Everywhere a Sign – Some J 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!)

It brings me great joy to travel the back roads of America as I jump from here to there with joviality in my heart.  So, here are some of the J signs I found in 2018. Enjoy the Read.  Enjoy the Ride.

John Day, Oregon

John Day, Oregon

I don’t often see names of towns named after a full name of a person.  John Day, Oregon is an exception.  John Day is located about 2 miles north of Canyon City in Grant County, Oregon, at the intersection of U.S. Routes 26 and 395. It was apparently named for the nearby John Day River, which had been named for Virginian member of the 1811 Astor Expedition, John Day.

Junkin’ Jinks Gypsy, Waurika, Oklahoma

Junkin Jinks Gypsy, Waurika, OK

I am always on the lookout for unique store fronts and store names.  This shop in Waurika, Oklahoma was a doozy.   I typically don’t take the time to check out the insides unless it is REALLY interesting.  This one I just got in passing.  Looks like it is a second hand store with various things in it.  Waurika, Oklahoma is a nice little community off of US Route 70 northeast of Wichita Falls, Texas and west of Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Jody’s Restaurant, Tuscumbia, Alabama

Jody’s Restaurant, Tuscumbia, Alabama

I always try to give the local places some love on Road Trips.  Of course, just like taking a back road, visiting an unknown eatery is all about the adventure and the discovery.  Sometimes its good.  Sometimes its not.   I liked Jody’s because I could get breakfast 24/7.  I like breakfast food…if there is eggs and sausage and gravy and bacon…I’m in folks!  It is located in a truck stop in Tuscumbia, Alabama.  Tuscumbia is located off of US Route 72 near Muscle Shoals.

Jerry Strong Landing, Lacon, Illinois

Jerry Strong Landing on the Illinois River in Lacon, Illinois

I am also a sucker for colorful signs.  Sometimes the signs are just the dull green or blue road signs.  But, in this case, the community made it a point to have a colorful sign with the Illinois River as its backdrop.  LaconI went through Lacon, on IL Hwy 17, on my way to visit Hopewell, Illinois.  The small river community has a number of unique shops and there is a huge bridge that crosses over the Illinois River.

Judy’s Place, Devil’s Elbow, Missouri

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

Finally, there is one of the many roadside eateries/bars that can be found along Route 66.  This one is Judy’s Place, in Devil’s Elbow, Missouri (and for the life of me I couldn’t find a sign that said Devil’s Elbow!!).   They call it “a hometown bar that serves beer only.”

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!!


April 2018 Cross-Country Road Trip: Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Sign post in Broadus, Montana

One thing that we all see when traveling America’s highways is signs.  All kinds of them: road signs, exit signs, mile markers, billboards, “Welcome to Our Town” signs and the massive assortment of business signs from fast food places to local eateries.  Indeed, our eyes and minds are deluges with them!

Over the course of my 6000 mile road trip to Washington State and back, I probably saw way more than a sign a mile (on average).  Yes, there are many places with no signs, but then, there are others, such as going through small towns, where they are in abundance.

One of hundreds of Wall Drug signs to be seen on I-90 from as far away as Minnesota.
Lostant The Mint Bar and a Coca-Cola Wall Art sign in Livingston, Montana
Zigzag Inn – Zigzag, Oregon

This post presents a variety of signs from the road.  This “eye-candy” is just one more fun piece of the travel puzzle.  Discovering new signs, whether they be unique neon signs advertising local burger joints to the unique town signs and water towers, these signs are the little “color fillers” on the grand expanse of two lane highways zig-zagging this nation.

I always watch for fun town name signs. This one is in Illinois….not sure if they found the ant.
Welcome to Gold Bar, Washington.

Follow me along on this colorful journey (in no particular order) to see some of the signs I saw along the way.  And watch for the occasional Wall Drug sign to pop up on the ride (just like they do on I-90).

Saigon Rendezvous Restaurant – Olympia, Washington
Starve Rock State Park – Illinois
Luxury 5 Cinema in Mitchell, SD
Billy Burgers – Wilbur, Washington
Old Piggly Wiggly Ad on the side of a building in Helper, Utah
Wall Drug Sign on I-90 in South Dakota
A Sign at a convenience store door in Ferdinand, Indiana. So bummed! Wanted to go into store Donald Duck style….
Sunset Motel Ad on building in Belle Fourche, SD
Classic neon Stardust Motel in Wallace, Idaho
Welcome to Nevada – Denio, Nevada
Sasquatch Sign Company, Manitou Springs, Colorado
Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota
Welcome to Henry, Illinois
Livingston Bar & Grille – Livingston, Montana
Wall Drug sign in southwest Minnesota
Safeco Field Sign in Seattle, WA
Murray Theatre – Murray, Utah
Welcome to Tonica, Illinois
Welcome to Davenport, Washington
Logger Restaurant in Astoria, Oregon
Al’s Oasis in Chamberlain, South Dakota – Largest stop for 200 miles (next one down the road is Wall Drug
Brothers Stage Stop – Brothers, Oregon
Custer Battlefield Trading Post – Crow Agency, Montana
Welcome to Kingston, Washington
Silver Saddle Motel in Manitou Springs, CO. I stayed there. Nice place. That is Pkes Peak in the background.
Iowa River Greenbelt – Iowa Falls, Iowa
Dr. Pierces Golden Medical Discovery Barn Ad in Waterville, Washington
Kit Carson Trading post, Kit Carson, Colorado
Oyster Capital of the World – South Bend, Washington
Winners Casino – Winnemucca, Nevada
Lame Deer, Montana
Roxy Theater – Ottawa, Illinois
Old Hotel Newhouse neon sign in Helper, Utah
Punkin Center, Colorado. Smack dab in the middle of nowhere
Cenex Sign on I-90 warning of last gas station for miles. Chamberlain, South Dakota
Wall Drug Sign on I-90 in South Dakota
Warrior Trail – US Hwy 212 in Montana…taken near Ashland, Montana
Solomon, Kansas
Papa Joe’s in Crescent Junction, UT – The middle of nowhere touristy stop for gas, snacks and odds and ends quirky souvenirs.
Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, Iowa
Jerry Strong Landing on the Illinois River in Lacon, Illinois
Sign at door of Belle Restaurant in Belle Fourche, SD
Cutter’s Barber Shop in Olympia, Washington
Portway Tavern – Astoria, Oregon
Direction Signs in Wallace, Idaho
Black Bear Clothes wall ad in Sultan, Washington
Wallace, Idaho
Yet another Wall Drug Sign – in Western Minnesota
The Empire Theater in Livingston, Montana
Big Foot Road, near the Badlands National Park in South Dakota
Kountry Korners Krazy Kreatures in Kingston, Washington
Welcome to Helper sign with old Coke Wall Ad in background
Welcome to Kentucky, home sweet home
Wall sign in Olympia, Washington
Colorado State Line


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, is currently being worked on and I hope to make it available in late  June 2018. Click on the photo below for more details or to get a copy of the book.

Books 1 & 2