#TBT – Looking back to a day in Arkansas 2007

Booger HollowFor this edition of Throwback Thursday (a day late….),  I look back to June 2007, when my son Solomon graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington.  He was the last of my five children to graduate.  On the occasion of this event, my sister Sherry and her husband Brian, in Ft. Worth, TX, kindly and generously offered to give Sol their 1998 Toyota Camry, which they no longer needed.  There was some work required, which Solomon had paid for, but the real catch was that he needed to go down there to pick it up.  So, early on June 2 he and I drove down to Ft. Worth to get the car.  It would be a short trip in terms of days and a long trip in terms of miles.  However, determined as I was to make a mini-vacation out of the trip, I set out to create a fun and eventful itinerary.

Naturally, my first stop in planning was the Roadside America
website and of course, I used my MapPoint software (Google Maps was not as effective back then) to layout the itinerary.  I also followed the map carefully looking for towns along the way so as to peruse the internet for other sites of interest including historical, geologic and possible National Parks or monuments. Following is my record of this trip, including thoughts and photos.

June 2, 2007: Today we departed on our trip to Forth Worth, Texas to go get Solomon’s car and to also satiate my wanderlust as I had not taken a real road trip since the Montana Trip two years ago. This quick Road Trip will comprise about 2500 miles over a three-four day period as we drive south thru Tennessee and Arkansas then into Texas and then return north through Southern Oklahoma, across
northwest Arkansas and southern Missouri and then back home.  A general map of the trip can be seen below:

We got up early and left Lexington at about 4:00 AM since we have such a long trip ahead of us and the plan was to drive all the way to Ft. Worth before the day was up.  As always, we stopped at a convenience store and loaded up on ice and some drinks.  We already picked up snacks, fruit, granola bars, etc.  Typically, when I take these trips, I do a detailed itinerary, which I plan knowing that some stops may not happen.  It is more for a guide.

After filling up with gas we left Lexington at 4:37 (EDT – all times in military 24 hr clock) with my odometer reading at 139719.6.  I like to keep track of these on the trip to kind of match it up with the  itinerary.  Anyway, we drove all the way to Jackson, TN before we needed fuel.  We finally arrived in Memphis, TN around 10:00 (CDT). We made a stop at the Memphis Visitor Center, which is the last exit before crossing the Mississippi River into Arkansas.

My last visit to Memphis was clear back on December 31, 2001 when we went with some friends from Utah to go see the Liberty Bowl.  At that time BYU played Louisville (and lost sorely 28-10).  While there we visited Graceland and Beale St.  This time we did not have time to go to any of those sites, but we did get pictures with Elvis and B.B. King as can be seen below.

The B.B. King Statue at the Memphis Visitor’s Center
The Elvis Statue in the Memphis Visitors Center at Mud Island.

Outside of the Visitor’s Center you can see the Mud Island monorail, which takes people across to Mud Island River Park. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go there, but we did see the monorail. We also got a photo with the “Memphis Egg”.  I am not sure what the significance of the mosaic egg is, but it does make a very common photo op.

The Mud Island Monorail in Memphis
Sumoflam with the “Memphis Egg” on Mud Island

My REAL REASON for stopping at this point in Memphis was to get my photos of the Memphis Pyramid Arena.  The pyramid is 32 stories tall and is the THIRD largest pyramid in the world.  It is apparently taller than the Statue of Liberty. Its base covers 360,000 sq. ft. and can seat nearly 21,000 people inside. Quite an impressive building!!

The Memphis Pyramid is the third largest pyramid in the world

We left Memphis at about 10:30 and then crossed the mighty  Mississippi into Arkansas.  Our next “tourist stop” would be at one of the many unusually named locations in Arkansas…Toad Suck. There are others coming after that, but we made our way to Toad Suck, which is near Conway, Arkansas.  On arrival, we found the Toad Suck gas station first and indeed, they sell T-shirts, key chains, post cards, and other great Toad Suck merchandise!!  Below are photos of Solomon modeling his Toad Suck t-shirt and me by the Park sign.

Solomon liked Toad Suck.  In 2014 he still had the t-shirt
Solomon liked Toad Suck. In 2014 he still had the t-shirt
There apparently is a Legend of Toad Suck
Sumoflam at Toad Suck Park in Arkansas

Behind me in the photo is the Murray Lock and Dam and the Toad Suck Ferry.  The park is situated along the Arkansas River and is very scenic and offers camping and picnic facilities. It is quite nice.

The real question is, where did the name Toad Suck come from?  The people there at the gas station had no idea and there was no Toad Suck info pamphlet, etc.  According to one web site, The Arkansas Roadside Travelogue (which has some EXCELLENT writeups on places to see in Arkansas!!!), Toad Suck Park took its name from the Toad Suck Saloon which sat on the south bank of the river and probably was the center of operations for the original ferry across the river. It appears that the going story that “you’ll hear from the locals and read in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly is that this place was a popular spot for the bargemen to pull over and drink rum and moonshine. They are said to have “sucked on bottles until they swelled up like toads.” There you go. Toad Suck.” (taken from the above site –you can read more there).  One last comment: one of the  biggest festivals in Arkansas is “Toad Suck Daze” which is held in Conway in early May annually.

We had already fallen seriously behind schedule and so we were not able to visit the other site in Conway that I had hoped to see.  There is a metal sculptor named Finton Shaw who does some interesting work.  As Solomon is an artist, I thought he would be interested in seeing this work.  Unfortunately, time ran out.

We left Toad Suck at around 13:15 and continued east towards Russellville and Scenic Byway 7, which runs through the Ouachita National Forest and the eastern portion of the Ozarks.  I had planned for a lot of stops through here, but time was killing us and we had to try to get to Ft. Worth at a decent hour.

One of the misfortunes of using the internet for information is that sometimes details are sketchy and people don’t provide correct or updated information.  The OCD in me makes me want to be  meticulous.  A case in point is Booger Hollow, Arkansas.  This is another of those strange-named places and was next on my list of places to see. All I could glean from the web was that it was situated on a hill near Dover, AR on Highway 7.  We drove from Russellville to Dover (which is north, and the opposite direction from Ft. Worth, so it was out of our way, but I really wanted to see Booger Hollow!!)   Dover was about 24 miles from Russellville. When we got there, we could find no signs to Booger Hollow Trading Post, so we stopped at a gas station and then said it was about 12-13 miles east of there on
the left up Highway 7.  So, we headed east.  Turns out it was 18.5
miles east of the turn off and was on the RIGHT side of the road!! Along the way we could see signs on trees that said things like  Country Hams and souvenirs, etc., for Booger Hollow.  We rounded one corner and saw a sign on the right partially covered by a tree “…gger Hollow” and began to slow down only to find out it was Chigger Hollow, so we continued east.  Basically, you pass Pleasant Grove, you pass Chigger Hollow and you also go past the sign
to the Ouachita National Forest.

Welcome to Booger Hollow, Arkansas
Welcome to Booger Hollow, Arkansas

Once we arrived at Booger Hollow, we were sorely disappointed.  The place was in a shambles.  The Trading Post had obviously been closed for sometime.  But, there were still the signs and the famous double-decker outhouse.  True tourist photo ops for fans of the Off-Beat.  In the past the Trading Post apparently “featured loads of hillbilly themed knick-knacks as well as local simple-life goods like honey and
sorghum and lye soap. The diner offered the usual fare, but with a colorfully worded menu aimed right at the gigglebox of your carbound, stir-crazy eight-year-old… “boogerburger,” “boogerdog,” etc.” (from Arkansas Roadside Travelogue).

Booger Hollow Double-Decker Outhouse…and no, we did not use it!

The best part of this was the sign as seen above.  Says it all. The outhouse above does not really function any longer either.  It was in great disrepair.  On the left entrance there was a ladder inside where they were trying to fix the ceiling.  The Trading Post is still there as a building, but has obviously been closed for a while.  I was disappointed to make the trip all the way up here only to see this.
However, if you are driving on Highway 7 and just happen to drive by, it makes for a fun stop.

Booger Hollow Trading Post, Arkansas in 2007
Booger Hollow Trading Post, Arkansas in 2007

Booger Hollow apparently derived its name from the belief that the hollow was haunted due to the numerous graveyards located there. Booger in this case is a variant of bogie or boogie, as in “boogie man.” So to call the place Booger Hollow is a colorful local term meaning Ghost Valley. According to the USGS, Tennessee (near Fairview in Williamson County) and Kentucky (near Heidrick in Knox County) each have valleys named Booger Hollow.

We headed back to Dover and about 10 miles back we stopped at Chigger Hollow Trading Post, which still is in business.  We met owner David Standridge and found out some information about Booger Hollow.  Apparently, two brothers owned the place and it succumbed to business losses.  David, who owns the land across the road from Booger Hollow, wanted to buy the spot and redevelop it, but the brothers could not agree on terms, so there it sits.  David told us he was the one who painted the Double-Decker Outhouse.

Chigger Hollow owner David Standridge
Sumoflam at Chigger Hollow Trading Post

Chigger Hollow Trading Post has some nice items, such as hand made bonnets and quilts, some wood work, as well as some touristy things in the gift shop.  David is also working on an antique shop and sells some local food items like soup, honey, sorghum and jellies. Unlike Booger Hollow, Chigger Hollow is worth the stop if even for just a look-see, a candy bar and a soft drink.

Hand Made quilts at Chigger Hollow
Hand Made quilts at Chigger Hollow

All along the road we saw many old trailers and houses, with cars parked in front and these dilapidated buildings seemed to still be lived in. Solomon noted that it seemed that every one of the old trailers and houses had an old Firebird parked in front…

Old run down trailers on AR Hwy 7 near Dover
Another run down trailer that looks as if it was still lived in.
If not a trailer, than an old shack with old rusted out cars.

By the time we left Chigger Hollow, we had already fallen behind in schedule by nearly 3 hours.  We headed back through Dover and then back through Russellville and south on Highway 7 towards Hot Springs.  Along the way we took another detour towards Lake Ouachita. This took us down some more windy roads and finally upon the shores of the largest lake in Arkansas.  Obviously, since I didn’t have a boat and since we weren’t planning on camping, there is the question of “Why Ouachita Lake?”. Well, as many of you reading this know, I am the webmaster for Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours and on their newest CD, called Trailercana, there is a song called “Joan of Arkansas” wherein Joan, who had just burned  down her husband’s trailer, was last seen heading south towards Quachita Lake (see lyrics and hear a clip of the song).  Antsy told me that he had heard of the lake and looked it up as Quachita and it did show up. In fact, it does sound like Quachita Lake, but everything out there is Ouachita.

The lake really is beautiful and would make a nice place to camp. In  fact, just nearby is a KOA Campground so you can look for Joan of Arkansas while being a KOA Refugee (also by Antsy McClain — see
lyrics and hear a clip of the song).  Here are a couple of photos of the lake:

Lake Ouachita State Park in central Arkansas
A nice view of Lake Ouachita in June 2007

We had actually planned on hitting Hot Springs National Park while in the area, but it was already after 5 PM and we were falling further behind, so we skipped it.  Rather, we stopped for some food and headed further south. We also skipped our drive down through Mt. Ida (known as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the world) as well as Oden, AR, home of the Lum and Abner Museum and Jot ’em Down Store, which houses the Beverly Hillbillies truck.  These will have to be on another trip I guess.

We continued south to Texarkana and by the time we got there, it was pretty dark.  However, we were still able to get over to the
Post Office there.  This is the only U.S. Post Office that sits in two states. The Post Office resides within the courthouse, which is said to be one of the most photographed in the U.S.  And much like Four Corners (near Durango, CO), you have a photo op where you can stand in two states at once.  Here I am in front of the Post Office:

Sumoflam in Texarkana, standing in two states.

After filling up with gas and soda in Texarkana, we took the last leg of the trip into Ft. Worth. We finally got into Ft. Worth around midnight.  It was about a 20 hour day and we were excited to finally get to rest.

(1868)

Creating the Wanderlust – 30 Years of Family Travel – Pt 3

Joselyn on the Beach - Hilton Head Island, South Carolina summer 2013
Joselyn on the Beach – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina summer 2013

This is the last in my 3 part series on “Creating the Wanderlust” through family travel adventures. (see the other two Part 1  Part 2 )

Autumn in Rhinelander, WI Aug 2012
Autumn in Rhinelander, WI  with the Hodag – Aug 2012

After three weddings in 2005 I was fried…and, to top things off I had knee surgery later in the year, so there was no travel the rest of that year.  In fact, I didn’t take any trips until 2007 when I had a couple of big ones.  These were with Solomon as Seth was off serving a Mormon mission in Utah.  Then, since that time many of the trips from 2008 thru 2013 have included grandchildren in one way or another.  It is wonderful to share these precious moments with my grandchildren as well as my now adult children….

Solomon in Toad Suck, Arkansas June 2007
Solomon in Toad Suck, Arkansas June 2007

In June 2007 my sister in Texas had an old car she wanted to give to my son Solomon as a reward for his obtaining an Eagle Scout (which my son Seth also completed).  So, we took a ride down to Keller to pick up the car and then the two of us drove back to Lexington.  Both ways we found fun on the backroads of America with the following route:


View Larger Map – Kentucky to Texas and Back

This would be a quick trip down and back, but we were determined to have a fun time.  We made our way to Memphis and into Arkansas and continued the drive all the way to Keller, about 1100 miles one way via the route we took.  Along the way we saw a few fun things…

Solomon at the Memphis Egg at the Memphis Visitor's Center, June 2007
Solomon at the Memphis Egg at the Memphis Visitor’s Center, June 2007
Solomon in two states - Texas and Arkansas, Texarkana, Texas June 2007
Solomon in two states – Texas and Arkansas, Texarkana, Texas June 2007

After an evening in Keller we joined my sister and her family for a day trip to Dublin, Granbury and Forth Worth for fun.

Solomon in Dublin, Texas home of the Dr. Pepper Plant in June 2007
Solomon in Dublin, Texas home of the Dr. Pepper Plant in June 2007

After our trips we then headed back home via Paris, Texas and then through Arkansas, Missouri and home.

Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat in Paris, Texas - June 2007
Eiffel Tower with a Cowboy Hat in Paris, Texas – June 2007
Solomon with Popeye in Alma, Arkansas - home of Popeye brand Spinach June 2007
Solomon with Popeye in Alma, Arkansas – home of Popeye brand Spinach June 2007

The Texas trip was a fun short trip, but later in the year we took a second trip together.  This would be perhaps the biggest trip I had ever taken and it was going to be a fun with Solomon, who was 18 at the time. My daughter Amaree had her second child, my grandson Charlie.  As well, my good friend and musician Antsy McClain had shows in southeastern Washington state and I was heading out there to manage those as well.  Overall, the trip would take Solomon and me over about 6000 miles through fourteen states and three Canadian provinces and dozens of sites. We used almost 500 gallons of gasoline and I took over 2000 photos during the trip. (See entire trip post here)

Our Route to Washington and Back - September 2007
Our 6000 mile route to Washington and back – September 2007

The main purpose of this trip was to get to Montana to see my new grandson, but it was also a great opportunity to travel with my youngest son and truly Enjoy the Ride.  We started off early for the Chicago area with the first goal to see the famed “Spindle” sculpture by Dustin Shuler, better known as Cars on a Spike.  This was at the retro Cermak Shopping Plaza in Berwyn, IL.  It is a good thing we visited and got it captured on both photo and video.  In May 2008 it was demolished so a new drug store could go in.

Solomon and "Spindle" by Dustin Shuler, originally at Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL. Taken Sept 2007.
Solomon and “Spindle” by Dustin Shuler, originally at Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL. Taken Sept 2007

From Chicago we headed north into Wisconsin and then on to Minnesota.  We found lots of quirky offbeat things along the way!!

Solomon with a Big Orange Moose in Black River Falls, WI Sept 2007
Solomon with a Big Orange Moose in Black River Falls, WI Sept 2007
Solomon hanging with James Frank Kotera "JFK" the Twine Ball Man in Lake Nebagamon, WI.  Largest Twine Ball in the World. Sept 2007
Solomon hanging with James Frank Kotera “JFK” the Twine Ball Man in Lake Nebagamon, WI. Largest Twine Ball in the World. Sept 2007
Solomon has picked one of his favorite giant wooden trolls in Mt. Horeb, WI.  There are over 30 in town. Sept 2007
Solomon, an “American Picker”, has picked one of his favorite giant wooden trolls in Mt. Horeb, WI. There are over 30 in town. Sept 2007
Solomon at the Lake Superior Overlook near Duluth, MN
Solomon at the Lake Superior Overlook near Duluth, MN
Near Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota, Solomon found a deer to feed
Near Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota, Solomon found a deer to feed
Solomon riding the Big Fish at Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota - Sept. 2007
Solomon riding the Big Fish at Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota – Sept. 2007

Speaking of BIG FISH – we found the world’s largest Walleye in Baudette, MN

Solomon is dwarfed by the World's Largest Walleye in Baudette, MN Sept 2007
Solomon is dwarfed by the World’s Largest Walleye in Baudette, MN Sept 2007

From Minnesota we ventured into Canada and dove along the Trans-Canada Highway westward towards Alberta.  It continued to be a fun adventure for both of us….

Solomon at the Saskatchewan Provincial Border Sept 2007
Solomon at the Saskatchewan Provincial Border Sept 2007
Solomon at Indiana Head, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon at Indiana Head, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon visits with the World's Largest Moose Statue in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Sept 2007
Solomon visits with the World’s Largest Moose Statue in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Sept 2007

I had friends in Alberta and we got to spend a night with Crafty Jack, a guitar maker and joint friend with Antsy McClain.  We got to look at his custom-made trailer shaped guitars…

Solomon with the Trailercana Guitar hand-crafted by Crafty Jack
Solomon with the Trailercana Guitar hand-crafted by Crafty Jack

We also spent some time with Crafty Jack visiting some of the more “unique” sites in Alberta…venturing to go where no man has gone before…

Solomon and Sumoflam become part of the Star Trek gang in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
Solomon and Sumoflam become part of the Star Trek gang in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
A StarStruck "Starship Sol" with some new pals in Vulcan, Alberta Sept. 2007
A StarStruck “Starship Sol” with some new pals in Vulcan, Alberta Sept. 2007
Sol and Sumoflam live long and prosper with the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007
Sol and Sumoflam live long and prosper with the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta Sept 2007

We proceeded to make our way down to Great Falls to see my daughter Amaree and her family, including the newest grandchild Charlie.  During our visit we made our way into the mountains southeast of Great Falls to Kings Hill Pass.  We got a nice family photo high up in the mountains…

The family at Kings Hill Pass near Meagher, MT - Amaree, Charlie, Sumoflam, Kade, Julianne and Solomon - Sept 2007
The family at Kings Hill Pass near Meagher, MT – Amaree, Charlie, Sumoflam, Kade, Julianne and Solomon – Sept 2007

We also made our way north on US 89 to a nice waterfalls called Memorial Falls.  Solomon climbed way up on a cliff…

Climbing up to the top of Memorial Falls in Montana - Julianne, Aaron (son in law), Kade and Solomon - Sept 2007
Climbing up to the top of Memorial Falls in Montana – Julianne, Aaron (son in law), Kade and Solomon – Sept 2007
Solomon up high on a cliff near Memorial Falls in Montana, Sept 2007
Solomon up high on a cliff near Memorial Falls in Montana, Sept 2007

During the time in Great Falls we also visited museums and other fun places with Amaree, Aaron, their two boys and Julianne (who flew out).  But soon Solomon were continuing west to Idaho and Washington.  Along the way we stopped in Couer D’Alene to visit with legendary rock music radio pioneer John Rook.  John was a close family friend of rock guitarist Bobby Cochran (Steppenwolf, Flying Burrito Brothers, Trailer Park Troubadours, Bobby and the Midnites), who was also the nephew of the famous Eddie Cochran (The Summertime Blues and C’mon Everybody).  Bobby is a close friend of mine as well. John Rook was practically family with Eddie.  So, on the encouragement of Bobby we stopped by to say hello to John, see much of his rock and roll memorabilia, including photos with the Rolling Stones and Beatles (see article about his work with the Beatles), groups that he had a major influence in bringing to the U.S. in the 1960s while the Program Director at KQV in Pittsburgh.  It should be noted that Rush Limbaugh and David Letterman count John Rook as a mentor in their careers.

Solomon with Rock and Roll Radio icon John Rook at his home in Couer D'Alene, ID in Sept 2007
Solomon with Rock and Roll Radio icon John Rook at his home in Couer D’Alene, ID in Sept 2007

This was a fun and interesting experience for rock afficianados like Solomon and me.  We ventured further westward to Washington to carry out my work for Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, which included some road management and logistics management.  After four days of performances in the Tri-Cities and Dayton, Solomon and I headed south into Oregon and a visit to the amazing Hell’s Canyon.

Solomon at the overlook of Hell's Canyon in Oregon - Sept. 2007
Solomon at the overlook of Hell’s Canyon in Oregon – Sept. 2007

From there we went south to Salt Lake City to drop in on my son Seth who was serving a Mormon mission there (yes, there are even Mormon missionaries called to Salt Lake City!!).  It was a great chance for us to visit and have a quick lunch with “Elder Kravetz.”

Visiting "Elder Kravetz" in Sandy, Utah in Sept 2007
Visiting “Elder Kravetz” in Sandy, Utah in Sept 2007

We then finally made our way home through Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and finally into Kentucky.  More unique stops were made along the way…

Solomon with a giant jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming, the "Jackalope Capital of the World" - Sept 2007
Solomon with a giant jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming, the “Jackalope Capital of the World” – Sept 2007
Solomon and his new friend at Ole's Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton, NE - Sept 2007
Solomon and his new friend at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton, NE – Sept 2007

After a long trip, we finally made it home.  This was to be the last of my trips with just my children.  All trips with family (other than with my wife), typically included grandchildren and I even had a few opportunities to be with the grandchildren on solo Grampz/Grandkidz trips.  I now had (and continue to have) the blessing of Creating the Wanderlust in the next generation of my posterity.

The family visits Jakeman's a working Maple Syrup facility near Woodstock, Ontario - July 2008
The family visits Jakeman’s a working Maple Syrup facility near Woodstock, Ontario – July 2008
Adam, Marissa and Joselyn at Lake Victoria in Stratford, Ontario July 2008
Adam, Marissa and Joselyn at Lake Victoria in Stratford, Ontario July 2008

Following are a few shots of my grandchildren as they accompanied me and, in most cases, their parents, on road trips over the last six years…places and dates included…

Autumn - Green Bay Packers in Pink - at Lambeau Stadium in Green Bay, WI Aug. 2012
Autumn – Green Bay Packers in Pink – at Lambeau Stadium in Green Bay, WI Aug. 2012

In August 2012 I joined my daughter Chelsea and my oldest grandchild Autumn on a quick three day trip to Wisconsin.  We planned out the trip for a number of fun adventures in Illinois and Wisconsin. (see my Trip Journal posts beginning here)

Spicing it up at the National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI
Spicing it up at the National Mustard Museum – Middleton, WI
Chelsea and Autumn follow the Yellow Brick Road at Curtis Orchards in Champagne, IL - Aug 2012
Chelsea and Autumn follow the Yellow Brick Road at Curtis Orchards in Champaigne, IL – Aug 2012
Autumn tackles the “Beast” – a scrap metal sculpture by the late Wally Keller located in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin
Autumn and "Grampz" with the Hodag of Rhinelander, WI
Autumn and “Grampz” with the Hodag of Rhinelander, WI
Chelsea and Autumn know they love Kraft Macaroni at the Kraft plant in Champaign, IL
Chelsea and Autumn know they love Kraft Macaroni at the Kraft plant in Champaign, IL

On that trip we also visited the famed Jurustic Park, a chainsaw totem pole forest, the birthplace of the hamburger, Egg Harbor and the peninsula, and more.  See more here.

Autumn and Savannah (my niece) at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY in Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah (my niece) at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY in Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah with my sister Sherry and her husband Brian - Aug. 2009
Autumn and Savannah with my sister Sherry and her husband Brian – Aug. 2009

We have also taken Autumn to the Cincinnati Zoo, on a riverboat ride down the Kentucky River and to the Louisville Children’s Museum.

Grandson Kade at the Louisville Children's Museum - Dec. 2012
Grandson Kade at the Louisville Children’s Museum – Dec. 2012

I have four grandchildren living in Shelby, Montana and have not had as many opportunities to travel much with them.  However, their parents (my daughter Amaree and her husband Aaron) have taken my liking to travel and have introduce the wanderlust to their children through visits to California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and even across the country on visits to Kentucky to see us.  I have visited Shelby on three occasions and each time take the kids collectively or individually on small road trips.  Here are a few scenes…

Kade and Charlie, with their Dad Aaron at Leaning Tree Cafe in Babb, MT at the base of Glacier National Park – March 2013
Kade, Charlie and cousin Autumn in the vacuum at Louisville Children's Museum - Dec. 2012
Kade, Charlie and cousin Autumn in the vacuum at Louisville Children’s Museum – Dec. 2012
Charlie at the giant wind farm near Shelby, Montana - Feb. 2012
Charlie at the giant wind farm near Shelby, Montana – Feb. 2012
Olivia at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, KY - Dec. 2012
Olivia at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, KY – Dec. 2012
My youngest grandchild Benson with his Dad Aaron at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Dec 2012
My youngest grandchild Benson with his Dad Aaron at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Dec 2012
Grandson Charlie is dwarfed by the giant penguin in Cut Bank, Montana
Grandson Charlie is dwarfed by the giant penguin in Cut Bank, Montana
Charlie at Jerusalem Rocks in Northern Montana
Charlie at Jerusalem Rocks in Northern Montana

My little granddaughter Joselyn is really quite the traveler and, even at age 6 she is always up for another long drive adventure, especially with Grampz, who she thinks is “funny.” This little girl has probably traveled more in this United States than most kids do by the time they are 18.  Jos has been to Niagara Falls in Canada, Tucson, Omaha, Hilton Head and a gazillion places in between.  Her little brother Landen has accompanied on a couple of trips as well.  Here are a few shots from the last couple of years, including some recent ones.

Little Joselyn hanging with Uncle Solomon at San Xavier del Bac Church in Tucson, Arizona - April 2011
Little Joselyn hanging with Uncle Solomon at San Xavier del Bac Church in Tucson, Arizona – April 2011
Joselyn with her mother at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, April 2011
Joselyn with her mother at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, April 2011
Joselyn with her cousin Autumn and Second Cousin Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2010
Joselyn with her cousin Autumn and Second Cousin Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2010
Joselyn and sister Lyla with Grandma Julianne on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island, April 2013
Joselyn and sister Lyla with Grandma Julianne on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island, April 2013
Joselyn runs on a sand dune at White Sands National Monument in NM
Joselyn runs on a sand dune at White Sands National Monument in NM
Running through the cement corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio July 2011
Running through the cement corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio July 2011
Joselyn makes a visit to Earth (TX) in April 2011
Joselyn makes a visit to Earth (TX) in April 2011
Jos with Grampz at rest area n North Carolina - April 2013
Jos with Grampz at rest area n North Carolina – April 2013
Cussling with an alien in Roswell, New Mexico - April 2011
Cussling with an alien in Roswell, New Mexico – April 2011
Jos and her mother Marissa at Stone Mountain in Georgia, April 2013
Jos and her mother Marissa at Stone Mountain in Georgia, April 2013
Joselyn at Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Sept. 2013
Joselyn at Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Sept. 2013
Holding a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis
Holding a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis
Joselyn and Landen at Antique Archaeology, home of American Pickers TV Show in LeClaire, IA - Sept. 2013
Joselyn and Landen at Antique Archaeology, home of American Pickers TV Show in LeClaire, IA – Sept. 2013
Jos and Landen at Gothic House in Eldon, IA - Sept 2013
Jos and Landen at Gothic House in Eldon, IA – Sept 2013
Joselyn as a baby at Niagara Falls with her parents in July 2008
Joselyn as a baby at Niagara Falls with her parents in July 2008

Of course, Landen is not totally exempt from all of this either…he is catching the bug!!

Landen with the Transformer "Bumblebee" at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis (told you he "caught the bug") - Sept 2013
Landen with the Transformer “Bumblebee” at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis (told you he “caught the bug”) – Sept 2013
Landen with a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis (caught the bug again!!)
Landen with a butterfly at the Butterfly House near St. Louis (caught the bug again!!)
Landen goes Dutch in Pella, Iowa - Sept. 2013
Landen goes Dutch in Pella, Iowa – Sept. 2013
Landen with the corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio, July 2011
Landen with the corn cobs in Dublin, Ohio, July 2011
Landen the beach bum at Cave Run Lake, KY in June 2013
Landen the beach bum at Cave Run Lake, KY in June 2013
Landen and Joselyn visit their Great Aunt Nicole in Cleveland, OH July 2011
Landen and Joselyn visit their Great Aunt Nicole in Cleveland, OH July 2011

Jos and Landen have a little sister Lyla who has also turned out to be a good traveler having gone to South Carolina and Georgia on one trip and then on a trip to Nebraska in September.

Lyla follows in the footsteps of her cousin Autumn by following the Yellow Brick Road Champaign, IL
Lyla follows in the footsteps of her cousin Autumn by following the Yellow Brick Road Champaign, IL
Lyla rides the old 1930s St. Louis Carousel in Sept. 2013
Lyla rides the old 1930s St. Louis Carousel in Sept. 2013
Sumoflam teaches granddaughter Lyla how to drive the backroads of America at an early age
Sumoflam teaches granddaughter Lyla how to drive the backroads of America at an early age

Only one grandchild has not really traveled much with us though he has traveled with his father Seth and his mother Holly.  That is little Rockwell, our blonde cutie….

Grampz and RockE
Grampz and RockE
Rockwell in West Chester, OH - 2012
Rockwell in West Chester, OH – 2012

Of course, as time goes on I will continue to Enjoy the Ride on trips on the backroads and will do it, not just as a good father, but also as a helluva grandfather!!

Sumoflam - Enjoy the Ride
Sumoflam – Enjoy the Ride
Sumoflam - An Okay Parent
Sumoflam – An Okay Parent
Sumoflam - Helluva Grandparent
Sumoflam – Helluva Grandparent

(719)