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.
Sunset Motel – Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Spider Volkswagen – Wolf Creek, Oregon
Sandwich, New Hampshire
WARNING: They do not have a place to get a sandwich in Sandwich. No Joke!
Story Inn – Story, Indiana
San Xavier del Bac – Tucson, Arizona
Space Aliens Grill & Bar – Waite Park, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota
Screaming Heads – Burk’s Falls, Ontario
Spud Drive-In – Teton Valley, Idaho
Sandhill Cranes – Barren River Lake, Kentucky; Cecilia, Kentucky; Dell, Montana
Stone Mountain – Stone Mountain, Georgia
Scary Creek, West Virginia
Silver Saddle Motel – Manitou Springs, Colorado
Sapp Brothers – Nebraska City, Nebraska; Council Bluffs, Iowa
Shipwrecked Brew Pub – Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
Suizenji Park – Kumamoto, Japan
Spar Cafe – Olympia, Washington
Seth, West Virginia
Sam Houston Statue – Huntsville, Texas
Star Trek Places – Vulcan, Alberta; Riverside, Iowa
Spindle (Cars on a Spike) – Cermak Plaza – Berwyn, Illinois
As seen in the movie Wayne’s World – sadly, no longer around
Smiley Water Towers – Adair, Iowa; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Beloit, Wisconsin; Cedar Creek, Texas; Smiley, Texas
And finally…one without a Smiley Face….
Stardust Motel – Wallace, Idaho
Shenandoah National Park – Luray, Virginia
Skeletons on the Highways – Port Orchard, Washington; San Francisco, California; Montrose, South Dakota; Murdo, South Dakota
Sorehead Cafe – Rudyard, Montana
Stoneville Saloon – Alzada, Montana
Saketumi Restaurant – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Stoner Drug – Hamburg, Iowa
Sawtooth Mountains – Stanley, Idaho
Sod House Museum – Gothenburg, Nebraska
A bit of Superman – Metropolis, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Ashland, Wisconsin
Sheep Capital of America – Newell, South Dakota
Stinky’s Country Well – Gilboa, Ohio
Showmen’s Rest Cemetery – Hugo, Oklahoma
Santa Claus, Indiana
Scandinavian Heritage Museum – Minot, North Dakota
Sparta House – Sparta, Ontario
Scotty’s Hamburgers – Idaho Falls, Idaho
Severed Head Trading Post – Perryville, Kentucky
Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway – Nebraska
Seabrook, New Hampshire
Schroeder’s Drive-In – Danville, Illinois
Sam Black Church, West Virginia
Sunset Crater National Monument – Flagstaff, Arizona
Silver Dollar Saloon – Leadville, 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.
I am a zealous traveler. I travel passion and with all the gusto I can. A roadtrip with me can be grueling, but it is always fun. Indeed, I travel with the intent of creating many good memories. Many call me a Road Warrior. Well, I love that term. I travel with zeal.
When on roadtrips, I like to be up with the sun and travel until the sun goes down. I stop for the night wherever I am at sundown…I can’t take many pictures at night now can I?
In my zealous travels, I have visited all 50 states and a few Canadian Provinces. I have at least one photo of me in almost all of them…a few exceptions where I traveled to those places years ago and the photos either were lost or were never taken (Nevada, Rhode Island, Massachusetts…at least). But in recent years, I have become the “Shamelessly Self-Proclaimed Selfie King” and have tried to record my travels digitally, and include selfies along the way.
Without further adieu, following are selfies/photos of me in every state and Canadian Province I have visited (where I have photos). I have throw some “Road Warrior” and “Traveling with Zeal” pics in along the way for fun.
Well…I used to have a photo of me hitting a golf ball at Mililani Golf Course in Honolulu. Can’t find it…..
KENTUCKY – My Home Sweet Home since 1993
MASSACHUSETTS – I last visited Massachusetts in 1990 on a trip to Boston. Photos were taken, but got long lost….
MONTANA – Lived in this wonderful state from 1970-1973
NEVADA – I have visited a few times but don’t think I ever got any photos. Oh well.
OHIO – I was born in Little Italy in Cleveland. Home sweet home.
RHODE ISLAND – Only visited once way back in 1988. No photos. Actually drove through. Need to stop again!!
UTAH – Graduated High School in Murray, UT in 1974
This is Part II of my posts about our visit to New England, most specifically Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (with a drive through Massachusetts). Day 2 was a nice day of travel south to Mystic, CT and then north all the way to Maine. Following is a map with our basic route
We took a fairly easy morning and went over to pickup our grandson Rockwell, who would join us on this two day adventure and off we went.
Our first stop was at Wells Dinosaur Haven in Uncasville, CT. This is actually a person’s house with a huge backyard full of self-sculpted dinosaurs. The brainchild and creation of Jeff Wells, this unique “haven” got its start in 1981. He has well over 30 dinosaurs, including a life-size T-Rex, most of which are made from welded metal fabrication. Some are pretty realistic!! (See a detailed writeup about Jeff Wells on Roadside America.)
Fairly easy to get to, you get off at Exit 79-A on I-395 , then immediately take Hwy 2A exit 1. Drive north on Hwy 32 for a half-mile. Wells Dinosaur Haven will be on the left, across the street from the casino. It’s back in the trees and easy to miss, but look for the red house, brown fence, and small dinosaur sign.
Though visiting is free, Mr. Wells requests that you ask to enter. So, we knocked on the door and I even called the number (860-848-0616) to get permission. Nobody was home, so we went in and I made sure that we left nothing but tracks, a Guest Book Entry and a Donation. It really was fun for the kids to walk through and see all of the dinosaurs. The adults were fascinated too!
Jeff Wells’ work is very good. I would count this place among my must see places that would include Jurrustic Park in Wisconsin, Enchanted Highway in North Dakota and others. I will likely do a special post just on this place in the near future.
After our visit in Uncasville, we were off to Mystic, CT for a visit and for lunch. Founded in 1654, the town now has a little over 4000 residents. Many know of the town due to the famous 1988 movie Mystic Pizza which helped kick Julia Roberts and Matt Damon off in their careers. We had actually considered going there to eat, but decided against it after hearing numerous reports that it really wasn’t too good.
But, since it was the site of a well known movie, it was a fun place for a photo op! So, Julianne and I hit the scene and at least got a photo. Wherever I am with my sweet wife is a slice of heaven!
Mystic is actually a very scenic New England coastal village. They have a well known Aquarium (which we didn’t visit due to cost and time limitations), a seaport, which includes a unique museum called The Museum of America and the Sea, and nearby in Groton is the Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum. Unfortunately, we had a tight schedule, so we opted out of these two museums as well. But, we DID have time for lunch and opted for a local eatery that served Thai and Asian cuisine since we are all fond of that kind of food.
We discovered the 4 Roosevelt Asian Bistro on our drive in and turned around after our drive thru town to go grab lunch there. It was a pleasant surprise to know that they also had a good number of vegan and vegetarian items on the menu, which made most of us happy.
The restaurant is not a large place, with only a few tables. The staff was very friendly and helpful (and willing to handle a crowd with three adults and four young children).
Each of the kids got some kids specialities and I think there was some curry ordered and a couple of vegetable dishes. I enjoyed the Pad Thai with tofu. The prices were reasonable and the food was excellent!
With tummies full, and palates pleasingly tantalized, we were ready to take off on the long drive north to Old Orchard Beach in Maine. We hopped on Interstate 95 and stayed on the road through Massachusetts, skirting around the traffic of Boston on I-495, a quick cut through New Hampshire and then into the bottom neck of Maine, my first visit there. With a stop in New Hampshire’s Welcome Center Rest Area (in Seabrook, NH) and then into Maine, I had officially hit my 48th and 49th states in the United States!
After the brief stop in Seabrook, we were back on the road headed for Maine. Unfortunately, I-95 offers few glimpses of the rocky coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. You need to be on US Highway 1 to get those great views. We were hsutling to get to Old Orchard Beacwhile the sun was still up so that the kids could play on the beach and Julianne and I could sit on the beach and watch the sunset.
We had made prior arrangements to stay at the Normandie Motor Inn, a 1960s style Motel that was literally right on the beach. We were a two minute walk from our room to the beach. They had a special rate and it was perfect for us for the one night stay.
I think was actually my first time ever to stay in this kind of beachside motel. I was close back in the 1980s when I stayed in a motor inn near Rehoboth Beach, DE, but it was a five minute drive from the beach. So, it was a thrill for this young-hearted grandpa!
We watched the sun go down and then we watched as some folks came in to do some night fishing for sea bass. Their poles were lit up with blue lights that would shake and shimmy when there was a fish on the line. And, when the fun was over, we made our way into town to find some dinner and enjoyed some fresh seafood at a place called the Bell Buoy Restaurant. It was very kid friendly though it also had a bar. The kids were all happy with their meals.
It was a long day…we were tired and finally made it to bed. The morning would bring us a wonderful sunrise and a new day of fun. I’ll cover that in Part III.