Everywhere a Sign – Some O Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

(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. )

Obviously, there are many outstanding places to visit in this outrageously wonderful country. Whether you are an occasional traveler or you take every opportunity to wander, there is always something to see. Here are some of the odd O signs I discovered in my 2018 travels. Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.

Old Potter, Arkansas

Old Potter, Arkansas

A few miles south of Mena, Arkansas, on US Routes 59/71, is a small unincorporated community called Old Potter.  It is also referred to as Potter Junction.  One can take AR Hwy 375 west from there a couple of miles, to Potter, Arkansas.  I have no idea how the name Potter cam about.  But I like the name Old Potter.  Kind of fun.

Okie Noodling Tournament Sign, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma

Okie Noodling Tournament Sign, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma

I first learned about the sport of Noodling on a documentary television program by Bradley Beesley titled Okie Noodling, which came out in 2001.  If you are not sure what noodling is, well here is the scoop…(or the grab is probably better) — it is the practice of wading in murky water and sticking your hand into dark holes hoping a 30-pound plus catfish will latch onto your hand and arm. Missing fingers and toes on some noodlers attest to the danger and excitement of the sport. The film emphasizes how noodling is believed to have originated with white settlers, with at least one reference known to have dated from 1775.

From that documentary, a tournament was developed at Bob’s Pig Shop in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.  This year (2019), on June 14/15, the Okie Noodling Tournament will celebrate its 20th anniversary.  There is an “O’FISH’Al” Okie Noodling website with all of the details, if you are interested.  I will be returning from Texas on that weekend and may just drop by for a looksee and maybe a visit to Bob’s Pig Shop on June 15!

Check out the trailer for the movie here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8E83pzt_MU

By the way, the rock band, The Flaming Lips, did the original music for the 2001 documentary.

Octagon Hall, Franklin, Kentucky

Octagon Hall, Franklin, Kentucky
Octagon Hall, Franklin, Kentucky

Driving south on US 31W near Franklin, Kentucky, I came across a sign to Octagon Hall Museum. This is one of the joys of traveling back roads.  I have come across so many unique places that were unplanned on my trips.  Though we were early and couldn’t visit this Antebellum eight-sided Civil War home built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell, it was still a unique place to see, especially from the outside. Octagon Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was used during the Civil War by both Confederate and Federal troops and served as a Civil War hospital.

Orlinda, Tennessee

Orllinda, Tennessee

I always like town signs, but this may be in my favorites list.  I love the “Sunniest Spot in Tennessee” catch phrase.  The town of Orlinda is located off of US Hwy 31W, just south of the Kentucky border (and not too far from Octagon Hall).   There are about 1000 sunshiny folks living in this community.

Okemah, Oklahoma

Okemah, Oklahoma
Okemah Hot, Cold and Woody Guthrie Water Towers

Okemah, Oklahoma was named after a Kickapoo  Indian Chief and is the home to the Creek Nation and specifically the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, a group that speaks the Mvskoke language (thus Muscogee).  Even though there is a great Native American Heritage here, it is also the birthplace of the famous Folk Singer Woody Guthrie who wrote such well-known songs as This Land is Your LandMule Skinner Blues, and hundreds of other songs.  Okemah is just off of Interstate 40 and US Highway 62 passes through the town.

Olive Hill, Kentucky

Olive Hill, Kentucky

Last on my O list is one closer to home.  Olive Hill, Kentucky is in eastern Kentucky on US Highway 60.   It is an old railroad town established in 1861.  I especially like the town because of its layout and the many murals that can be found along a wall in town.  The main street of town is Railroad Street.  Just a cool little town.

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!!

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Everywhere a Sign – Some N Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

(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. )

There are many road signs and store front signs to be seen across this magnificent country.  The endlessly marvelous variety of signs and places always has me camera ready.  Here are some of the Many signs I found along the way, including some that say Many!  Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.

Nashboro Motel, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

Nashboro Motel, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

It probably ain’t fancy and maybe even a place you won’t want to stay.  But the name is great!  For years I have referred to Nashville as “Nashvegas,” but got a kick out of this sign when heading into Nashville on US Highway 41.  I turned around to go get this shot of a uniquely named motel.   I don’t offer any recommendations…unless you want a fun photo.

Nevada Sign, Denio, Nevada

Welcome to Nevada — Denio, NV

Prior to this stop in Denio, Nevada in April 2018, I hadn’t been in Nevada since my days as a driver for Nava-Hopi Tours in Flagstaff in 1983.  Yep…it had been 35 years since visiting the great state of Nevada. I crossed this state from Denio on NV 140, through into Winnemucca on US Route 95 and then traveled on Interstate 80 through Elko and Wendover on my way to my old hometown of Murray, Utah.  As for Denio, Nevada, it sits in the high desert on the border with Oregon.  There are a couple of places there and a store, a couple of miles away at Denio Junction.

Napoleon Scenic Byway to Space, Napoleon, Mississippi

Napoleon Scenic Byway to Space

On my way west on US 90 in southern Mississippi, I came across this sign.  It was so interesting …  a scenic byway to space.  Just north of US 90 and a few miles east of the Louisiana Border is the John C. Stennis Space Center, a NASA Rocket Testing Facility.  In association with the surrounding areas of the Stennis Space Center, Hancock County, Mississippi created a number of scenic routes through the wildlife rich wetlands (in the Spirit of the Old Spanish Trail, which was the shortest route from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California).  US 90 is designated as the Old Spanish Trail.  The county has designated eight scenic byways in the area around the space center, including six of which have the “Scenic Byway to Space” name. Napoleon is now unpopulated and never really had a population of more than 100 since its founding in the early 1800s.  As for the highway, I never made it to space…still earthbound.

Nixon, Texas

Nixon, Texas
Welcome to Nixon, Texas

I grew up watching Richard Nixon on TV as youth.  I remember him as a President.  Nixon, Texas has nothing to do with him…  Nixon was founded in 1906 as Nixonville, when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built its lines through the John T. Nixon Ranch. The town sits in the counties of Wilson and Gonzales, and can be found at the intersection of US Highway 87, TX Highway 80 and Farm Road 1117.

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!!

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Everywhere a Sign – Some D Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

(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!)

Driving across the good old USA is always a fun adventure.  There are always so many fun surprises to be seen on the back roads of America. One of the fun ones for me from 2018 was visiting the town of Dime Box, Texas, featured below, along with D signs I found — mostly in Texas — during my 2018 travels.

Dime Box, Texas

A dime for Dime Box. But the forever stamps will cost you 55 cents.
Can’t have much prosperity with only a Dime Box…can you?
Dime Box, Texas
Welcome to Dime Box
Dime Box General Store
Dime Box VFD

Dime Box is located in Lee County, Texas, northeast of Houston on State Highway 21.  The town name Dime Box seems to have come from a custom in which early settlers would use a large, wooden box to forward and receive mail, or order other items from a carrier on horseback.   this is a small community with only one small school that covers K-12.  The town has a large plastic covered box in the middle of town with a huge dime in it.  A nice drawing card or the quirky site loving traveler.

Doolittle, Missouri

Doolittle, Missouri

Doolittle, Missouri is just a dot on the map along US Route 66.   With a population of a little over 600, it really is a stopover place for travelers.  They have a nice chicken place at the gas station.  The town is named for Lt. General Jimmy Doolittle of World War II fame who bombed Tokyo in a daring raid, which helped to turn the tide of the war in the Pacific. In 1946, Lt. General Doolittle spoke at the dedication ceremony in which the town was christened in his honor. Doolittle flew his own B-25 into the airport in Vichy, Missouri, fulfilling a promise he had made two years before.

Ding Dong, Texas

Ding Dong, Texas is comprised of one store/cafe.
I couldn’t find any Ding Dongs in southern Texas. But, when I finally found some in Fort Worth, I made sure to get a photo…just to add to my Ding Dong, Texas post

Just south of Killeen, Texas is a little convenience store and cafe, located in a place that is called Ding Dong. It was named after two settlers, Zulis Bell and Bert Bell, who opened a store and hired an artist to make a sign for it. The artist, Cohen Hoover painted two bells (for the two settlers) and then painted the words Ding under one of them and Dong under the other.   Over the years the community of Killeen kind of absorbed the community.  But, there is still the store here.  Sadly, despite carrying some Hostess brand products, there are no Ding Dongs available here.  I finally found some in Fort Worth.  See the picture above.

The Dude Motel, Haltom City, Texas

The Dude Motel, Haltom City, Texas

Old retro motels are always a fun prize.  A motel in Texas called The Dude almost always requires a photo.  Not sure how nice it is, but at least I have the old neon sign to add to the collection.  Let’s head off to the roundup dude.  By the way, Haltom City is a great place for the quirky road side adventurer.

Double Cola Signs in Tennessee and Kentucky

Double Cola sign in Glendale, Kentucky
Double Cola sign in Ethridge, Tennessee

Many regions of the country have their own local sodas.  Such is the case with Double Cola, which is manufactured in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They have a history that goes back to 1933.  It is now available nationwide in Cracker Barrel retail stores, where many other regional soft drinks are available.

Direct, Texas

Direct, Texas

What can I say about a dot on a road map called Direct?   This small community is on Texas Farm Road 79 about 25 miles northwest of Paris, Texas.  According to local tradition, the town was named either for Indians who crossed the river “direct” to obtain whiskey or to a revivalist who believed the people were going “direct” to hell. (I guess they didn’t know about Hell, Michigan?)  According to the Texas Almanac, there was a post office there from 1887 until after 1954. By 1914 there was a population of over 200.  In 2000, the population was still at seventy.  But, I think it was much less when I went through in 2018.

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!!

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