Everywhere a Sign – Some T Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

Travel is my passion.  It is a terrific passion that tantalizes every nerve in my soul.

Needless to say, I am a tenacious traveler. I try to track down every nook and cranny on the back roads of this terrific country. From the twisted and tortuous mountain roads to the tall tree-lined highways, I am always tempted to go yet another mile.  I hope you will enjoy some of the T Signs I discovered in my 2018 travels. Enjoy the Read. Enjoy the Ride.

Telephone, Texas

Telephone, Texas
I was so thrilled for this place. It had a laundromat and a restroom!!
There are so many unique places in Texas. I just accidentally came across this one….

Telephone, Texas was a surprise for me.  Didn’t know this town was here, but it was on my way north to Oklahoma from Fort Worth (on country back roads of course!)  When I got to the small community of about 200, I was thrilled to see the “Telephone Travel Stop.”  It was a small motel with an attached laundry room + rest room (much needed!).

Timberline Motel, Peshastin, Washington

Timberline Motel, Peshashtin, Washington

Saw this classic motel sign in Peshashtin, Washington on US Hwy 2, just east of Leavenworth, Washington.  The motel is now closed, but the lovely vintage sign remains.

Totem Pole Trading Post, Rolla, Missouri

Totem Pole Trading Post, Missouri’s Oldest on Route 66
Old Totem Pole Trading Post Sign, Rolla, Missouri

Route 66 has many Trading Posts and tourist stops. The Totem Pole Trading Post is apparently the oldest one in Missouri and sits in Rolla, Missouri on US Highway 66.  Great old sign!  The history of the place says that in 1933 Harry Cochrane opened up the first Totem Pole Trading Post on Arlington Hill just 10 miles to the west of the existing location.  The location included both a gift shop and a tourist camp. It changed hands around 1950.  It is still in business today.  Fun fun fun

Tonica, Illinois

Welcome to Tonica, Illinois

In my S post I mentioned Starved Rock State Park.  Tonica, Illinois is on the south end of the region.  Nothing special.  Just a nice sign.  Tonica is located just off of Interstate 39 and US Highway 51.

Texas Plaza, Decatur, Texas

Texas Plaza, Decatur, Texas

In my P post for this series, I mentioned the Petrified Wood Gas Station. The Texas Plaza sign is for the entire complex, including the old tourist camp, the cafe and the station

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!!


Experiencing Old-Timey Decatur, Texas

Heading north out of Keller, Texas on US 287 you can enjoy a scenic ride and make your way into the town of Decatur, Texas.  Named after naval hero Stephen Decatur, the town was originally set up in 1856 and eventually was a stopover for ranchers and herders on the Chisholm Trail.

The old Eighter from Decatur Sign

By 1882, the railway came into Decatur from Fort Worth.  It was apparently at that time a gambling railway worker was talking about a female from Decatur and coined the phrase an “Eighter from Decatur,” which has stuck around ever since.

Welcome to Decatur sign

Today, the peaceful little town still draws traffic from ranchers and railway folk, but also from tourists trying to relive the olden days…like me.

The old Decatur Petrified Wood Gas Station with the Texas Cafe in the background
Sumoflam at the Petrified Wood Station

One of the really nostalgic points is the old Petrified Wood Gas Station as you come into town.  In 1927 a keen businessman named E.F. Boydston purchased a former feed lot in order to build a wooden shed and a gas station.   Boydston allowed people to stopover and camp there and eventually even built some cabins. As the highway was widened in the mid-1930s, Boydston added more cabins, a garage and other buildings and then made them sturdier by adding petrified wood as a facing on the buildings. Auto News Center offers upgrade and makeover ideas to help you create a clean and well-functioning garage.  The entire complex was eventually named Texas Plaza.

Texas Plaza Neon Sign in Decatur, TX
No Gas
No Gas

He also built a one-room frame building next door in 1929 and called it the Texas Lunchroom.  In 1935 they renamed it the Texas Cafe and faced it with the same petrified wood to match the other buildings.  It is now called the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Whistle Stop Cafe in Decatur, Texas. Formerly the Texas Cafe
Texaco Gas Pumps at Petrified Wood Station
Here’s a sign you don’t see anymore in the U.S.
Another view of the Petrified Wood Station

Today the complex is a unique example of the early days of automobile tourism.  I recall the 1960s and going to gas stations similar to this.  I really enjoyed the nostalgia.  And Decatur has taken advantage of that as there are two other nostalgic gas stations in town.

Old Sinclair Station – Decatur, Texas
Old Gulf Station in Decatur, Texas
Old Gulf Pump – Decatur
Old Sinclair Pump in Decatur, TX

Have you seen my new book yet? “Less Beaten Paths of America: Quirky and Offbeat Roadside Attractions” is now 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: