#TBT – Visiting Erie Canal, JELL-O Museum, Bethlehem, Nicholson Bridge

#TBT, Antsy McClain, Backroads Discoveries, Bridges, Bucket List Trips, Cross Country Road Trips, Farmland, Found Metal Sculptures, Ghost Signs, Giant Things, New York, Pennsylvania, People Shots, Place Names, Roadside Attractions, Throwback Thursday, Train Bridges, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Houses, Unique Places, Wildflowers
(Author's note: This post is another in my Throwback Thursday series.  Taken from August 2008 on a visit to Bethlehem for the Music Festival to join Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours.  I also visited a number of other sites. At the time I was still working in Woodstock, Ontario) August 1, 2008: Instead of heading back to Kentucky for the weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Bethlehem, PA and join Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours for their two performances at the 2008 Bethlehem MusikFest.  I decided to make a weekend of it and visit more places along the way that I had yet to get to.  It would be a fun weekend indeed!! I headed out early and headed southeast towards Buffalo.  My adventures…
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#TBT Nightmares and Dreams Come True

#TBT, Backroads Discoveries, Cross Country Road Trips, Ohio, Ontario, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery
(Note:  This #TBT Post was written back in late March 2008.  Considering the massive snows that the East Coast has endured in Winter 2015, it made me think of this treacherous time for me 7 years ago. At this time I was still working in Ontario and living in a small flat in Paris, ON) March 24, 2008: This last few weeks have been a wild ride for me and most literally so.  I have been through some life-threatening experiences as well as some absolutely exhilarating experiences. It all started back on Friday, March 7.  I was very excited as I planned to go to Cleveland that weekend, both to see my half brothers and sisters (the Laurienzos) as well as to see my good friend Aaron Boone play football…
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#TBT Travel: The Mission Days in Japan-1976-78

#TBT, Backroads Discoveries, City Skylines, Farmland, Giant Things, Japan, Landscapes, Large Statues, Throwback Thursday, Travel Blogging, Travel in Japan, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places
[caption id="attachment_12012" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Mt. Fuji and Fuji City  (ca. 1978)[/caption] For this week's edition of #TBT, I take a look back to 1976 when I served as an LDS missionary in Japan. Just a year earlier I had joined the church and, like some of my friends, as a 19 year old I was off to serve in a very foreign country.  (Please forgive the schmutz on the photos...many of these were scanned from 38 year old slides) [caption id="attachment_12026" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Mt. Fuji framed by Japanese flag, (ca. 1978)[/caption] Prior to my trip to Japan, I had never been to a foreign country other than a couple of marching band trips to Alberta in Canada. Therefore, this was a new experience for me. I had to have a…
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Travel #TBT: Jan. 2010 – A Weekend in KC and St. Louis

Antsy McClain, Backroads Discoveries, BBQ Places, Cross Country Road Trips, Eateries, Farmland, Found Metal Sculptures, Giant Things, Indiana, Landscapes, Large Statues, Missouri, Murals, Museums, Roadside Attractions, Route 66, Street Art, Throwback Thursday, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Vintage Neon, Wall Art, Yard Art
A weekend in St. Louis/Kansas City - Jan. 14-17, 2010 January 14, 2010: ROAD TRIP!!  After quite a hiatus on road trips, I finally took one.  Now that I am working for iHigh.com (was until 2012) I do have occasion to take a trip or two for support.  In this instance I was to travel to Kirkwood High School in St. Louis to Live Stream a basketball tournament on January 15, and then travel to Kansas City to Live Stream a large wrestling tournament at Center High School.  Naturally, along the way both there and back I made some side trips, as is always my custom, but in this case I did not veer too far off the beaten path. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1145"] Lexington, KY to Santa Claus, IN…
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2014: The Highlights and Top 10 Sites Visited

Alligators, Backroads Discoveries, Bucket List Trips, Car Art, Cross Country Road Trips, Dream Highways, Eateries, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Geologic Formations, Giant Things, Graffiti Walls, Illinois, Kentucky, Landscapes, Large Statues, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Murals, National Monuments, National Parks, Nebraska, North Dakota, Roadside Attractions, States and Provinces, Street Art, Texas, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, US Highway 2, US Highway 212, US Highway 61, Wall Art, Wyoming, Yard Art
The year 2014 brought me some wonderful opportunities to travel and even fulfill some travel dreams. In the past year I traveled nearly 10,000 miles on road trips and traversed through 19 states (including my home state of Kentucky).  With all of this travel I was able to hit a few "bucket list" stops and also drive a good part of some "bucket list" highways as well. Overall, the year was splendid. The Big Highlights 9,700 Miles Driven Traveled through 19 states Drove about 1,200 miles of US Route 2, one of my Bucket List Highways.  Drove from Ironwood, MI to Browning, MT Drove the Blues Highway in Mississippi Drove the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming (which Charles Kuralt noted as "the most beautiful drive in America" and I concur My…
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Deep in the Heart of Texas: Galveston-Houston

Alligators, Animals, Backroads Discoveries, Bakeries, BBQ Places, Birds, Bucket List Trips, Car Art, City Skylines, Cross Country Road Trips, Eateries, Farmland, Found Metal Sculptures, Ghost Signs, Giant Things, Landscapes, Large Statues, Murals, Place Names, Roadside Attractions, Street Art, Tennessee, Texas, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Houses, Unique Places, Vintage Neon, Wall Art, Wildflowers, Yard Art
After a great three days in Galveston, it was time to get back on the road.  I would head north to Houston, then on to Austin and eventually into Fort Worth. Texas is a BIG state and there is lots of ground to cover.  My first day would cover some backroads from Galveston and meander my way into Houston where I would stay overnight with my uncle. [caption id="attachment_11544" align="aligncenter" width="693"] Heart of Texas Route Day 1 - Galveston to Houston the long way[/caption] There were things I had planned to see along the way and found a few things along the way as well.  I figured that I may not get this way again (south of Houston) for a while, so I took advantage of a full day of…
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50,000 Views and a Reinvention of Myself

Random Thoughts, Travel Blogging
A few days ago my Less Beaten Paths blog hit the 50,000 viewer mark. This is after about 22 months of being live. (see iPhone screen capture at left) In comparison with other similar travel blogs, I am probably way far off in terms of viewers. But, honestly, that is not as important to me as what this milestone means and what doing this blog has had in terms of an impact on my life. I started writing my Less Beaten Paths travel blog in January 2013. At that time I had been unemployed for a couple of months from a job that I dearly loved and truly excelled at.  It was a shock for me to be let go, but I was among many that weekend.  Nonetheless, I was…
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Jurustic Park – The Land of Scrap Metal Dragons and Critters

Bucket List Trips, Cross Country Road Trips, Found Metal Sculptures, Giant Things, Mythical Creatures, Roadside Attractions, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Wisconsin
Jurustic Park - Marshfield, Wisconsin[/caption] Last October (2012) I made a trip to Wisconsin with my daughter and granddaughter.  We visited a number of places, but there was none better than Jurustic Park.  (You can see the entire trip report posts here -- Wisconsin Trip 2012). Jurustic Park is the brainchild of former attorney Clyde Wynia, who calls himself a paleontologist. [caption id="attachment_3793" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Clyde Wynia - the local Jurustic Park paleontologist[/caption] In reality, he has taken to doing metal work and welding of a hundreds of critters, which, he claims (in his paleontologist hat), were many of the "extinct creatures that inhabited the large McMillan Marsh near Marshfield during the Iron Age."  He claims to have discovered these creatures and has worked to get them back together.  Wisconsin Public…
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Screaming Heads and Midlothian Castle – Ontario

Backroads Discoveries, Bucket List Trips, Family Travel, Farmland, Giant Things, Large Statues, Mythical Creatures, Ontario, Place Names, Roadside Attractions, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Yard Art
Just about 4 years ago I took a drive through Algonquin National Park in Ontario.  On the trip we also headed west into Burk's Falls to visit the famed "Screaming Heads" and Midlothian Castle.  This was a fascinating trip. This entire project was begun by school teacher and artist Peter Camani.  He is a Secondary School teacher, but has also spent over 25 years constructing Monolith-like sculptures in the shape of giant heads, which are scattered throughout the property. A two-headed dragon sits atop the chimney of his Midlothian Castle and he has a version of the See/Say/Hear No Evils greet visitors. There are more than a hundred “screaming head” sculptures, each one at least 20 feet in height. According to Wikipedia, Camani says he "built his otherworldly creations as…
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An Alien in Mars

An Alien in Mars

Backroads Discoveries, Cross Country Road Trips, Found Metal Sculptures, Giant Things, Pennsylvania, Place Names, Post Offices, Roadside Attractions, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Yard Art
Famous Spaceship in Mars, PA[/caption] On a trip between Canada and Lexington in April 2008 I took a trip to West Virginia and Pennsylvania and made my way to Mars (see full report). [caption id="attachment_168" align="alignleft" width="227"] Welcome to Mars[/caption] Mars is a small town in western Pennsylvania.  From what I could locate there is not really any history as to how the town got its name.  The town was founded in 1873 by a Samuel Parks, where he eventually had a Post Office added to his home and had assistance from a certain Samuel Marshall.  The original name was Overbrook, but in 1882 it was changed to Mars since there was already a train station along the way called Overbrook. Speculation has it that the town was a shortened…
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