey’s Steak Cafe in Waterville, Washington

Karnack, Texas

OK…this one is stretch.  Nothing to indicate Karnack, Texas but these signs.  Karnack is the main community closest to Uncertain, Texas and Caddo Lake.

Roadsigns in Karnack, Texas

Knight Museum & Sandhills Center – Alliance, Nebraska

One of the main scheduled stops for us on this trip was the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska.  I was scheduled to give a presentation about my book Less Beaten Paths of America: Beyond Description – More of the Strange and Unique as well as a book signing.

The Knight Museum features five areas of local history: Life in the Sandhills, Native American Life, Life in the Country, Life in the Town, and The Railroad which is the last piece of the puzzle to tie these wildly different lifestyles together.

Selfie at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska

Krampus Kave – Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is a fun little town with a Bavarian theme and a lovely mountain setting.  I’ll have more about the town in my L Stories post.  But, one of the unique shops I saw from the outside was Krampus Kave, a comic / game / oddity shop on Front Street.

Krampus Kave in Leavenworth, Washington

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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