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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Chester, Illinois: The Birthplace of Popeye

Chester, Illinois: The Birthplace of Popeye

Arkansas, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, Bridges, Cross Country Road Trips, Family Travel, Giant Things, Illinois, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Lewis and Clark Sites, Murals, Offbeat Places, Place Names, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Selfies, Town Names, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Welcome Signs
[caption id="attachment_36205" align="alignnone" width="481"] Hanging with Popeye in Chester, Illinois.[/caption] With every trip I take, I am always looking for something interesting.  Not just a one off quirky statue somewhere, but hopefully something bigger.  Back in October when I visited Route 66 in Illinois, I looked for something interesting to see on the way home.  Thanks to my good friends at RoadsideAmerica.com, I was guided to the river town of Chester, Illinois.  It sits on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River just across from Missouri. [caption id="attachment_36202" align="alignnone" width="640"] Welcome to Chester, Illinois[/caption] The view of the Chester Bridge over the river from Segar Memorial Park is really a splendid view and the town itself is a pleasant little town.  That in and of itself was worth the visit.  But,…
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Olney, Illinois: White Squirrels and More

Olney, Illinois: White Squirrels and More

Adventure, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Bucket List Trips, Cross Country Road Trips, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Illinois, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Less Beaten Paths Books, Murals, Offbeat Places, Place Names, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Selfies, Squirrels, Street Art, Tennessee, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, US Highway 50, Wall Art, Washington, Welcome Signs, White Squirrels, Yard Art
[caption id="attachment_36318" align="alignleft" width="225"] Sumoflam, sun and a White Squirrel[/caption] I have already posted  about my Illinois Route 66 trip, but along the way I had many small adventures.  One of the bigger "small" adventures was a visit to Olney, Illinois on October 1.  The town of Olney is on US 50 where it crosses IL 130 and is only about 34  miles east of the Indiana border. Its biggest drawing card is their White Squirrels. Yes, White Squirrels.  Recorded sightings of the Olney-area white squirrels go as far back as the 1890s.  Bu 1941 there were about 800 white squirrels.  Since the mid-1970s the town has done a white squirrel census annually. But, cats and dogs often had a negative impact, so, in 1997 the Olney City Council made…
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Casey, Illinois: Big Things, Small Town

Casey, Illinois: Big Things, Small Town

Adventure, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Bucket List Trips, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Giant Things, Illinois, Less Beaten Paths Books, Murals, Offbeat Places, People Shots, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Selfies, Street Art, Unique Places, Unique Shops, US Highway 40, US Highway 50, US Highway 60
[caption id="attachment_36139" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sumoflam at the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Casey, Illinois[/caption] In my previous post I wrote about taking Route 66 for my 66th birthday in October.  On the way to Chicago, I made a detour to visit the fun little town of Casey, Illinois which prides itself for its numerous roadside attractions, unique downtown area and their small town charm. The real draw for this place is all of the World's Largest and numerous other Big Things that are peppered around the town.  The town features 12 Guinness World Book certified World's Largest things and at least 25 other Big Things.  On my visit I didn't get to all of them, even though I spent the night.  Casey is really an all-day experience  for those that want to see…
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Route 66 in Illinois – Celebrating 66th Birthday

Route 66 in Illinois – Celebrating 66th Birthday

Adventure, Backroads Discoveries, BBQ Places, Big Cities, Books, Bucket List Trips, Burger Joints, Cities and Towns, City Skylines, Eateries, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Ghost Signs, Giant Things, Graffiti Walls, Highways and Roadways, Hot Dog Places, Illinois, Interstate 55, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Landscapes, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Muffler Man, Murals, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Monuments, Nature and Scenery, Offbeat Places, Place Names, Quirky Things, Restroom Signs, Restrooms, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Route 66, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, Street Art, Town Names, Travel Blogging, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, Unique Shops, US Highway 30, US Highway 40, US Highway 60, US Highways, Vintage Neon, Wall Art, Wanderlust, Water Towers, Welcome Signs, Yard Art
[caption id="attachment_35900" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sumoflam on Route 66 in Illinois[/caption] Everyone knows that Route 66 is considered to be America's most iconic highway. Known as the Mother Road, there have been songs written about it, TV shows that feature it and hundreds of groups that travel it. To me, US Route 66 is really just another US Highway, but, due to its pop culture status, it is a fun highway to travel. As 2022 kicked in, it was my hope that I could use my 66th birthday on October 4 as an excuse to travel the entire length from Chicago to Santa Monica. As is typically the case, things don't always go as planned and/or hoped for, and such was the case for my 2022 Route 66 plan. Nevertheless, I…
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New Murals in Cincinnati – 2022

New Murals in Cincinnati – 2022

Big Cities, Books, Graffiti Walls, Less Beaten Paths Books, Murals, Ohio, Selfies, Street Art, Travel Blogging, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Wall Art
[caption id="attachment_35832" align="alignleft" width="300"] Sumoflam at the Cincinnati Toy Heritage mural, Nov 2022[/caption] It has been a while since I posted photos of murals in Cincinnati. My previous post that included a number of murals was in 2014 (See it here). Like many larger cities, Cincinnati has an organization dedicated to the promotion of public and theirs is called ArtWorks. ArtWorks has been around since 1996 and, since that time, has completed more than 14,000 public and private art projects in its 26 years, including more than 230 permanent outdoor murals. This post will feature a few of them that I captured on November 6, 2022. It by no means even comes close to all of the murals to be found in the Cincinnati Metro area. [caption id="attachment_35849" align="alignnone" width="700"]…
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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 R Towns #atozchallenge

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

A to Z Challenge, Adventure, Antique Shops, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Books, Bucket List Trips, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Church Signs, Cross Country Road Trips, Delaware, Dream Highways, Eateries, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Frogs, Ghost Signs, Giant Things, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Kentucky, Landscapes, Large Statues, Less Beaten Paths Books, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Mountains, Mountains, Murals, National and State Parks, Historic Sites and More, National Monuments, National Parks, New Mexico, North Dakota, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Peter Wolf Toth, Place Names, Quirky Things, Random Thoughts, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Rocky Mountains, Route 66, Selfies, Signs and Billboards, Stop Signs, Street Art, Street People, Tennessee, Tourist Traps, Unique Eatery, Vintage Neon, Washington, Welcome Signs, Whispering Giants, Whispering Giants, Wisconsin, Yard Art
Folks, I know I am behind on my posts, but I promise I have not forgotten!!  I have been to Reminderville, so I cant forget.  I've been kicked in tow different Rugbys and have been scared into catching up by a monster in Rhinelander! Actually, life has been pretty swamped, but I have so many places I want to introduce you to and the R towns really will add a chunk of fun to my sections of the A to Z Challenge! ENJOY THE READ!  ENJOY THE RIDE! RUGBY, NORTH DAKOTA There are eight different towns in the United States named Rugby.  Though I have only been to two of them, I would argue that they are the two best places named Rugby in the United States. Arguably, Rugby, North…
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Towns of America A to Z: The Q Towns #atozchallenge

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

A to Z Challenge, Adventure, Airlines, Antique Shops, Arizona, Back Roads, Backroads Discoveries, Bison, Books, Bridges, Buffalo, Buildings, Barns and Houses, Cross Country Road Trips, Family Travel, Found Metal Sculptures, Junk Art, Junk-art Sculptures, Kentucky, Less Beaten Paths Books, Murals, Museums, Offbeat Places, Ohio, Place Names, Quirky Things, Roadside Attractions, Roadsigns, Signs and Billboards, Texas, Town Names, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Houses, Unique Places, Unique Shops, US Highway 1, Welcome Signs
Tis will be one of the Quicker reads for y'all since there are not many places that begin with the letter Q and I have been to even less of them.  However, I will queue up a few for your viewing enjoyment. Honestly, since I watch a lot of TV, and have a liking for Family Guy, I ALMOST included Quahog, Rhode Island in this post.  This is the town where the Griffin family resides. Quahog (pronunced KO-hog) has about 800 people and even has a Zip Code of 00093.  Ironically, there is town in Rhode Island called Quonochontaug (pronounced kwan-a-kan-tawg) located a couple of miles south of US 1 on the Atlantic Coast, but I have not been there (though I have been to Rhode Island). It is actually…
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