A Grab Bag from America’s Back Roads – The A Things #AtoZChallenge

In 2018 I  will feature a random (yet alphabetical) selection of photos I have taken from my nearly 20 years of back roads travel in the United States and Canada.  I may even throw in a few random shots from other trips to Japan, Mexico and the Philippines. My theme is called America’s Back Roads: A Grab Bag of Places in Pictures.

 

Aliens on a Coke Machine – Roswell, New Mexico

Have a Coke and a Smile?? Coke machine in Roswell…

Airstream Factory – Jackson Center, Ohio

Sumoflam hanging at the Airstream Visitor’s Center in Jackson Center, OH

Alder Lake Tree Stumps – Elbe, Washington

Alder Lake stumps near Elbe, WA

Adair Smiley Water Tower – Adair, Iowa

Smiley Water Tower in Adair, Iowa

Antique Archaeology – LeClair, Iowa

You know the place from TV – Home of American Pickers!

Nash AirFlyte at Antique Archaeology
Sumoflam at Antique Archaeology

Antelope Sightings on the Road – Colorado and Wyoming

An antelope and her calves run through the grasslands near Craig, CO
Antelope on the Run in Wyoming

Alligator, Mississippi

A unique town name. A fun place on the Mississippi River and the Blues Highway (Route 61)

Alligator, MS Town Hall
Alligator Blues Marker in Alligator, MS – One of many markers along the Blues Highway in Mississippi
One of my favorite shots…Alligator, MS

An outdoor hot spring spa – Amagase, Japan

Yep, shed the clothes and hop into the roadside spa.  I did this for a Japanese TV show in 1988.

Enjoying an outdoor bath in Amagase, Japan. This was actually part of TV series I was hosting in 1988

Appalachian Trail Mural – Damascus, Virginia

At the Cross Roads of the Virginia Creeper and Appalachian Trails

Agate Fossil Bed National Monument – Harrison, Nebraska

Agate Fossil Bed National Monument in Nebraska

Wild Horses in Assategue National Seashore – Berlin, Maryland

One of the wild horses on the sand dunes at Assategue National Seashore in Maryland

Armadillo Palace – Houston, Texas

Giant Armadillo at Armadillo Palace

Atomic City, Idaho

Atomic City, ID

American Gothic House – Eldon, Iowa

Sumoflam Gothic at the Grant Wood American Gothic House in Eldon, IA

Ada Covered Bridge – Ada, Michigan

Ada Covered Bridge, Ada, MI

Amish Country – Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Charm, Ohio; Arthur, IL

Amish Buggy Sales lot just outside of Intercourse
A lonely Amish buggy on the road in Charm, OH
Amish Clothes hanging in Arthur, IL

Fun Tourist Trap – Akela Flats – Deming, New Mexico

Akela Flats near Deming, New Mexico, December 1999

Antler Arch – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Antler Arch of Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Arthur Bryant’s BBQ – Kansas City, Missouri

Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue – Kansas City, Missouri
One of the BBQ Masters at Arthur Bryant’s shows off the goods!

American Falls – Niagara Falls, New York

American Falls on the Niagara River in New York

Abingdon, Virginia

Abingdon, VA – Eastern terminus of the Virginia Creeper Trail
Virginia Creeper Welcome Center – Abingdon, VA

Austin, Texas

Greetings from Sumoflam in Austin

Arrowleaf Balsamroot – Craters of the Moon, Idaho

Arrowleaf Balsamroot flower from Craters of the Moon NM, Idaho

Antlers, Oklahoma

Standing – Antlers, Oklahoma

Arco, Idaho

Arco City Hall – Arco, Idaho – First City in the world to be lit by Atomic Power

If you like what you see, you may want to check out my book: Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names, available on Amazon.  My second book, Less Beaten Paths of America: Quirky and Offbeat Roadside Attractions, will be available in late April or early May 2018. Click on the photo below for more details or to get a copy of the book.

Books 1 & 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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F is for Falls – #atozchallenge

I love visiting all of the offbeat and quirky places when I’m out on the road. But, I must confess that I am also addicted to the beauty of nature in all its forms.

One of the more splendid beautiful objects of nature is the waterfall. Every state in the country has waterfalls, those though some are more magnificent than others.

Sumoflam at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky
Niagara Falls

Like millions of other tourists, I have most certainly been to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side and to American Falls on the American side. These are beyond spectacular!

Though the roar of Niagara Falls will always be in the back of my mind, there are others that I’ve drawn me closer in that I have enjoyed.

 

You can almost feel the mist and hear the roar of Niagara Falls in this photo
American Falls on the Niagara River in New York
Maid of the Mist boat at the bottom of Niagara Falls filled with tourists
At Multnomah Falls in Oregon

When I made my first trip to Portland Oregon in 2011, one of my main objectives besides visiting voodoo doughnut, was to visit Multnomah Falls. Of course you know that one! That’s that beautiful tall waterfall with a bridge going in front of it that shows up all over the place.

When I first saw photograph of that waterfall I had to research and find out what it’s name was and where it was and when I realized it was in Oregon it became the top of my list to get to and I didn’t make it.

 

Multnomah Falls in Oregon…one of my favorite places in the US
Some tourists enjoy Multnomah Falls from the bridge

The wonderful thing about going to Multnomah is that there are numerous other waterfalls along the highway before you get there. So, along the way I did drop by to see a couple of them. In their own right, these are beautiful waterfalls.

Horsetail Falls in Oregon
Wahkeena Falls in Oregon

Over the years and over the miles on my road trips, I have made it a point to visit waterfalls and in some cases have just come across some.

Otterville Falls in Otterville, Ontario, Canada
A small waterfall in Red River Gorge, Kentucky
Sumoflam at Yellowstone Falls

One of those that I made a point to get to was the beautiful waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River are magnificent. Of course, this canyon in Yellowstone was forged by the river.  The walls of the canyon a filled with stone that is yellow and this is where the actual name of the park comes from.

Yellowstone has numerous waterfalls, but none as glorious as this one.  Indeed, this has to be one of America’s greatest waterfalls to visit.  I certainly was in awe.

Yellowstone Waterfalls
Another smaller waterfall along the road in Yellowstone National Park

Another of the classic waterfalls that I have enjoyed thoroughly is right here in my own state of Kentucky. Cumberland Falls is down in Southern Kentucky near the Tennessee border. This lovely waterfall is similar to Niagara Falls, but of course, not nearly is huge. The falls themselves are beautiful, but this waterfall is also known for its famed “Moonbow”, something which I have yet to witness.  Sometime….

Cumberland Falls in southern Kentucky
Grand Falls of the Little Colorado in Arizona

One more waterfall of note today must include in this is in the desert of Arizona of all places. This waterfall is typically only visible in the springtime as the remainder of the year there’s typically nothing but a trickle. I am referring to the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River. This large stairstep waterfall is located east of the Grand Canyon near Cameron, AZ. The Little Colorado River always flows red because of all of the red sandstone. When there are heavy rains in the spring, the falls can be seen in their magnificence. As a tour guide in Flagstaff in the 1980s, I was able to visit Grand Falls numerous times. And I’ve been able to pick up a couple of wonderful photos of it.

A tourist observes the grandeur of the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado in Arizona in 1984
David and Julianne at Chagrin Falls in Ohio

Most of the waterfalls I’ve noted above are not in the middle of towns, but on the outskirts are far removed. There are, however, some waterfalls that can be seen within towns. Perhaps one of the most interesting is the town of Chagrin Falls in Ohio. This town is south of Cleveland and actually has two waterfalls flowing right through the middle of town. You can stand on one bridge and look at one fall to your left and one to the right. The town is a little tourist attraction because of the falls and has restaurants that reside right on the edge of the falls to where you can eat and look at the beauty of the falls. On our visit in 2016 we did not have time to sit down and eat there but we still got to enjoy the waterfall.

Chagrin Falls, OH
The waterfalls on the Snake River called Idaho Falls

Another set of lovely waterfalls in the middle of a town are those in Idaho Falls, Idaho. From the waterfalls you can actually view the Idaho Falls Temple of the Mormon church but also enjoy the lovely view of the falls from the pathways to go along it.

 

Snake River in Idaho Falls
With my oldest daughter Amaree at the same Great Falls in 2006

Heading east from Idaho Falls to Montana, there are the famed Great Falls of the Missouri River located in, you got it, Great Falls, MT. Back in the days when Lewis and Clark we’re traversing the Missouri River, they came across the falls and all of their glory but now the falls have been dammed up a bit. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful sight to visit.

Great Falls of the Missouri in Great Falls, MT
Memorial Falls near Great Falls, MT

The same Lewis and Clark start of their adventure on another river waterfall in Kentucky and Indiana as they passed by the falls of the Ohio River. Today, these falls or not so exciting to see as they probably were back in the days of Lewis and Clark.

Webster Falls near Hamilton, ON
Side view of Webster Falls in Ontario

For the real fan of waterfalls, perhaps the best thing to do is go into Hamilton, Ontario northwest of Niagara Falls. There are a number of waterfalls that feed into the Niagara River eventually. One can walk literally to the side of many of these waterfalls and look down. There is Tews Falls and a couple of others that were very nice and easily can all be seen the same day as one sees Niagara Falls.

Tews Falls near Hamilton, Ontario

I have yet to hit many of the huge waterfalls in California. I have missed some of the other big ones in the United States and Canada as well, but I’ve been fortunate enough to see a number of them. In the following photos you will see a few other waterfalls including one in Alaska and some from other points across the United States.

Ragged Falls in Algonquin National Park in Ontario
Indian Falls from the parking lot of the Indian Falls Log Cabin restaurant in New York
One of many waterfalls seen along WA 123 in Washington near Mt. Rainier NP
Lovesick Falls in Ontario
With my wife at a waterfall near Mendenhall Glacier not far from Juneau, AK
A far off waterfall in Glacier National Park
A small waterfall in Clifton Mill, OH
Taughannock Falls in New York

When you are on the back roads of America, always keep your eye open for a sign to a waterfall. You’ll be glad that you did.

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