With any road trip I take, I look for a lot of different things. I can find the offbeat and quirky, the beautiful, the unique, the magical, the historical, the fun and more…all in one trip. I am focused…on the big picture.
My June 2019 road trip took me over the road for nearly 6000 miles and through nine states. I tried to stick to back roads wherever possible because that is where the greatest discoveries can be found.
In this post, I present to you some of the more unique, fun and, in some cases quirky things that I discovered along the way. There is always something out there.
Here are few fun things…
I am always looking for fun names. How about Delight, Turkey, Jolly, Greasy Corner?
Well lookee here, there are some fun business signs to found on the road, including one of my (now) all-time favorites below.
Other Unique Signs and Things
I often come across signs around towns, in shops, restaurants and such that make me want to snap a shot.
Then there is the unique…
Then there are the unique things out there. The Glass-wearing elephant has a bovine friend just north of it in Kentucky
And what a fine sight I was when I jumped in and photo-bombed a motocycle club standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona
And the Chart Topper (or should I say the Tram Topper?) is….
(Editor’s Note: For my 2019 posts, I will be posting photos from my travels in 2018. I visited 26 states and drive over 13,000 miles in 2018. These posts will feature of few of the road signs and business signs I came across, as well as some stories behind them. Enjoy the Read and Enjoy the Ride!)
H is the beginning of Happy. Being on a road trip always keeps me happy and healthy and hopping. I saw many H signs during my travels across the states in 2018. Here are a few of them. Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.
Happyville Rd., Greensburg, Kentucky
I was down in southern Kentucky early in 2018 to view the Sandhill Crane migrations, one of my passions. On the drive back to Lexington from the Barren River Lake State Park, I took a new route of off US 68 and cut north towards Hodgenville, through Greensburg and saw the sign. Naturally, I had to stop and grab a shot!! So, I start this blog post with Happyville…why not get happy?
Holy Water Car Wash, Zwolle, Louisiana
Every so often, some of my followers will come across places that make them think of me and will send me a photo asking if I had been there. Such was the case with the Holy Water Car Wash in Zwolle, Louisiana. After getting the photo from a friend, I added it to my to do list and when I took a trip to Houston, I routed it through Louisiana just so I could go to Zwolle (both for the car wash and for the Z named town). I got my own version of the sign! And Zwolle is a cool town too (as you will see in my Z Sign post in this series later this month). How can anyone pass up a sign like this? And no, I didn’t wash the hell out of my car on this trip.
Hurts Donut – Frisco, Texas and Katy, Texas
If you grew up in America in the 1960s, chances are you were asked the questions:
“Would you like a hurts donut?” or “Would you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?”
In either case, if you answered “Yes,” you got a nice punch on your arm. And with the donut one, came the question, “Hurts, don’t it?”
Hurts Donut company was started in Springfield, Missouri by Tim and Cas Klegg, along with Scott Bussard sometime in 2014. There are many donut places in this country and a few big chains. There are fewer Donut places that make trendy specialty donuts. In all of my travels, I have only come across a very few, my favorites being Voodoo Doughnut (out of Portland, Oregon and now in a few other diverse places, including Austin, Texas) and the other being Hurts Donut.
Hurts Donut is a Destination. It is a fun place. They have many themes and each place even has their own Donut Ambulance, for Donut Emergencies! They have over 80 different donut varieties in 19 locations, as far west as Tempe, Arizona and through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Iowa and even stores in Colorado and Wisconsin.
Hippo Heaven, Hutto, Texas
Hutto, Texas is home of the Hippos. Yes, that is the mascot of the High School Athletic Teams. But, unlike other towns, this one has taken it to an extreme by having concrete hippos, large and small, dotting the town. I have yet to do a blog post about Hutto, but I do have dozens of photos. A blog post will be forthcoming. But, if you like Hippos, then Hutto is an absolute must see!
Smack in the middle of Utah, down in a small canyon is an old historic community called Helper. An old coal mining and railroad town, the name is derived from the “helper engines” that help push the long coal trains up over the Soldier Summit. It is a cool little town with some unique quirky attractions, old buildings and beautiful scenery.
Located about one mile west of Broken Bow Lake on US Hwy 259 in Oklahoma, Hochatown is definitely a tourist attraction town. Being next to the lake, it is close to fishing and kayaking. But, in town there are Sasquatch Tours, a cool putt-putt golf course with a golf club laden Muffler Man, and the “tourist trap” kind of shops with all sorts of souvenirs. It is also in a pretty part of Oklahoma among pine trees and nice scenery.
Like what you see here? Well, there is lots more! I currently have two books about offbeat and quirky places to take on your road trips. You can see both of my books at http://amzn.to/2ks6fQZ. Working on Book 3, coming in late Spring 2019!!
Obviously, one of my favorite things to do on road trips short or long is locate the fun, unique and offbeat roadside attractions. And, fortunately, 2018 provided me a plethora of these. I have already written about a few of them individually in past months, but this post will be a nice little “photo tour” of some of my favorites.
Having been through 26 different states in 2018, I had plenty of sites and loads of fun. I got to share many of these with grandchildren, which made it even better.
Perhaps my favorite from 2018 was the amazing giant Dignity: Of Earth and Sky statue in Chamberlain, South Dakota. This giant 50 foot tall steel statue honors the women of the Lakota and Dakota tribes. It was created by artist South Dakota Dale Lamphere. It sits in a rest area overlooking the Missouri River and can be seen from quite a distance.
The statue also features a Star Quilt that has more than 100 blue diamond shapes that move in the wind. Really a wonderful site and it is also one of America’s tallest statues (the 20th tallest according to Wikipedia listing).
Another giant is just down the road from Dignity. Wall Drug’s giant brontosaurus stretches 80 feet and sits 37 feet tall as it overlooks Interstate 90 at the Wall Exit. Even there is no time for a visit to Wall Drug, there is always time to stop for a photo-op with a giant friendly dino!
Dinosaurs seem to be all over the country and on my four big trips in 2018 I came across a few more of them. Always fun!
Dinosaurs are not the only giants that I came across on the road in 2018. One of my favorite “giants” was “Ms. Pearl” the giant squirrel in Cedar Creek, Texas at the Berdoll Pecan Candy factory. Created in 2011, it stands 14 feet tall and currently lays claim to be the tallest squirrel statue in the world. Like many “roadside” attractions, this one is very visible off of TX Hwy 71.
Nice thing about Berdoll’s is that you can get your picture with Ms. Pearl and even get some Pecan goodies from their 24/7 Pecan Vending Machine.
Other big things I came across in 2018
Then there are the big Muffler Men and Big John statues. There are dozens and dozens of these dotting the landscape. I came across a couple of fun ones in 2018. In Helper, Utah there is one that is painted totally black…to represent the Coal Miners.
These guys are about 15 feet tall and basically all look alike except for the additional things added to them by the local sites. Over the years I personally have photographed nearly 40 different versions of Big John, Muffler Men or Uniroyal Gals.
You can find them looking like Paul Bunyan, cowboys, Indians and other fun things.
I always like coming across these unique pieces of funky Americana.
I am working on Part 2 of this travel report with more big and unique things to see. Watch for it soon.