AtoZ Challenge 2020 – 8154: An Epic Road Trip – The E Stories #atozchallenge

In early 2020 I traveled across the country with one of my daughters and three grandchildren.  We traveled 8154 miles through 20 states over the course of three weeks.  My A to Z posts this year will have the “8154” theme, which will also be the title of my forthcoming new book that will document the epic road trip.  Each entry will highlight a few stories with photos based on the alphabet and not the order of the trip.  I hope you will enjoy this bouncy ride across the back roads of America.  Please enjoy the E Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Egyptian Theatre – Coos Bay, Oregon

I love classic theatres and wish I had more time and opportunity to visit them on the insides and see their amazing architecture.  Coos Bay’s Egyptian Theatre is a wonderful old place.  It was built in 1925 and was added to Ntional Registry of Historic Places in 2010.  The inside was designed in Egyptian Revival style to celebrate the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt.

Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay, Oregon
Front decor of the historic Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay, Oregon

El Rancho Hotel – Gallup, New Mexico

In my original road trip travel plan, I had us scheduled to stay in the historic Route 66 El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico, but our travel was delayed, so I had to change plans (which is not unusual for me).  Touted as the Home of the Movie Stars, the hotel was the definition of luxury and included many amenities that were lacking in other typical tourist hotels of the day.  The hotel was opened in 1937 and used as a base for movie productions and a comfortable place for the stars to stay during those productions.  Famous stars such as John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, Jane Wyman and Katherine Hepburn are among the many famous actors and actresses to sleep in the beds of the El Rancho.  Maybe on my next trip it will work out for us.

Famous El Rancho Hotel, Gallup, New Mexico

Edna’s Drive-In – Davenport, Washington

Davenport, Washington is a small town on US Highway 2.  There are only about 1700 residents in this town located in the northern wheat belt of the Columbia Basin in eastern Washington.  Due to its size, there are not many chain businesses here.  But, there is what appears to be a fun place to eat.   It is the typical  1960s-style eatery and serves up burgers, fries and milkshakes.  Sadly, the day we drove through, it was still closed, so we didn’t get to try it out.  I have seen older photos of their sign and apparently the “Seven Days without Ednas Makes One Weak” on the marquis has been there for a long time.

Edna’s Drive-In, Davenport, WA

El Falcone – Winslow, Arizona

Winslow may be well known from the Eagles song Take It Easy, but it is also a famed Route 66 town.  Both in 2019 and then in early 2020,  I had the opportunity to visit Winslow and, in both instances, I ate at El Falcone (also just called Falcon Restaurant).  I have had breakfast and dinner there.   Breakfast was excellent.  Dinner was so so.  Service is good and the place has a historical feel to it.

El Falcone, Winslow, Arizona
Chorizo with eggs breakfast  at El Falcone in Winslow
El Falcone interior
Route 66 signs at El Falcone in Winslow, AZ

Equality, Illinois

Are you seeking Equality?  Me too.  And I found it in Illinois. The town of Equality is small.  Only about 600 residents on Illinois Hwy 13 in southeastern Illinois.  Though I am not sure how this small town got its name, it has an interesting back story that really reflects the total opposite of its name.  Apparently, in 1838, a local salt maker and illegal slave trader kidnapper and illegal slave breeder, John Hart Crenshaw, began building his manor house at Hickory Hill just five miles east of Equality; he used the house for his business of kidnapping free blacks and breeding slaves to sell into slavery as part of the Reverse Underground Railroad.  So much for Equality.

Equality, Illinois Water Tower
Equality, Illinois Post Office

Elk as seen in Seaview, Washington

As we drove through Seaview, Washington, we came across a small herd of elk.  Had to stop for pictures.

Elk in Seaview, Washington
You looking at me? An elk stares back in Seaview, Washington

Egret in Uncertain, Texas

Typically, in the swampy  areas of Louisiana and Texas it is not at all unusual to see the Great White Egret, a beautiful bird.  Such was the case as we drive the back roads of Uncertain, Texas in February.

Great White Egret – Uncertain, Texas
Great White Egret, Uncertain, Texas

Eric Seastrand Memorial Highway – CA 46 – Cambria, California

Cambria, California is a beautiful town on the Pacific Coast on the famous CA Hwy 1, just south of Big Sur.  In 1993, CA Hwy 46, from Cambria to US Hwy 101 near Paso Robles, California was named the Eric Seastrand Memorial Highway in honor of former California legislator and member of the U.S. House of Representatives Eric Seastrand, who died of cancer in 1990 at the age of 52.

This is a lovely drive that we took on our way from Cambria to head east to Sequoia National Park.

Eric Seastrand Memorial Highway, CA 46, near Cambria, CA
Sunshine as seen from the Eric Seastrand Memorial Highway.  Pacific Ocean and Cambria can be seen in the background.

Exeter, California

On or trip east from Cambria, we continued on CA Hwy 198 through Visalia and then into Exeter, California, which sits in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.  This drive presents some lovely views of the Sierras.

Exeter, CA and Highway 198 with the Sierra Nevadas up ahead.
Snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada range as seen from CA Hwy 198 near Exeter, CA
CA Hwy 198 near Exeter, California heading towards the Sierra Nevada mountain range


I am currently working on my FOURTH book, titled “8154” to represent the mileage of my epic road trip with family.  You can visit my Amazon Author Page to see my other books at


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