2022: The Year in Travel – January thru March

2022: The Year in Travel – January thru March

Adventure, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Cross Country Road Trips, Family Travel, Graffiti Walls, Hiking & Biking, Hiking Trails, Ice Cream Places, Indiana, Kentucky, Less Beaten Paths Books, Lewis and Clark Sites, Murals, Offbeat Places, Pelicans, Place Names, Post Offices, Roadside Attractions, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, Staycations, Town Names, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, US Highway 31, Vintage Neon, Wall Art, Water Towers, Waterfalls, Welcome Signs, Yard Art
[caption id="attachment_35952" align="alignleft" width="300"] Welcome to Pontiac, Illinois[/caption] What a year 2022 was!!  I started off the year in the midst of another COVID outbreak and high fuel prices.  My hopes for much travel in 2022 weren't very high. I expected it would be a lean travel year, but it turned out much different than I had anticipated.  By December 31 I had visited 14 states and driven nearly 21,000 miles.  This included nearly 1,300 miles (out of a total of 2,400) of driving on Route 66 from Albuquerque to Chicago.  I had actually dreamt of driving the entire length of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA in October, which was when I would celebrate my 66th birthday, but it wasn't meant to be.  Nevertheless, I was thrilled…
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Saguaro National Park – A Magnificent Display of Desert’s Giants

Saguaro National Park – A Magnificent Display of Desert’s Giants

Adventure, Animals, Arizona, Back Roads, Barrel Cactus, Books, Cross Country Road Trips, Desert Cardinal, Desert Scenes, Gila Monster, Landscapes, Less Beaten Paths Books, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Parks, Nature and Scenery, Ocotillo, Plants, Prickly Pear Cactus, Saguaro Cactus, Selfies, Squirrels, Tree Cholla Cactus, Unique Places, Welcome Signs
[caption id="attachment_35561" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sumoflam at Saguaro National Park[/caption] In early August 2022 I had an opportunity to visit Arizona's Saguaro National Park, making it my 36th National Park (out of the current 63) visit over the course of my life.  Though I had lived in Arizona for a number of years, I never had the opportunity to get to Saguaro.  So, in the middle of a hot summer morning, we made our way to the home of the majestic saguaro cactus outside of Tucson.  It was a splendid day to see these symbols of the American west, despite the cacti really only growing in a small portion of the United States.  The saguaro, the largest of all cactus species, can grow over 40 feet tall and can live over…
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Towns of America A to Z: The S Towns #atozchallenge

Towns of America A to Z: The S Towns #atozchallenge

A to Z Challenge, Arizona, Arkansas, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, California, Canada, Cross Country Road Trips, Delaware, Distilleries, Family Travel, Flowers, Ghost Signs, Graffiti Walls, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Kentucky, Landscapes, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Missouri, Mountains, Mountains, Murals, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Parks, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Offbeat Places, Ontario, Oregon, Place Names, Post Offices, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Route 66, Sandhill Cranes, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, States and Provinces, Street Art, Texas, Tourist Traps, Town Names, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, Unique Shops, Volunteer Fire Departments, Washington, Welcome Signs, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Yard Art
Sadly, I didn't get all of these posted with the month of April, but I most certainly want to finish.  I am like the guy in the 5K that shows up last....at least I will complete the race. So, the biggest list of town names in the alphabet is probably those that begin with the letter S.  There are a load of towns and places, but I will limit them to a readable amount.  I do have some fun names at the end. ENJOY THE READ!  ENJOY THE RIDE! SANDWICH, NEW HAMPSHIRE [caption id="attachment_15115" align="alignnone" width="522"] Sandwich Historical Society - Sandwich, New Hampshire[/caption] [caption id="attachment_15107" align="alignnone" width="516"] Signposts in Sandwich, NH. No restaurants![/caption] Hungry?  Maybe a sandwich?  If so, don't visit Sandwich, New Hampshire as there is not a place…
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Towns of America A to Z: The L Towns #atozchallenge

Towns of America A to Z: The L Towns #atozchallenge

A to Z Challenge, Adventure, Alberta, Animals, Antique Shops, Arkansas, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, Bucket List Trips, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Canada, Church Signs, Dream Highways, Eagles, Eateries, Family Travel, Giant Things, Giant Twine Balls, Iowa, Landscapes, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Montana, Mountains, Murals, Museums, Nature and Scenery, North Carolina, Ocean Scenes, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Place Names, Post Offices, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Selfies, Stop Signs, Television Shows, Texas, Tourist Traps, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Houses, Unique Places, Unique Shops, US Highway 101, US Highway 2, Virginia, Wall Art, Washington, Water Towers, Welcome Signs, Wisconsin, Wyoming
I hope you are Loving these A to Z posts and I hope that they are not too Laughable. I am trying not to be Lazy or Lavish, but want to present some places  worth Learning about. These posts are Lengthy, but not quite Legendary.   I hope that you find them Likeable. For me, there is nothing like getting Lost in my wanderings. ENJOY THE READ!  ENJOY THE RIDE! LOVING, TEXAS [caption id="attachment_27847" align="alignleft" width="300"] Loving, Texas Post Office[/caption] I might as well start out with something upbeat and fun.  On Valentine's Day 2020, we arrived in Loving, Texas and sent out Valentine's Days cards to family from there.  Yes indeed, it was planned!! Loving is located in the northern part of Texas, north of Dallas.  It was founded in…
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The Year in Travel – 2021 (Long post – may take a minute to load)

The Year in Travel – 2021 (Long post – may take a minute to load)

Adventure, Back Roads, Bike Trails, Books, Bridges, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Church Signs, Family Travel, Hiking & Biking, Hiking Trails, Indiana, Kentucky, Landscapes, Less Beaten Paths Books, Mountains, Murals, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Parks, Nature and Scenery, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Place Names, Post Offices, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Sandhill Cranes, Selfies, Sheltowee Trace, Signs and Billboards, Staycations, Street Art, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Houses, Unique Places, Unique Shops, US Highway 127, Virginia, Wanderlust, Waterfalls, Welcome Signs, West Virginia, Yard Art
What an interesting year 2021 turned out to be for me.  I started out the year with dreams of a road trip down the Florida panhandle to the southernmost point, but it didn't pan out. With COVID on the rampage, there were limitations and I didn't want to risk getting out too much.  But, I was also very heavily engaged in doing support driving for the Sheltowee Trace Association and my wife and daughter who participated in the 2021 STA Hiking Challenge, hiking sections of the 343 mile trail each month.  This took up a great deal of my time and ended up becoming the theme of my fifth Less Beaten Paths book, which was published on November 30 (see the bottom of this post for more details).  I drove…
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Book 4 – 8154: An Epic Family Road Trip Across America – NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon

Book 4 – 8154: An Epic Family Road Trip Across America – NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon

Adventure, Animals, Antelope, Antique Shops, Antsy McClain, Arizona, Arkansas, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Bakeries, BBQ Places, Bison, Books, Bucket List Trips, Buffalo, Burger Joints, California, Cross Country Road Trips, Deer, Dinosaurs, Donut Places, Dream Highways, Eagles, Eateries, Egret, Family Travel, Farmland, Found Metal Sculptures, Geologic Formations, Giant Things, Highways and Roadways, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jimmy Jackson, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Kansas, Kentucky, Landscapes, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Lighthouses, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Mountains, Murals, Museums, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Monuments, National Parks, Nature and Scenery, Nebraska, Nevada, Ocean Scenes, Offbeat Places, Oklahoma, Oregon, People Shots, Place Names, Post Offices, prairie dogs, Pronghorn Antelope, Quirky Things, Raccoon, Restroom Signs, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Route 66, Sandhill Cranes, Seagulls, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, Snow Geese, South Dakota, Street Art, Swamps, Tennessee, Texas, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Travel with grandchildren, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, US Highway 101, US Highway 14, US Highway 16, US Highway 16A, US Highway 2, US Highway 20, US Highway 31, US Highway 60, Wall Art, Wanderlust, Welcome Signs, Wyoming
[caption id="attachment_33522" align="alignleft" width="193"] 8154 Cover[/caption] Big News!!  My newest book, titled "8154: An Epic Family Road Trip Across America" is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. The book details the three week long 8,154 mile road trip with my daughter Marissa Noe and her three children. New print programs on Amazon have also made it cheaper than previous books!! The book is 138 pages and full of color photos from 20 different states.  I have included a chapter all about how to plan for a long trip like this, especially with children.  A long road trip can be a challenge for the kids, so there are all sorts of ideas including in this book for making it fun and memorable for the kids. There are…
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AtoZ Challenge 2021 – Signs Signs – The T Signs #atozchallenge

AtoZ Challenge 2021 – Signs Signs – The T Signs #atozchallenge

A to Z Challenge, Adventure, Arizona, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, BBQ Places, Books, Bucket List Trips, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Burger Joints, California, Cross Country Road Trips, Graffiti Walls, Hot Dog Places, Ice Cream Places, Kentucky, Less Beaten Paths Books, Missouri, Murals, National Monuments, National Parks, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Oregon, Place Names, Post Offices, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Route 66, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, Tennessee, Texas, Tourist Traps, Town Names, Turkeys, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, Vintage Neon, Volunteer Fire Departments, Wall Art, Wanderlust, Washington, Water Towers, Welcome Signs, West Virginia, Wyoming
I have fallen way behind on my A to Z posts this year due to added work and travel, but I will get them all!  This year I am doing signs that I have seen across the country.  This post will feature signs associated with the Letter T. ENJOY THE RIDE! We can't avoid signs.  They are everywhere.  Advertisements, informational signs, directional signs, business signs and, sometimes, even humorous and fun signs.  Each of my posts in this years' challenge will feature a hodgepodge of signs I have come across in my travels.  In most cases, I'll also note where they were taken.  Some were actually inside of shops or otherwise, so not all will have locations.  I hope you enjoy the remainder of my posts as get to them…
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Old-Timey General Stores Part 2: R.M. Brooks General Store – Rugby, TN

Old-Timey General Stores Part 2: R.M. Brooks General Store – Rugby, TN

Adventure, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Less Beaten Paths Books, Offbeat Places, Place Names, Post Offices, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Selfies, Tennessee, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Turkeys, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places
[caption id="attachment_30597" align="alignleft" width="241"] R.M. Brooks General Merchandise[/caption] This is the second post of my visits to Old-Timey General Stores.  On March 5, 2021 I visited the R.M. Brooks General Merchandise Store in Rugby, Tennessee.  Established in 1917, this one was a blast from the front of the store to all of the great antiques on the inside.  Tiffany Jones Terry is the current proprietor and is the great-granddaughter of R.M. Brooks. She runs the place well. Their food offerings are amazingly good too!  And you gotta try the Hoop Cheese on a sandwich!   [caption id="attachment_30621" align="alignnone" width="700"] Come In sign at RM Brooks in Rugby[/caption] [caption id="attachment_30626" align="alignnone" width="700"] Old Gulf Pump makes for a great frame.[/caption] While my wife was hiking the Sheltowee Trace in the Big…
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Roadtrippin’ 2020: An Overview

Roadtrippin’ 2020: An Overview

Adventure, Arizona, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Bison, Books, Bridges, Buffalo, California, City Skylines, Cross Country Road Trips, Deer, Dinosaurs, Dragons, Dream Highways, Eagles, Family Travel, Geologic Formations, Giant Things, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Landscapes, Less Beaten Paths Books, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Mountains, Mountains, Murals, National Monuments, National Parks, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ocean Scenes, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Oregon, Place Names, Quirky Things, Raccoon, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Rocky Mountains, Route 66, Sandhill Cranes, Seagulls, Selfies, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Town Names, Travel with grandchildren, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, US 129, US Highway 101, US Highway 16, Vintage Neon, Wall Art, Welcome Signs, Wyoming
[caption id="attachment_25138" align="alignleft" width="300"] With family at Stitch the Dragon on the Tail of the Dragon (US 129) in Tennessee[/caption] The year 2020 has been a tough year for many people around the world.  Its thrown me for a few loops as well.  But, overall, as I look back on the year, it has been an absolutely amazing one.  In fact, this may very well have been one of my biggest domestic road tripping years ever.  Including the 8154 epic road trip in January and February, I put on an additional 4-5000 miles.  Following are some of the highlights,  which will be covered in separate posts over the next few days. Many of the trips included some of my children and grandchildren.  We had some mini-reunions together.  From the Blue…
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Murals of Hamilton, Ohio

Murals of Hamilton, Ohio

Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Graffiti Walls, Less Beaten Paths Books, Murals, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Street Art, Unexpected Discoveries, Wall Art
[caption id="attachment_25261" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hamilton's namesake, Alexander Hamilton, has a nice mural in downtown Hamilton. Painted by Nicole Trimble[/caption] Many cities are moving towards becoming "mural towns" as a drawing card to their towns.  The nice thing about murals is that they are each so unique and original.  In late October 2020 I had the opportunity to visit Hamilton, Ohio, which has now added numerous murals to buildings all around the town.  Thanks to an organization called StreetSpark, some lovely murals have begun dotting the town. StreetSpark is similar to Lexington's PRHBTN organization, which I have written about a number of times. StreetSpark is a public art program established in 2016 in partnership with the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation, and…
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