Everywhere a Sign – Some G 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 is always a GOOD thing when I am on the road, looking at the Great scenery, the Grandeur of the mountains and the Garish signs and road markers.  Here are a few G signs that I saw during my 2018 travels across 26 states.  Enjoy the Read.  Enjoy the Ride.

Gold Bar, Washington

Discover Gold Bar in Washington
Welcome to Gold Bar, Gateway to the Cascades

The town of Gold Bar is situated at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains on US Route 20. The grandeur of the mountains surrounding the town is wonderful!  The Gold Bar website has a fun story that I am including here:

An early historical account of Skagit and Snohomish Counties published in 1906 gives this description of the town’s early history:

“Gold Bar is a thrifty sawmill town of between two and three hundred people, in the Skykomish Valley along the overland line of the Great Northern Railway, 29 miles east of Everett. Platted September 18, 1900, by the Gold Bar Improvement Company, it has grown very rapidly and is now among the substantial villages of the County. A two-story schoolhouse has been erected in which 43 pupils receive instruction, besides which the town enjoys good telephone, telegraph and transportation facilities. As the timberlands become available for agricultural purposes, many small farms are coming into cultivation, thus furnishing additional support for Gold Bar. Last year 886 cars of lumber and shingles were shipped from this point, which is indicative of the town’s volume of business. The Gold Bar Lumber Company operates an extensive lumber and shingle plant there.”

As of 2010, the population was a tad above 2000 Golden folk!

Goobertown, Arkansas

Goobertown, Arkansas continues the tradition of strange town names in Arkansas
Obviously…I need a selfie to prove I have been here!

Goobertown is one of the fun town names you can find in Arkansas, along with places like Booger Hollow and Toad Suck, among others.   It is located on US Hwy 49, about 10 miles Northeast of Jonesboro, Arkansas.  The name was apparently a result of Confederate Civil War soldiers who camped there and ate the wild peanuts.  So, after the war, many of the soldiers returned here and settled, naming it Goobertown.  It is now actually just a section of the township of Brookland, Arkansas.

Griff’s Hamburgers, Haltom City, Texas

Griff’s Hamburgers sign in Haltom City, Texas

Griff’s is a burger chain with 12 locations, mainly in Texas, then 3 in Louisiana and one in Albuquerque, NM.  The first “Griff’s Burger Bar” opened in March of 1960 in Wichita, Kansas. The company was founded by H.J. Griffith.   have Known for their big burgers, they also serve “steak fingers,” chili cheese fries and other goodies.  Being a Texas place, plan on requesting the sliced jalapenos.

Gorilla Country, Solomon, Kansas

Gorilla Country, Solomon, Kansas

Betcha didn’t know we had Gorilla Country in the U.S.  Well, meander into Solomon, Kansas and you will find that Solomon High School’s mascot is the Gorillas.   I have no idea why they are the Gorillas…   Solomon Saints, Solomon Swans, Solomon Salamanders…  but Gorillas?  Hmmmm….

The Grill District, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

The Grill District Neon Sign, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

I am always a sucker for vintage neon signs.  The Grill District sign hangs in a location that once housed a restaurant called The Grill in downtown Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.  The sign was refurbished in 2012 and reattached to “add spunk to Main Street and draw extra attention to the businesses in the area” according to owner Charles Snapp.

Glendale, Kentucky

Glendale, Kentucky

Glendale, Kentucky is an old railroad town and now is basically a stop off of Interstate 65 south of Louisville, KY.  Full of vintage buildings and antique shops, its most well known place is the Whistle Stop Cafe, which I will feature in my W signs post in a couple of weeks.

GAS Signs in Washington, Texas, Missouri and South Dakota

GAS Sign – Wilbur, Washington
No Gas
No Gas – Decatur, Texas
Gas in Uranus, Missouri
Cenex Sign on I-90 in South Dakota warning of last gas station for miles.

There are lots of Gas signs dotting the country.  This is one of them. Then there is the No Gas sign from Decatur, Texas.  Gotta love that one.  I got a GAS selfie in Uranus…go figure, GAS in Uranus? Finally, the old…last gas for miles ploy in South Dakota…except, it is NOT a ploy.  There really wasn’t a gas station for another 60-70 miles.

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!!


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


Austin Stays Weird – A Pictorial

greetings from Sumoflam in Austin
greetings from Sumoflam in Austin

After a good night’s rest at my cousins house in late June, I was able to spend my morning and part of my early afternoon in Austin, Texas. The motto of that town is “keep Austin weird.” I must say that they have done that very successfully!

Roadhouse Relics
Sumoflam at Austin’s Roadhouse Relics, one of the unique and quirky shops on South Congress
i had breakfast at the South Congress Cafe. It was truly an upscale cafe, if there is such a thing
I had breakfast at the South Congress Cafe. It was truly an upscale cafe, if there is such a thing

There are not many offbeat and quirky towns in this country, but those that are really go to town and Austin is certainly one of the best of these. Portland is another fun and quirky town and I am sure there are a few more bouncing around out there in the country.

Texas Capital Building in Austin
Texas Capital Building in Austin
Austin Cityscape including the Frost Bank Tower -- the "Owl Building" (due to the shape of the top of the building)
Austin Skyline including the Frost Bank Tower — the “Owl Building” (due to the shape of the top of the building)
Another view of Frost Tower - The Owl
Another view of Frost Tower – The Owl
Fun Austin
Fun in Austin

What makes the town of Austin fun is all of the old neon signs, the unique in kitschy stores and eateries.

Freddie's Place on South Congress seems to be covered with kitsch
Freddie’s Place on South Congress seems to be covered with kitsch
Amy's Ice Cream
Amy’s Ice Cream is a chain out of San Antonio. Their shop on 6th St. in Austin is fun to look at and fits in well with keeping Austin weird

The main drag through the best part of Austin is on South Congress Ave. Here one can see an abundance of unique shops and restaurants and cafés. They also have special parks set aside for food trucks and food trailers. I was even surprised to see what appeared to be a trailer park with a number of Airstreams including some really nicely painted ones.

Trailer Park Eatery in Austin -- a hybrid "food truck" type of place comprised of trailers that are actually like food trucks
Trailer Park Eatery in Austin — a hybrid “food truck” type of place comprised of trailers that are actually like food trucks
Trailer Park Eatery. Check out the Airstreams!
Trailer Park Eatery. Check out the Airstreams!
Lovely quirky Airstream
Lovely quirky Airstream
Another one of many food parks in Austin
Another one of many food parks in Austin

Then there is Gourdough’s – Also in an Airstream

Gourdough’s Big Fat Donuts in Austin. Giant gourmet donuts

While in Austin I stopped at one of them, Gourdough’s, which did custom gourmet donut (thus Gourdough’s – get it?) I figured I needed to at least try it out because it looks so unique. My last unique donut shop visit was in Portland, Oregon where I visited Voodoo Doughnut, which is one of the quirkiest eateries I have ever been to.

Gourdough’s certainly had unique gourmet donuts. The following photo is part of their menu.

Gourdough's Menu - Yum!!
Gourdough’s Menu – Yum!!
The Flying Pig at Gourdough's was yummy
The Flying Pig at Gourdough’s was yummy
Two sweet gooey yummiferous ly rich giant donuts from Gourdough's. Made to order fresh in the trailer. What a kick!
Two sweet gooey yummiferously rich giant donuts from Gourdough’s. Made to order fresh in the trailer. What a kick! And yes, that’s the Flying Pig on the left and bacon on the right (the Porkey’s)

I wish I would have had three or four days to just spend in Austin as there is so much to see there. But I did my usual swing through and found a number of neon signs, a few murals and of course, the “greetings from Austin” mural which is like a giant postcard.

Welcome to Austin Mural - Austin, TX
Welcome to Austin Mural – Austin, TX

Another place I would’ve liked to have gone in and visited where is the Lucy in Disguise shop. The storefront, including the roof, is phenomenal and quirky as ever.

Lucy in Disguise, Austin, TX
Lucy in Disguise, Austin, TX
Lucy Statue at Lucy in Disguise in Austin
Lucy Statue at Lucy in Disguise in Austin

As I drove down South Congress and on 6th Street, I captured a few more scenes of the essence of Austin’s weirdness!

Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill in Austin
Doc’s Motorworks Bar & Grill in Austin
Autin Motel
Austin Motel in Austin – No Preservatives!!
Home Slice Pizza
Home Slice Pizza and the Queen of Pies in Austin
New Bohemia in Austin
New Bohemia in Austin – Quirky retailer featuring vintage men’s & women’s apparel, plus a wide array of boots & accessories.
Uncommon Objects
Lasso Cowboy on a rabbit on Uncommon Objects, an antiques, oddities, and curious goods store on South Congress in Austin
Roadhouse Relics in Austin
This Is It at Roadhouse Relics in Austin
Roadhouse Relics Wall Sign in Austin
Roadhouse Relics Wall Sign in Austin
Nostalgicalaly Austin
Nostalgically Austin
Fun mural in Austin
Fun mural in Austin
South Congress Cafe in Austin
South Congress Cafe in Austin

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit some of the historical sites in Austin, but hope to do so in the future.  Austin is a place worth spending a few days in!! Happy Trails until we meet again Austin.

Custom Boots Wall Art
Texas Custom Boots Wall Art