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

 

Ric’s Grill – Steak in Water Tower – Lethbridge, Alberta

Ric’s Grill – Lethbridge, Alberta
Ric’s Grill – Lethbridge, Alberta

Route 66 Soda / Route Beer – Mokena, Illinois

Route 66 “Route Beer”

Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Welcome to Rabbit Hash, KY
Sign at Rabbit Hash Road
The Old Rabbit Hash General Store. It burned down in 2016 and had to be rebuilt.

Restroom Hiker Mural – Damascus, Virginia

Hiker painting on a restroom wall in Damascus

Other Restroom Fun – Story, Indiana; Hopland, California; San Francisco, California; Cleveland, Ohio; Cypress, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Nebraska City, Nebraska; Ashland, Montana; Frenchglen, Oregon

A sign outside the restrooms at the Story Inn in Story, Indiana
The sign talking about “Weird Restrooms” at Real Goods in Hopland, CA
There were also a number of tile mosaics. This one was at the entrance to the restrooms in Golden Gate Park visitor’s center
Tavern of Little Italy Restroom is plastered with the history of Little Italy in Cleveland
Men’s Stall Door in restroom at Burger Shack in Cypress, Texas
Jungle Jim’s Restroom in Cincinnati have entrances that are deceptive. They actually lead to immaculate huge restrooms.
Men’s Restroom at Mo’s in Reedsport, Oregon
Sapp Brothers in Nebraska City, the “Cleanest Restrooms on I-29”
Restroom Door in a Convenience Store in Ashland, Montana
Sometimes even a place like this looks heavenly – the ceramic toilet is a planter. The real place is in the outhouse. Frenchglen, Oregon

Rock City – near Valier, Montana

Rock City Rd. and Dean Rd., north of Valier, MT
Sumoflam at Rock City north of Valier, Montana
Rock City, Montana

Geographical Center of North America – Rugby, North Dakota

Rugby, ND – The Geographic Center of North America
The Rugby Geographical Center of North America monument juxtaposed with the HUB Motel sign in Rugby, ND

Real Goods Store – Hopland, California

Welcome to Real Goods
A view of the Real Goods Store
Sumoflam with Solar Expert and Real Goods founder John Schaeffer

Riscky’s Steakhouse and BBQ – Fort Worth, Texas

Riscky’s Steakhouse – Ft. Worth, Texas
Riscky’s BBQ – Ft. Worth

Rudyard, Montana

Rudyard Welcome Sign
Sumoflam and Dino – near Rudyard, Montana

Ragged Falls – Algonquin National Park, Ontario

Ragged Falls in Algonquin National Park in Ontario

Rosie the Fish – Sekiu, Washington

Sekiu’s somewhat famous “Rosie” welcomes you to the town

Red Squirrel – Nebraska City, Nebraska

A red squirrel with a mouthful in Nebraska City, NE

Rising Eagle Sculpture – Bismarck, North Dakota

Rising Eagle Sculpture in Pioneer Park, Bismarck, ND

Royal Donut – Danville, Illinois

Royal Donut – Danville, Illinois

Royal Motel – Ironwood, Michigan

A Route 66 type of vintage neon sign at the Royal Motel in Ironwood, MI

Riverside, Iowa

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk in Riverside, IA
Live Long and Prosper – Sumoflam and the Starship Riverside

Random Road – Cleveland, Ohio

Mayfield Road and Random Road, by the little park in Little Italy

Romance, Missouri

Road to Romance
Romance Baptist

Roseman Covered Bridge – Winterset, Iowa

Roseman Covered Bridge in Winterset, Iowa

Raton, New Mexico

Raton Theatre in Raton, NM
Main Street in Raton, New Mexico
El Kapp Motel in Raton, NM

Rio Brazos Dance Hall – Granbury, Texas

Rio Brazos Dance Hall – Granbury, Texas (now closed)

Roxy Theatres – Choteau, Montana; Langdon, North Dakota; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Shelby, Montana

Roxy Theatre in Choteau, Montana
ROXY Theatre in Langdon, ND
New Roxy in Clarksdale, MS
Montana Grill and Roxy Theater in Shelby, Montana

Rockpile Museum – Gillette, Wyoming

Rockpile Museum – Gillette, Wyoming

Roosters Roosters – Needville, Texas; E. Peoria, Illinois; Seymour, Missouri; Eldon, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri; Granbury, Texas

A big metal rooster sits in front of the Jay Cafe in Needville, Texas..doesn’t look like a jay to me.
Sumoflam with the giant Rooster with a Top Hat at Carl’s Bakery in E. Peoria
Uncle Rooster’s Big Rooster on US 60 near Seymour, Missouri
Metal Rooster in McIntosh, MN
Red Rooster (looks white to me) – Red Rooster Collectibles Eldon, IA
Giant Rooster greets you at Joe’s Cafe entrance in Greg Freeman Park, St. Louis
Big Rooster in Granbury, Texas

Roadhouse Relics – Austin, Texas

Roadhouse Relics Wall Sign in Austin

Russell Flat Holiness Church – Sand Springs, Kentucky

Russell Flat Holiness Church – Sand Springs, Kentucky

Regent, North Dakota – Home of the Enchanted Highway

Welcome to Regent and Enchanted Highway Road Map
Enchanted Highway Gift Shop in Regent, ND – closed the day were there

Ronks, Pennsylvania

Dutch Haven Restaurant, Home of the famed Amish Shoo Fly Pie, located in Ronks, PA just down the road from Intercourse
The Outhouse Gift Shop – Ronks, PA

Russell’s Point, Ohio

Stewart’s Drive In in Russell’s Point, Ohio
Bringing out the ice cream at Stewart’s

Roswell, New Mexico

UFOs in Roswell
More Art in Roswell, NM
Need some alien stuff? Plenty in Roswell

Rexburg, Idaho

Rexburg, ID
Rexburg LDS Temple

Rocket Rest Stop – Elkmont, Alabama

At the Rocket Rest Stop in Elkmont, AL – home of a Saturn 1B. Taken in 2005
Large Saturn Rocket at Welcome Center in Elkmont, Alabama

Ride the Ducks – Seattle, Washington

Ride the Ducks in Seattle

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland
Rock and Roll Blvd. in Cleveland

Real Quiet Lane – Lexington, Kentucky

Shhh…this is a Real Quiet Lane in Lexington, KY

Red River Gorge – Slade, Kentucky

Red River Gorge near Slade, KY
Visiting Kentucky’s Red River Gorge in November 2016

Rachel the Golden Pig – Pikes Place Market – Seattle, Washington

Rachel the Golden Pig (on the right!!!) and Sumoflam at Pike Place Market in Seattle

Redcliff, Colorado

Green Bridge near Redcliff, Colorado
Nice carved eagle in Redcliff, Colorado

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

(48)

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
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

(728)