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.
Lost Springs, Wyoming (Was Population 1, now Population 4)
Lake Andes, South Dakota
Lambert’s Cafe – Home of Throwed Rolls – Sikeston, Missouri
Lexington Cemetery in Spring – Lexington, Kentucky
Letchworth State Park – Castile, New York
Lindley Sign Post Forest – Danville, Illinois
Lake Oswego Art Walk – Lake Oswego, Oregon
Lawn Order – Nebraska City, Nebraska
Lincoln Mural – Lexington, Kentucky
Lordsburg, New Mexico
Leland, Mississippi – Birthplace of Kermit the Frog
Lake Wobegon Trail – Avon, Minnesota
Libby’s Pumpkin Factory – Morton, Illinois
Lookout, West Virginia
Log Cabin Motel – Ashton, Idaho
Lucy in Disguise Costumes – Austin, Texas
Larry Vennard Iron Sculpture Park – Centralia, Missouri
Leif Erikson Statues – Cleveland, Ohio and Duluth, Minnesota
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Abraham Lincoln Statue – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Leaning Tree Cafe – Babb, Montana
Large Wooden Trolls – Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin
Welcome to Louisiana
Laughing Ladies Cafe – Salida, Colorado
Langdon Wind Energy Center – Langdon, North Dakota
Little Big Horn National Monument – Crow Agency, Montana
Lizard Lick, North Carolina
Lucille Ball Birthplace – Jamestown, New York
Landry and Lombardi – NFL Coaching Icons – Dallas, Texas and Green Bay, Wisconsin
Longaberger Baskets – Newark, Ohio
Lynn’s Paradise Cafe – Louisville, Kentucky
Unfortunately, this place closed down around 2010 or so.
Lovesick Falls – Ontario, Canada
Little Italy – Cleveland, Ohio
Lopatapillar – Butterfly House – Chesterfield, Missouri
Logan’s Shoe Shop Neon Sign – Denton, Texas
Little River Cafe – Oregonia, Ohio
Troy Landry – Swamp People icon – Pierre Part, Louisiana
LSA Burger Company – Denton, Texas
Lund Theatre – Viborg, South Dakota
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.
On January 1, 2017 I sat on a beach in Ocean City, Maryland to watch a spectacular sunrise and pondered to myself about the opportunities I would have to travel throughout the year. Little did I really know the extent that I would actually travel over the year and I’m grateful that I’ve had a wonderful year of seeing more of this beautiful country.
Beginning with that glorious morning in Maryland, over the course of the year I have driven nearly 15,000 miles on road trips, many to visit family or be with family, but all of the trips have been wonderful. Some have been close by doing what I refer to as “staycation“ trips in Kentucky. But, throughout the course of the year I have been to 19 different states and have seen a plethora of places and things. Many of the trips included time with my wife, my children and my grandchildren. That makes things so much better and enjoyable!
In July we had a family reunion. It was the first in five years and all of my 10 grandchildren and all my five children were here at one time or another and even my sister and her husband and daughter came up to visit. During that time we also visited my extended family in Cleveland, Ohio. So, travel was not the only joyful thing. Family is the best.
The following photos tell just a small story of the past year. I have already posted some of the things in more detail and have five or six others in the works about specific places. But here are just some of the places and things form this past year. ENJOY THE RIDE!
Back in August 2010 a new TV Series began on the History Channel that got me hooked, literally. Called “Swamp People,” the series focuses on various teams of alligator hunters. Some episodes also feature other aspects of the social and sporting life of the swamp, including fishing and hunting for other animals. I was thoroughly engaged. In fact, I distinctly recall while watching one of the early broadcasts in 2010, telling my wife “One day I am going to Louisiana on a road trip and meet Troy Landry in Pierre Part.” It was one of my “bucket list” dream trips, though I figured the reality would never materialize.
Then, in late June 2014 the opportunity presented itself. My Kravetz family relatives arranged for a big family reunion in Galveston (many of them now live in Texas). The drive from Lexington to Galveston opened the door to making a trek through Louisiana. Indeed, I made a big trip of it with a drive down the Blues Highway in Mississippi (see one of the posts here), a trek across Louisiana and some visits to other fun sites. I have already done a few posts about this trip and more to come. (See some posts HERE and HERE and HERE).
But, the diamond jewel of this big trip took place on Day 2 of my journey as I headed west from Baton Rouge into the Atchafalaya Swamplands, the setting for the Swamp People series.
So, I finally had the chance. I did the necessary research and was able to make my way into Pierre Part to look for Troy Landry, the Alligator hunter on the show known for his “Choot ‘Em” phrase.
The drive through the swamplands was beautiful, as expected.
Pierre Part, a small town in the swamps, is the home of the Landry family, where they run a Bait Shop, gas station and convenience store business, along with their alligator and crawfish hunting business.
My research indicated that Troy typically is around the shop, so, I made my way to find it, a Shell station (Duffy’s Shell on LA 70) just south of town. I knew I was at the right place as there were posters, “Choot ’em” hats (I got one!), etc. I asked the gal at the register as I purchased my hat if Troy Landry was around. I was heart-broken when she said “Oh, you just missed him. He left 5 minutes ago.” She then proceeded to tell me that I could ask one of the guys filling gas in their boats as they were his friends. So I went out and asked them. One of the guys said that he was out back and pointed me in the direction.
The store has a warehouse in the back that is used to store crawfish and alligators in the season. It is fairly big. As I walked back there I saw a big Ram Pickup with Swamp People emblazoned across it. And then, over at the scales there he was. Fishermen were coming in with their crawfish takes and he was weighing them and then putting them into his cold storage area. This is apparently his “real” job, working as a buyer of the crawfish and then a resale distributor.
As I approached Troy, he was friendly as can be (maybe the hat helped…). Since he was busy weighing, I waited patiently. He then took my hat, without asking, and signed it, I proceeded to ask him for a photo and we took a couple. I told him how I had someday hoped to make it down here to meet him. He told me some good gator stories and then another couple of crawfish boats pulled up with their catch.
I said goodbye and thanked him for his time. I was impressed at how personable and down to earth Troy Landry was. His TV appearances had not caused him to be put off by fans like me.
Honestly, I am not one that goes ga-ga over celebrities. I have met many in my life (see this post about a few of them). But “Reality TV” has made stars out of many everyday people, such as the pawn shop folks, the American Pickers, auctioneers (Storage Wars), etc. this digging into the unique lives of many Americans has provided a richness to our diversity (even despite the apparent contrived situations that many of the shows have).
I am thrilled that I could make it to the swamplands of Louisiana to meet this interesting guy named Troy Landry and experience his down to earth character. Another bucket list dream trip fulfilled!