Everywhere a Sign – Some XTRA Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

Throughout my travels in 2018, I did not come across a single X sign.  In the past, I have been able to use Xenia, Ohio, but we didn’t go there last year.

So, I am Xcited to Xplain how I will post a number of fun XTRAs that I didn’t use in previous posts. There were some Xceptionally funny ones and a few Xtremely interesting ones. I hope you’ll enjoy my special edition of Xtra Signs from my travels over the years.  Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.

XTRA Fun For ALL — We are open

If We Are Here — Decatur, Texas
Love the “Sorry, We’re Open” sign!! At Apple Valley Hillbilly Garden Calvert City, Kentucky

At the X-Roads – Corssroads signs from 2018

Business Crossroads sign, Wallace, Idaho
Sign post in Broadus, Montana
I always love coming across direction markers that also give a mileage – Raymond, Washington
Route 66 Crossroads Sign in Bushyhead, Oklahoma
Go This Way — I need one of these!! Paradise Point, Scottsville, Kentucky

A Few Xceptionally Interesting Xtra Signs From 2018

Eat Me neon sign from Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Lexington, Kentucky
Howdy Sign from Doolittle, Missouri on Route 66
Wiener World, Home of the Cheese Dog – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Whatever Sign in West, Texas

A Few Real Oinkers!

Flying Pigs Cafe, Thomas, West Virginia
Taken in the Pigtown District of Baltimore, Maryland
When Pigs Fly sign at a shop called Uniques in Stratford, Oklahoma
Pig on car at Slap Ya Momma’s Barbeque in Biloxi, Mississippi

Now Back to More Xcellent Xtras

Signs at Hillbilly Garden in Calvert City, Kentucky
Welcome to Flatwoods, West Virginia. Home of the Green Monster
Is there such a thing as a Sanitary Sewer? Seen in Lexington, Kentucky
Social Vegan sign found in Austin, Texas
Walgreen’s Temperature sign in Cypress, Texas
Route 66 Gateway sign in Miami, Oklahoma
HipHop Fish and Chicken – a chain of at least 24 shops in Baltimore, Maryland
Peace Love & Little Donuts in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – feed your inner hippie. Like other doughnut shops (Voodoo and Hurt’s, among others), they make unusual combinations, except these are smaller.
Stayed at the Silver Saddle Motel in Manitou Springs, Colorado – best view of Pikes Peak!  Really!
Roll On In Sushi Burritos sign in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sushi Burritos??
Route 66 in Chelsea, Oklahoma
I Got VD in Austin – Voodoo Doughnut, Austin, Texas
Bucky’s in Stratford, Oklahoma. Fresh and tasty Fried Pies
Not to be confused with Bucky’s above, Buc-ee’s in Waller, Texas
Buc-ee’s is one of the largest convenience store gas stations anywhere. Over 100 gas pumps!! HUGE store
Be Nice or Leave sign at Paradise Point in Scottsville, Kentucky
Missing Balls… Uranus, Missouri
One of Delta, Colorado’s many murals. They call themselves the City of Murals
The Skuller’s Clock with eyes in downtown Lexington, Kentucky
Comfort Station this way – West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio
Cookin’ from Scratch chicken place in Doolittle, Missouri
Complaint Department sign at K’s Cafe in Clarkson, Kentucky
Olympia Film Society mural in Olympia, Washington
Old Orange Crush sign – Helper, Utah
Wall Drug Sign on I-90 in South Dakota Do Lunch or Be Lunch
Wonder if they take Running Backs? Or Forwards? Or Goalies? Or do they require certain types of positions? How about just a plain old sitting position?  Certainly don’t want to be a stander. Taken in Ferdinand, Indiana
Welcome to Raymond, Washington
Lots of cool stuff at the DFW Elite Toy Museum in Haltom City, Texas
Sign on the back of an old school bus at Paradise Point in Kentucky

Like what you see? 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!!

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My Travels in 2018

Life gets so busy. The first two months of 2019 have been exceptionally busy and so I am just now getting to my annual review posts for 2018.

Visiting Route 66 in Oklahoma

At the beginning of 2018 I didn’t have very high hopes for many travel opportunities. I had begun a new job in early October of the previous year and I didn’t have any definitive travel plans. But, I had also learned to roll with things and, as good fortune would have it, 2018 actually became a really good travel year.

Over the course of the year I was able to travel through 26 different states and drove nearly 12,000 miles. I was able to add a plethora of photos (I took over 15,000 travel photos in 2018) and content for use in future blogs and books. Though many of my travels were alone (which I love), I also was able to travel with family on some of the trips (which I also love!).

Morning sky taken between Bend, OR and Brothers, OR (near Millican, OR) on US Hwy 20 heading east.
A sunset scene taken from the Edmonds to Kingston Ferry in Washington
Lovely sunset after a windy day. Taken on a side road of Interstate 70 just east of Abilene, Kansas
Mt. Aetna as seen from US 50 near Monarch Pass, Colorado.
Desert and snow-covered peaks in Nevada

My major trips included:

  1. A trip to Nashville in January to visit with my new employer ComicBook.com. On this trip I also visited the cool and “off-beat” Paradise PointMarketplace
    Welcome to Paradise Point
  2. In late January I made a trip down to Barren River Lake State Park in southern Kentucky to view the sandhill cranes which had migrated down there.
    Sandhill Cranes take flight
  3. In February I was asked by son Seth to come down to Cypress, Texas to watch his two sons for a couple of weeks while he and his wife were off on a cruise. The trip south took me through Calvert City, KY where I visited the Apple Valley Toy Land and Hillbilly Gardens. I also found my way to Kenton, Arkansas, home of the white squirrels, then to historic Walnut Ridge, Arkansas to see some fun Beatle’s things. I then meandered my way into Louisiana and visited a few fun places. While in Cypress with the boys I also visited Austin and then took the boys venturing out on some of the back roads around the Houston area where we discovered some fun places. My return trip took me up to Keller, Texas to visit my sister and while there I found a few more fascinating places. I then made my way home through Oklahoma and Arkansas, traveling back roads all the way and discovering some fun places. I finally returned to Lexington at the end of February.                                                                                               
    Apple Valley Hillbilly Garden – Calvert City, Kentucky
    Sumoflam with the Beatles in Walnut Ridge, AR
    The Beatles in Houston, statues by Houston artist David Adickes
  4. March saw me again on the road for a quick trip up to Cleveland, Ohio. On this trip, with my wife, we visited sites in Cleveland and then on the way home stopped in Columbus to see the famed Topiary Garden Park. It was a quick, yet fun and interesting trip. 
    Topiary Garden Park of Columbus
  5. On April 2 I set off on one of the biggest road trips I have had in a couple of years. We had a family event taking place in Port Orchard, Washington. I drove while my wife flew (she had a tighter schedule and needed to take some PTO time). I set out heading west through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. I had hoped to go up through Minnesota, but a major snowstorm diverted much of my initial plan. Nonetheless, I always find something. This trip allowed me to visit seven different Peter Toth “Whispering Giants” , which also took me to other unique places along the way. I ultimately made my way through Iowa Falls, Cedar Rapids, northern South Dakota and overnight in Belle Fourche. I then headed northwest into snowy southeastern Montana and crossed the state from there through Bozeman, Butte, Missoula and overnight in scenic and touristy Wallace, Idaho. From Wallace I made my way to Spokane and then east on US 2, to complete my travels on the western portion of that highway (other parts I had driven on in previous road trips. This took me through Washington’s high desert and then into the Cascades and back down into apple orchard country. I ultimately made my way into the Seattle area. The return trip went down through Olympia and then into Oregon on US 101 and then across Oregon’s high desert, through Winnemucca, Nevada and then into my old stomping grounds in Murray, Utah, near Salt Lake City. I then ventured to Colorado Springs to see my son Solomon and then across Colorado’s high deserts into western Kansas, and finally back home through St. Louis and Louisville. It was an amazing two week adventure! 
    Visiting the Whispering Giant at Starving Rock State Park in Illinois
    One of over 200 sculptures from around Raymond, Washington
    A stretch of Oregon Highway 205 south of Burns, Oregon
    Leavenworth, Washington
    Snow walls taller than me on both sides of the road at Stevens Pass in Washington
    Helper, Utah
    Dignity: Of Earth and Sky – 50 foot tall statue by Dale Lamphere near Chamberlain, South Dakota
    Men’s Room Door at a gas station in Ashland, Montana
    US Hwy 101 in southern Washington
    Garden of the Gods in Manitou Springs, Colorado
    On the road somewhere in NW Nevada
  6. I didn’t really venture out on a road trip again until mid-June when my wife and I took a day long trip up to Cincinnati to see some things we hadn’t done before. It was a nice sightseeing adventure.
    A day trip to Cincinnati with my wife
    The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge as seen from Carew Tower in Cincinnati. When opened on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet main span.
  7. In late July I was joined by my oldest grandchild Autumn for a fun adventure to Cypress, Texas. I was again asked to babysit my two granddsons for about ten days. Autumn and I meandered our way down there through Tennessee and Alabama down to the gulf coast and into Biloxi, Mississippi. We traveled along the Gulf Coast into Louisiana and eventually into Texas. While in Texas, the four of us made a few trips as well, including a day-long adventure to the weird city of Austin. Autumn and I then returned home through central Texas and up to Keller to stay with my sister and allow Autumn to hang with her cousin, who is the same age. After a couple of days in Keller, Autumn and I returned home through Oklahoma, Kansas and into Missouri, where we visited the unique touristy place called Uranus and then finally home. It was an amazing fun trip.
    Sharkhead in Biloxi, Mississippi
    Decatur, Texas
    Welcome to Uranus Missouri
    Getting stabbed in Bowie, Texas
    One of hundreds of frog statues in Rayne, Louisiana
    Peach Water Tower in Clanton, Alabama
    One of a number of murals in a section of Houston
    Vulcan Statue, one of America’s tallest, in Birmingham, Alabama
    Woody Guthrie Water Towers in Okemah, Oklahoma

    Over the next few posts, I will try to catch up with content about different themes…road scenes, wood art, murals, roadside attractions and more.

    I hope you will enjoy the ride with me as I revisit these adventures.

Have you seen my most recent book yet? “Less Beaten Paths of America: Quirky and Offbeat Roadside Attractions” is available on Amazon!

The book is 130 pages of FULL COLOR whimsy and kitsch as I tell stories of my visits to these places all over the U.S. and Canada. Definitely was fun taking these back roads trips to quirkville and I am excited to share them with you in words and photos.   I hope you will be able to check out the book or even get it on Kindle.

You can order the book here:   See Offbeat and Quirky Roadside Attractions

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A Grab Bag from America’s Back Roads – The P 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.

 

Peculiar, Missouri

Welcome to Peculiar, MO

A Peculiar Police Car

A Peculiar Elementary School

Possum Trot Supper Club – Oakwood, Illinois

Possum Trot Supper Club, Oakwood, IL

Pierre Part, Louisiana

Sumoflam in Pierre Part, LA

Visiting Troy Landry of Swamp People fame in Pierre Part, LA in 2014

Swamp People Truck at Duffy’s Bait Shop in Pierre Part

Pound Gap, Virginia

Pound Gap Historical Sign on the Virginia/Kentucky Border

Prairie Dogs – Browning, Montana; Cactus Flat, South Dakota

A prairie dog scampers near the Camp Disappointment Monument in Montana

Prairie Dog — standing watch in Cactus Flat

Prairie Dog – Cactus Flat, SD

Pal’s Sudden Service – Bristol, Tennessee

After eating Pal’s food make sure to Exercise Daily. Couldn’t help but chuckle

Pal’s Sudden Service in Bristol, TN

Perryville Battlefield – Perryville, Kentucky

Perryville Battlefield – Perryville, KY

Perryville Battlefield ReEnactment

Welcome to Perryville

Pink Elephants Everywhere! – DeForest, Wisconsin; Haubstadt, Indiana; Barboursville, West Virginia; Russellville, Kentucky

Pink Elephant in DeForest, WI

Martini bearing pink and white elephant pair at Hipp Nursery in Haubstadt, IN

This pink elephant is in the Huntington, WV suburb of Barboursville on US 60

Big pink elephant in Russellville, KY, just around the corner from the big cow with pink sunglasses

Need a Pink Elephant T-Shirt? I know where you can get one!

And then there is the Pink Elephant Car Wash – Seattle, Washington

Pink Elephant Car Wash in Seattle, Washington

Poutine – A Canadian Favorite – Paris, Ontario

Poutine – Fries, Brown Gravy and Cheese Curds -Pure yummiferousness

Chomping on poutine in Paris in 2008

Portsmouth Murals – Portsmouth, Ohio

Chillicothe Street 1940s by Robert Dafford in Portsmouth, OH

Portland Head Light – Portland, Maine

Portland Head Light

Visiting the beautiful lighthouse on the rocky shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Portland, Maine in 2015

Just down the road from Hell – Pinckney, Michigan

Howell Rd. to Hell – Pinckney, MI

Planet Damon Water Tower – Damon, Texas

There is Planet Hollywood and then there is Planet Damon…

Presti’s Bakery – Little Italy – Cleveland, Ohio

Prestis Bakery….the best cannoli in the world!! And some other good Italian goodies

Italian Yumminess in the case at Presti’s

Prosperity, Pennsylvania

Prosperity Post Office in Pennsylvania

Heading to Prosperity

Pain Reliever Bar – Nekoma, North Dakota

Pain Reliever Bar, Nekoma, ND

International Pain Reliever Bar in Nekoma, ND (notice they used a New Mexico flag??)

PRHBTN Murals (there are more than 20 – here are a couple) – Lexington, Kentucky

Sumoflam at MrDHEO’s wall painting in Lexington, one of a few new PRHBTN murals

The enormous “I Am MO” mural in the Lexington Distillery District

Louis Armstrong Mural by Sergio Odeith from Portugal, for PRHBTN 2015

Papa Joe’s – Crescent Junction, Utah

Papa Joe’s in Crescent Junction, UT

Sumoflam at Papa Joe’s in Crescent Junction

The Scooby Doo Mystery Machine at Papa Joe’s

P’Maws Bait Shack – Pierre Part, Louisiana

P’MAWS Bait Shack in Pierre Part, LA (Notice it is SWAMP spelled backwards)

Cuddling with a White Gator at P’MAWS in Pierre Part, LA

P’MAWS is open 24/7

Pat’s King of Steaks – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pat’s King of Steaks – Philadelphia, PA

Grilling up the steaks at Pat’s

Best of Philly – Pat’s King of Steaks

Puget Sound – Seattle, Washington

Seattle as seen from a boat in the Puget Sound

On the Ferry in Puget Sound

Perry Como Statues – Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Singing Perry Como statue in downtown Canonsburg, PA

Perry Como Statue in the Canonsburg McDonald’s

Fun Stuff in Portland, Oregon

Hung Far Low – Famous Chop Suey and Famous name – Portland, Oregon

Voodoo Doughnut – Portland, Oregon

Pheasant Bar – Winner, South Dakota

Pheasant Bar, Winner, SD

Petrified Forest National Park – Holbrook, Arizona

Sumoflam and tourists at Petrified Forest in 1983

Pinto McBean – Bow Island, Alberta, Canada

Pinto McBean statue in Bow Island, Alberta

A few Paul Bunyan guys here and there – Bemidji, Minnesota; Nitro, West Virginia; Minocqua, Wisconsin; Wentzville, Missouri

Paul Bunyan and Babe in Bemidji, MN

a Big Paul Bunyan in Minocqua, Wisconsin

Big Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox in Nitro, WV

Paul Bunyan Muffler Man just off of the interstate in Wentzville, MO

Price Less Foods – Irvine, Kentucky

Price Less Foods in Irvine, KY

Popeye Statue – Alma, Arkansas

At the Popeye Statue in Alma, AR in 2009

Port Gibson First Presbyterian Church – Port Gibson, Mississippi

Unique Steeple of the First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson, MS

Powder River, Wyoming

Powder River, Wyoming

An old neon relic of the past, the Tumble Inn Lounge/Cafe, with a vintage neon look in Powder River, WY

Paradise Point – Scottsville, Kentucky

Paradise Point – Scottsville, KY

From one hot dog to another…

Scenes from Paris – or four or five of them – Paris, Ontario; Paris, Kentucky; Paris, Texas; Paris, Tennessee

Paris, Ontario

Homes and businesses along the river in Paris, Ontario

Welcome to Paris, Kentucky

Paris, Texas

Welcome to Paris Catfish – they too claim to be the Catfish Capital

Point Defiance Zoo – Tacoma, Washington

Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA

A tiger at the Point Defiance Zoo

A Blue Budgie at the Point Defiance Zoo

Paul’s Hamburgers – Kansas City, Kansas

Paul’s Hamburgers – Kansas City, Kansas

Giant Ice Cream Cone at Paul’s Hamburgers – Kansas City, KS

Peaks to Craters Scenic Highway – Idaho

Peaks to Craters scenic byway through the mountains of central Idaho

Grandview Canyon on US 93 – northern section of the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway

Pelicans – Lake Andes, South Dakota; Galveston, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky

White Pelicans at Lake Andes in South Dakota

Pelicans in formation over the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, TX

A rare sighting of a White Pelican flying over Lexington in late April 2018

Plaza Theatres – Glasgow, Kentucky & Wharton, Texas

Plaza Theatre – Glasgow, Kentucky

Old Plaza Theater in Wharton, TX

Playhouse Square – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland’s Playhouse Square

Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Giant Chandelier

Pea Meal Breakfast Anyone? – Woodstock, Ontario

Peameal Breakfast – Woodstock, Ontario

Pea Meal Breakfast

PPG Glass Castle – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Artistic view of One PPG Place

A view from below One PPG Place

Professor Market – Tremont District – Cleveland, Ohio

Professor Market wall advertisement…located in the Tremont District of Cleveland

Pochahontas, Illinois

Pochahontas, IL – “Pokey” – Home of Country Singer Gretchen Wilson (Gimme a Hell Ya!)

Plaquemine, Louisiana

Welcome to Plaquemine, LA

Pike Place Market – Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market – what a place!

Pike Place Market was packed

Penn’s Store – Gravel Switch, Kentucky

Penn’s Store Sign

Penn’s Store – Gravel Switch, KY

Pella, Iowa

Welcome to Pella

Vermeer Dutch Windmill in Pella, IA – the largest working windmill in the United States

Building fronts in Pella, IA

Penguins – Omaha, Nebraska; Tacoma, Washington

Penguins at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha

The small penguins stand majestically at feeding time at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA

Pheasants on the Prairie – Enchanted Highway – Regent, North Dakota

Enchanted Highway Stop #5 – Pheasants on the Prairie

Sumoflam at Pheasants on the Prairie

Pickle’s Place – Arco, Idaho

EAT sign at Pickle’s Place in Arco, ID

Pickle’s Place – Home of the “Atomic Burger”

Pete the Curler – Bemidji, Minnesota

Pete the Curler by Dale Lewis – one of 25 pieces in the 2014 Bemidji Sculpture Walk

Pork Chop Sandwiches (as seen on Andy Griffith) – Mt. Airy, North Carolina

Snappy Lunch – home of the Pork Chop Sandwich

Cooking up the pork chops at Snappy Lunch

Old Prairie School House – Frisno, Montana

Old Prairie School House on Smith-Frisno Road west of Havre, MT. I wanted this one in black and white…

Giant Prairie Dog Statue – Cactus Flat, South Dakota

Giant Prairie Dog

Sumoflam with the Giant Prairie Dog – Cactus Flat

Pelo’s Sundries – LeClaire, Iowa

Old neon for Pelo’s Sundries

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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