AtoZ Challenge 2020 – 8154: An Epic Road Trip – Reflections #atozchallenge

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with  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 of my entries highlighted a few stories with photos based on the alphabet and not the order of the trip.  If you missed any of the posts, check out my page with all of the links HERE.  I will reflect back on this past month’s posts.  Enjoy the Read! Enjoy the Ride! (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

What a Whirlwind!

CA 198 in Sequoia National Park

Throughout the month of April I participated in the A to Z Challenge.  It was my fourth straight year, but this one was really my most interesting yet.  Beginning in March the Coronavirus hit the world.  I am amazed how a microscopic thing could have such a massive impact on the world.  The world was shut down effectively, but the internet and the opportunity to post content was not.

Patrick Amiot – “Crow Bar” in Sebastapol, CA

It has been a whirlwind.  What made it more so was knowing (in hindsight) that while the coronavirus was hitting the U.S. in Washington and California back in January and February while I was traveling out there with my daughter and her three children.  Many of the places we visited, including massive National Parks like the Grand Canyon, were eventually closed.  In fact, as of this writing, many are still closed.  Restaurants, hotels and other businesses are closed all over the country.  Interstate travel bans are in effect across most states.  As of this writing on May 5, 2020, nearly 70,000 Americans have died of this virus since mid-February…while we were still traveling!!

I am both amazed and grateful that we are all home and safe. And brought back a boat load of memories.

ENJOYING THE RIDE

Interstate 90 at the Montana / Idaho border in late January 2020

I really like to share my travels with the world and the A to Z Challenge provides a great platform to share these with many people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Family at the Grand Canyon

Over the course of the past month I posted my 26 posts and included over 300 photos and dozens of unique stories of the places we saw on our epic road trip.  Thus far I have had over 20 comments from readers and well over 200 views of the posts.  I am thrilled for the visits and the experience.

What did you miss?

If you haven’t visited any of my posts, I shared a link to a page that has all of the links at the top of this post.  Please visit it and click on any of the links.  In the mean time, what did you miss?

Montana Highway 1 near Opportunity, Montana
  • A road trip of 8154 miles across 20 states in 21 days
  • Lovely photos of wildlife like eagles, bison, prairie dogs, seagulls and more
  • Amazing scenery from all kinds of geography including mountains, deserts, oceans and massive forests
  • Visits to over a dozen National Parks and Monuments
  • Stories and photos of many unique and quirky road side attractions
  • Visits, photos and stories about towns with unique names
  • A few fun and unique places to eat
  • An opportunity to learn about a different perspective on the amazing diversity of these United States
Pacific Coast as seen from Long Beach, Washington
welcome to Happy, Texas
Bald Eagle, taken on US Highway 2 near Davenport, WA
Big guy at Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, AZ
Mount Rushmore as seen from a tunnel on Iron Mountain Road. The tunnel was built intentionally to frame the monument
Joshua Trees near Baker, CA
Martian Soda anyone?
Sandhill Cranes in West Texas
Paul Bunyan in Klamath, California
San Francisco CA
Uranus Fudge Factory, St Robert, Missouri
Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska
Caddo Lake bayou near Uncertain, Texas

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 Y Stories #atozchallenge

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with  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 Y Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

EnjoY the rYde  as we drYve Across America – Part Two

Throughout the course of our 8154 Road Trip, there was not anything with an X or a Y in it.  So, I thought I would take readers on a Virtual Road Trip along the highways of America as seen from our eyes. Part One took readers from Kentucky to Idaho. Part Two today will hit the remainder of our trip.  So, travel along with us and check out the scenery from our 23 day trip from Kentucky to Washington, down the Pacific Coast and east through the southwest and Texas. Enjoy the Ride!

Washington Highways

US Highway 2 near Reardan, Washington
Downtown Davenport, Washington
US Highway 2 west of Davenport, Washington
Downtown Hartline, Washington on US Highway 2
US Highway 2 east of Waterville, Washington
US Highway 2 west of Waterville, Washington
Approaching the Cascades on US Highway 2 near Orondo, Washington
US Highway 2 along Lake Wenatchee in East Wenatchee, Washington
Lake Wenatchee as seen from US Highway 2 in East Wenatchee, Washington
Driving on US Highway 2 in Leavenworth, Washington
Downtown Leavenworth, Washington
US Highway 2 west of Leavenworth, Washington on the way to Stevens Pass
US Highway 2 west of Leavenworth, Washington on the way to Stevens Pass
Snow-covered roadside on US Highway 2 at Stevens Pass in Washington
Heading downhill from Stevens Pass on US Highway 2 in Washington
WA Hwy 522 near Monroe, Washington
Tall tree lined Long Lake Road in Port Orchard, Washington
View of Hood Canal from Scenic Beach State Park in Seabeck, Washington
Downtown Shelton, Washington
Tree-lined WA Hwy 3 south of Shelton, Washington
Bridges over the Chehalis River on Washington Hwy 107 in Montesano, Washington
US Hwy 101 north of South Bend, Washington
Forested US Highway 101 near South Bend, Washington
Crossing the Astoria – Megler Bridge on US 101 from Chinook, Washington into Oregon

Oregon Highways

US 101 crossing the wide Columbia River from Washington into Oregon
Astoria-Megler Bridge just north of Astoria, Oregon on US Highway 101 crossing over the Columbia River
The drive through Fort Stevens State Park near Hammond, Oregon
US Highway 101 north of Bandon, Oregon
Downtown Bandon, Oregon
A Pacific Coast scene from US Highway 101 near Gold Beach, Oregon

California Highways

US 101 Trinidad, California
US 101 near Scotia, California on the approach to Redwoods National Park
CA Hwy 254 – Avenue of the Giants – in Redwoods National Park near Scotia, California
CA Hwy 254 through the Redwoods near Redcrest, California
Looking up at the Redwoods on CA Hwy 254 near Redcrest, California
US Highway 101 near Penngrove, California
The Golden Gate Bridge and US Highway 101 as seen from Mill Valley, California
Crossing Golden Gate Bridge on US Hwy 101 into San Francisco
Crossing the Bay Bridge on Interstate 80 from San Francisco, California
Driving on the California Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
A lovely view of Big Sur as seen from CA Hwy 1
CA Highway 46 east of Cambria, California
California Hwy 46 through Paso Robles, California
CA Hwy 41 near Shandon, California
California Hwy 41 near Avenal, California
California Hwy 41 near Stratford, California
CA Hwy 198 heading east towards the Sierra Nevadas near Visalia, California
CA Hwy 198 heading to the Sierra Nevada range near Exeter, California
Another view of the Sierra Nevada range from CA Hwy 198 near Exeter, California
CA Hwy 198 in Lemon Cove, California
California Hwy 198 near Three Rivers, California
After entering Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Climbing altitude in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Driving through the giants in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Driving through the giants in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Amazing giant trees in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Up high in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Driving through the giants in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Heading back down the road in Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy 198.
Driving into sunset on California Hwy 65 near Terra Bella, California
Sunrise on Interstate 15 heading east near Yermo, California
Interstate 15 heading into Baker, California
Interstate 15 near Baker , California
Interstate 15 east of Baker, California
Interstate 15 heading east just south of Nipton, California
Nipton Road heading to Nevada near Nipton, California
Nipton Road heading towards Searchlight, Nevada

Nevada Highways

Driving the Joshua Tree Highway, Nevada Highway 164 west of Searchlight, Nevada
Nevada Highway 164 near Searchlight, Nevada
Nevada Highway 163 near Laughlin, Nevada

Arizona Highways

Arizona Highway 68 near Bullhead City, Arizona
Welcome to Williams, Arizona on US Route 66
Arizona Highway 64 from Williams, Arizona
US Route 66 in downtown Holbrook, Arizona
Interstate 40 near Chambers, Arizona
Interstate 40 heading east into Ganado, Arizona
Interstate 40 in Ganado, Arizona

New Mexico Highways

Interstate 40 eastbound near Continental Divide, New Mexico
US Route 66 / Interstate 40 near Casa Blanca, New Mexico
Interstate eastbound heading into Albuquerque, New Mexico with the Sandia Mountains in the background
Interstate 40 heading east into Moriarty, New Mexico
Stateline Road (NM 348) between Texico, New Mexico and Farwell, Texas

Texas Highways

Texas FM 1075 near Happy, Texas
Downtown Quitaque, Texas
Downtown Turkey, Texas
Downtown Matador, Texas
Downtown Crowell, Texas
Texas FM 1919 near Seymour, Texas
Texas Highway 70 near Flomot, Texas
Interstate 20 heading east near Longview, Texas
Heading north on Texas FM 2198 near Karnack, Texas

Louisiana Highways

Louisiana Highway 2 near Vivian, Louisiana
Louisiana Hwy 170 in Vivian, Louisiana
Interstate 49 heading north of Vivian, Louisiana

Arkansas Highway

Interstate 30 near Donaldson, Arkansas

Tennessee Highways

Crossing the Mississippi River and entering Tennessee on Interstate 40 near Memphis, TN

Kentucky Highway

The Bluegrass Parkway heading towards Lexington on the final leg. This is near Elizabethtown, KY

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 J 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 J Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Joshua Tree Highway – Searchlight, Nevada

As we crossed the border from California (near Nipton, California) into Nevada, we were in the midst of desert land and soon came across  a sign designating the highway, Nevada Highway 164, as the Joshua Tree Highway.  We stopped for some Joshua Tree pictures.  We also saw a huge forest of them near Baker, California.

Joshua Tree Highway, Nevada Hwy 164
Joshua Trees near Baker, CA
Selfie with Joshua Trees
Joshua Trees near Baker, California
Joshua Forest near Searchlight, Nevada
More Joshua Trees

Johnson’s Ranch – Uncertain, Texas

On our boat ride in Caddo Lake, out guide Aaron Applebaum took us by Johnson’s Ranch, which is the oldest inland marina still operating in Texas.  It has been serving boaters and fishermen since 1908.

Johnson’s Ranch on Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas
Even in February the place is busy.

Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Company – Holbrook, Arizona

The grandkids wanted some petrified wood and, of course, it is not allowed in the Petrified Forest National Park.  So, we stopped at Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in Holbrook and picked some up.  Owner Jim Gray owns mineral rights on many of the lands adjacent to the Petrified Forest, so they are able to do their own digging, cutting and polishing.  They have tons of the beautiful rocks on site.  The shop in the inside is fun too.

Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Company in Holbrook, Arizona
Love their door sign
Like anywhere else, they own the rights to all of the petrified wood.
Acres of petrified wood
Have to visit the restrooms to see the bugs and bats.
Have to visit the restrooms to see the bugs and bats.
Lovely cut and polished slices

Jimmy Jackson – Santa Cruz, California

For many years I have known and been friends with well-known guitarist and music producer Jimmy Jackson.  We stopped by in Santa Cruz, California to visit with him.  He gave us a nice little performance and the grandkids were enthralled. He has worked with Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, Michael Nesmith from the Monkees, Tanya Tucker and currently with country star Lacy J. Dalton.  You can check out an interview he did a couple of years ago to learn more about this amazing guitarist. Its here!

Jimmy Jackson, well-known guitarist in Santa Cruz, California
Hanging with my pal Jimmy Jackson

Judy’s Place – Devil’s Elbow, Missouri

On our drive down Route 66 to Devil’s Elbow, Missouri, we passed by Judy’s Place, which is covered with fun wall art and murals.  We didn’t stop in, but it is apparently quite popular for the travelers on Route 66.

Judy’s Place on Route 66 near Devil’s Elbow, Missouri

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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