AtoZ Challenge 2020 – 8154: An Epic Road Trip – The L 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 L Stories. (all photography by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz)

Loving, Texas

As we traveled we realized that we would be arriving in Loving, Texas on Valentine’s Day.  How cool would that be if we could send Valentine’s cards, with a Loving, Texas postmark on February 14?  But, sadly, it wasn’t to be.  We did get there on Valentine’s Day with a bunch of valentine cards.  Since the post office was closed, we just dropped them in the box outside.  No postmark from Loving…just North Texas.  Boo!  We tried!

Loving, Texas Post Office
Landen holding all of the Valentines to be sent from Loving, Texas. They WERE sent from there.
This Baptist church is always Loving…
We didn’t eat here, but there is apparently a Loving Cafe. I wonder if they make everything lovingly.

Lazy D Restaurant – Taylor, Nebraska

We went through Taylor, Nebraska in order to see the Taylor Villagers, life size paintings of life as it used to be in the small community of Taylor.  Most businesses have one or villagers attached to their business.  Lazy D was one of these.

Lazy D Restaurant, Taylor, Nebraska

Lexington Hotel Old Neon Sign – Gallup, New Mexico

This old neon sign is a vestige of the old Route 66 era.  Built in 1931, the hotel operated through about 1999.  The sign remains.

Lexington Hotel old neon sign, Gallup, New Mexico

Lewis and Clark across America

Lewis and Clark Historic Trail in Nebraska
Lewis and Clark Trail in Seaview, Washington
Lewis and Clark Motel in Bozeman, Montana
Lewis and Clark in Old Shawneetown, Illinois
Lewis and Clark statues in Buffalo, Wyoming

The Little Friendly Climax Market – Climax Springs, Missouri

As we drive westward through Missouri, we hopped on to Missouri 7 to head to Tightwad, Missouri.  Along the way we drove through Climax Springs and saw this fun little store.  They were closed, but the signs were great.

The Little Friendly Climax Market, Climax Springs, Missouri
Little Friendly Climax Market, Climax Springs, Missouri

Long Beach, Washington

The Long Beach Peninsula is supposedly the longest beach in the United States.  Located off of US 101, it is a lovely beach and you can even drive on the beach.  The beach is about 28 miles long continuously and so they claim it to be the longest.  The town is also home to the World Kite Museum, some Lewis and Clark history and Cape Disappointment.

Long Beach, Washington
Long Beach Sign in Long Beach, Washington
Giant frying pan in Long Beach, Washington

Little Bighorn Battlefield – Crow Agency, Montana

In our efforts to hit National Parks and Monuments on the road trip for the kids to get Junior Ranger Badges, we made a stop at Little Bighorn.  We took our time, watched the historical movie about the Battle of Little Bighorn, which is sometimes referred to as “Custer’s Last Stand.”  Sadly, the biggest thing we learned was how the U.S. Government of the day really had no idea about the Native Americans there.

Little Bighorn National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana
Little Bighorn National Cemetery
Sumoflam at Little Bighorn

Lincoln Heritage Trail – near Old Shawneetown, Illinois

The Lincoln Heritage Trail is about a 1000 mile trail from Kentucky and then through Indiana and Illinois.  It goes through the many towns with historical ties to Abraham Lincoln.  When we were in Old Shawneetown, Illinois, I took a shot of the sign there.

The Lincoln Heritage Trail in Illinois

La Loma Motel – Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Yet another photo of an old Route 66 neon sign.  Many of the New Mexico towns along Route 66 have historic neon signs.

La Loma Motel in Santa Rosa, new Mexico

Lombard Street – The World’s Crookedest Road – San Francisco, California

Lombard Street in San Francisco
View of Lombard Street from above
View of San Francisco from Lombard Street

Langlois, Oregon

On our trip south on US 101, we made a stop in Langlois, Oregon to visit with some old friends.  I had never been here and we found this to be a lovely little town.  The citizens claim that their town should be World Famous because 1) It is one of only five towns named Langlois in the world, 2) they believe that the name, a derivative of the French “L’anglais,” meaning the Englishman and 3) because their “Greasy Spoon Cafe,” is one of only eight so-named places in the world.   I really wanted to get breakfast at The Greasy Spoon, but they were closed for remodeling.

Welcome to Langlois, Oregon
Langlois, Oregon Post Office
The Famous Greasy Spoon Cafe in Langlois.
Ocean View road in Langlois, Oregon. Drive up to the top of the road for a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean
The lovely ocean view from Langlois, Oregon

Lois’s Drive-In – Wenatchee, Washington

I couldn’t resist grabbing a shot of this old drive-in cafe, which is obviously no longer in business. The foggy mountains in the background make it so much more unique.

Lois’s Drive-In, Wenatchee, Washington

Lookout Pass – border of Montana and Idaho on Interstate 90

Lookout Pass is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of the northwestern United States. In the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, the pass is on the border between Idaho and Montana, traversed by Interstate 90 at an elevation of 4,710 feet above sea level.  It was packed with snow on our trip.  I like that it is Exit 0 as well.

Lookout Pass in Montana

Leavenworth, Washington

Travel on US Route 2 in Washington and chances are you will drive through Leavenworth, a wonderful little Bavarian-style village nestled near the gateway of the Cascade Mountains. All of the buildings and signs in the town are set in Bavarian scripts and there are many unique shops.  It is one of those places where you could spend all day shopping, walking around and breathing in the fresh mountain air.

Welcome to Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth in the mountains
Some of the signage of Leavenworth, Washington

Louisiana Highway 1 – Vivian, Louisiana

After our visit to Caddo Lake in Texas, we drive around the lake in Louisiana so we could add another state to our 20 state road trip. We too Highway 1 through Vivian as we headed north.  Here are a couple of shots.

Welcome to Louisiana
Louisiana Routes 1 and 2 near Vivian, Louisiana
Drive down Louisiana Hwy 1 near Vivian, Louisiana


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