It is a challenge to find signs and places that begin with Q. This post only has one. So, for fun, I am also adding a Quirky Quickies section to the post…a number of quirky or otherwise interesting photos from the road that didn’t really fit into any of my other A to Z Challenge posts. It will be a quick read with quaint and quirky and maybe even quizzical signs. I hope they quench your travel fancy. Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.
The Queen City, Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a beautiful city. I really love taking trips up to this beautiful city on the Ohio River. The city has been nicknamed The Queen City and the Queen of the West since around 1820, only a few short years after the city was incorporated in 1802 (the city was first settled in the 1780s). One possible birth of this nickname likely came from writer Ed B. Cooke of the (then) Inquisitor and Cincinnati Advertiser wherein he wrote in the May 4, 1819 edition of the paper:
“The City is, indeed, justly styled the fair Queen of the West: distinguished for order, enterprise, public spirit, and liberality, she stands the wonder of an admiring world.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also mentioned it in his poem Catawba.
Quirky and Quick Signs From the Road
A fun little view of some of the more offbeat things I see while on the road
Like what you see? 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!!
(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!)
Every road is an adventure. Every detour offers new entertainment. In this post I am providing some of the E signs I came across during my travels across the country in 2018. E means ENJOY!
Eighter From Decatur, Decatur, Texas
Decatur, Texas is a fun little town. Home of the famed Petrified Wood Gas Station (and a few other vintage gas stations), it is also home to the “Eighter from Decatur.” “Eighter from Decatur” is a slang phrase used by craps shooters who want to roll an eight as well as the title of a song by Western Swing legend Bob Wills. In 1949, Decatur mayor Sly Hardwick added the phrase to two signs welcoming tourists to the town.
Empire Theater, Livingston, Montana
There are hundreds of movie theaters dotting this great country. I love capturing images of many of the vintage marquees. This one is from the lovely mountain town of Livingston, Montana. The Empire Theater has two screens.
Edgewater Park, Cleveland, Ohio
Edgewater Park is one of Cleveland’s premier parks. On the edge of Lake Erie, the park offers so many wonderful things in its 147 acres. It has over 9000 feet of shoreline offering some splendid views of the lake, a nice view of downtown Cleveland and more. I love visiting there for the scenic views and for photos of the birds.
8th Wonder Brewery, Houston, Texas
In 1965, the Houston Astrodome was opened and was one of the biggest sports venues of its type. It was given the nickname “The 8th Wonder of the World.” The 8th Wonder Brewery took on this name in 2013 when they opened their brewery in the eastern part of downtown Houston. If you like craft beer, then you would want to visit here. But, the property also has a huge Houston sign, four 30 foot tall sculptures of the Beatles (see my post about them here), and the entire area for a few blocks has dozens of unique street art and murals.
EAT Signs – Vinita, Oklahoma, Houston, Texas and Uranus, Missouri
Over the years I have been building up my collection of EAT signs that I come across. I think I have over a dozen. I captured three of them in my 2018 travels as shown above. Makes you hungry eh?
Looking for a unique and fun gift for yourself or your traveler friends? How about a book 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.