Road Trip: Dallas to Lexington, KY via Branson, MO

Arkansas, Backroads Discoveries, Cross Country Road Trips, Eateries, Found Metal Sculptures, Giant Things, Illinois, Kentucky, Large Statues, Missouri, Oklahoma, Roadside Attractions, Texas, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places
[caption id="attachment_4929" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Scrap Metal Horses by Doug Owen in Durant, Oklahoma[/caption] After being gone for nearly a month in Idaho and then a few days in Dallas for work in mid June (2013), I took the final leg of this adventure and a two day trip to return home to Lexington via Branson, Missouri, where my wife was visiting with her sister.  This would turn out to be another fun adventure as I traveled through Oklahoma and the Ozarks.  Following is the route I took for the trip.  I left in the afternoon and arrived about midnight in Branson. View Larger Map - Dallas, TX to Branson, MO I headed straight up US 75 to Denison and while there at least got a glimpse of the HUGE Eisenhower…
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America the Beautiful: The Song in Photos for the 4th of July

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Backroads Discoveries, Bridges, California, City Skylines, Colorado, Connecticut, Cross Country Road Trips, Delaware, Dream Highways, Enchanted Highway, Family Travel, Farmland, Florida, Geologic Formations, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Landscapes, LDS Temples, Lewis and Clark Sites, Lighthouses, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Mountains, Murals, Museums, National Monuments, National Parks, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Roadside Attractions, Rocky Mountains, Route 66, South Carolina, South Dakota, States and Provinces, Tennessee, Texas, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Places, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, Waterfalls, West Virginia, Wildflowers, Wisconsin, Wyoming
[caption id="attachment_4643" align="aligncenter" width="239"] Nicholson, Pennsylvania[/caption] I have traveled the broad expanses of this beautiful nation we call America and have seen and enjoyed this country that I call home.  On this July 4th birthday,  I would like to celebrate by adding photos to the words of the song "America the Beautiful", which was written by American Poet Katharine Lee Bates. All photography by David "Sumoflam" Kravetz [caption id="attachment_4632" align="aligncenter" width="183"] Katharine Lee Bates[/caption] AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL [caption id="attachment_4633" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Sunrise over Keller, Texas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4622" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Badlands of South Dakota[/caption] Oh Beautiful, for Spacious Skies [caption id="attachment_4621" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Spacious Skies over South Dakota[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4626" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Spacious Skies over the Grand Canyon in Arizona[/caption] For Amber Waves of Grain [caption id="attachment_4608" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Amber Waves…
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FOOD FOOD FOOD – Part 4: Some Leftovers – Huevos, Poke Sallet, Poutine, Pea Meal and more

Arkansas, Backroads Discoveries, Bakeries, BBQ Places, Eateries, Giant Things, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Place Names, Roadside Attractions, Tennessee, Texas, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, Vintage Neon, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Customers Needed - Toronto, Ontario[/caption] As I have traveled the many back roads of the U.S. and Canada I have seen hundreds of places to eat, many of the are the normal fast food places (we all know THEY are).  But, there are also many other unique Mom and Pop shops, small drive ins, BBQ joints and burger places.  I have covered the main stops from my last 8 or 9 years of travel, but there are many more I have passed along the way and a few that I didn't cover in the previous three posts.  I will touch on them here, though most of them with a photo and a comment or two.  Enjoy! The Leftovers - More of the Places I have been [caption id="attachment_3681" align="aligncenter" width="300"]…
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FOOD FOOD FOOD – Part 2: Barbecue Places and Diners on Less Beaten Paths

BBQ Places, Bucket List Trips, Cross Country Road Trips, Eateries, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Place Names, Roadside Attractions, Unexpected Discoveries, Unique Eatery, Unique Places, Vintage Neon, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Arthur Bryant's - Kansas City[/caption] As I travel across these great United States (and Canada too) perhaps the most common sight along the way is Barbecue (BBQ) places and diners, big and small.  Following are a few of the places I have visited (or at least passed and wished I had time to stop in for a visit....). Hillbilly Hot Dogs - Lesage, WV [caption id="attachment_3361" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Hillbilly Hot Dogs - Lesage, WV[/caption] Ever eaten at a junk yard?  Ever had enough guts to do so?  Well, if you head north of Huntington, WV along the Ohio River to the small little village of Lesage you can do just that at Hillbilly Hot Dogs.  A junk collector's dream and a neatnik's nightmare! [caption id="attachment_3364" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Hillbilly Hot Dogs…
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FOOD FOOD FOOD – Part 1: Restaurants and Cafes on the Less Beaten Paths

Alberta, Arkansas, Bakeries, BBQ Places, Eateries, Family Travel, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ontario, Oregon, Texas, Unique Eatery, Wisconsin
Maid Rite - Lexington, MO[/caption] One of the important facets of traveling the less beaten paths of America (and Canada) is the food.  As I travel the country, I look for good food at local places. This post covers some of the restaurants, steak houses, cafes and fine (or semi-fine) dining places.  Subsequent FOOD posts will include Diners/Drive-Ins, Barbecue Joints, Burger Places and Bakeries/Donut Shops. [caption id="attachment_3217" align="aligncenter" width="448"] Food - Cozy Dog, Springfield, Illinois[/caption] Ric's Grill - Lethbridge, Alberta Ric's Grill - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada [caption id="attachment_3227" align="aligncenter" width="324"] Ric's Grill - Dinner in a Water Tower[/caption] Ric's Grill is one of those REALLY unique places to eat.  I visited Lethbridge on a cross-country trip from Kentucky to Washington in 2005.  I have friends in Lethbridge who took us…
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Sumoflam is Everywhere – A Photo Gallery

Arizona, Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Bridges, Bucket List Trips, City Skylines, Colorado, Horses, Missouri, North Dakota, Place Names, Route 66, South Carolina, South Dakota, Squirrels, States and Provinces, Trinity Music Productions, Wildflowers, Yard Art
Sumoflam and Thunderbirds in Bismarck, ND[/caption] Over the years I have taken nearly 30,000 photos of my travels and in most cases I have not been in the photos.  Over the coming months I will add new galleries that are thematic. this is the first one.  Enjoy!! [nggallery id=2] ]]>
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Road Trip to Idaho – Day 1: Lexington, KY to Savage, MN

Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Bridges, Bucket List Trips, City Skylines, Missouri, South Dakota, States and Provinces
Sunset in Northern Iowa[/caption] A couple of days ago I was informed I have an opportunity for some work in Idaho, and possibly full time employment.  They want me to come out for two weeks and suggested I drive out instead of fly, especially since they know I love to do that.  So, today (March 8) I drove 848 miles over a 15 1/2 hour stretch, finally arriving in Savage, MN for the night.  Following is the map of the trip: Lexington, KY to Savage MN I left Lexington at about 6 AM and just drove straight through Indianapolis and eventually made my way to Advance, IN.  This is a small town located in Boone County.  I went there because of the name. [caption id="attachment_1780" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Advance, Indiana[/caption] Advance…
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I've Been Everywhere – Part IV: Just a few more fun signs

Arizona, Backroads Discoveries, Bucket List Trips, Colorado, Horses, Missouri, Place Names, Route 66, South Dakota, Squirrels, States and Provinces, Trinity Music Productions, Yard Art
Welcome to Mars[/caption] Perhaps Mars, Pennsylvania is the most famous of our planet named towns in the US. No one is sure how the name "Mars" came into being. Some say it was Samuel Park's wife,  who enjoyed astronomy, and others aver that it might be shortened from Samuel Marshall's name.  In any case, on March 6, 1895, Mars was incorporated as a borough.  Residents of Mars are often called "Martians", or "Planets" because of the high school team name, The Fighting Planets. There are a number of other places in the U.S. named after planets. has a nice list of the many town names and place names.  Of all of those on that list, perhaps the most well known would include Jupiter, FL, and Blue Earth, MN, which…
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I've Been Everywhere – Part III: More Unique Town Signs

Arizona, Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Horses, Missouri, North Dakota, Place Names, Route 66, South Dakota, Squirrels, States and Provinces, Trinity Music Productions, Wildflowers
Rabbit Hash, KY[/caption] There are literally hundreds of fun town names around the U.S. and I have barely scratched the surface with them.  In my last post, I noted many names that are common adjectives or descriptive.  This post will have some signs from some of the more unusual place names and hopefully, a little about how the names came to be. [caption id="attachment_802" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Rabbit Hash, KY sign[/caption] Rabbit Hash, KY - This small town of about 40 people is right on the Ohio River in Boone County.  Besides its name, it is also famous for its string of mayors...all dogs. Nobody really knows for sure when the original name of Rabbit Hash came to be.  According to a Wikipedia article, " The hamlet was originally known as…
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I've Been Everywhere – Part II: Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Arizona, Backroads Discoveries, Birds, Colorado, Horses, Missouri, Place Names, Route 66, South Dakota, Squirrels, States and Provinces, Trinity Music Productions, Wildflowers
Sumoflam's Signs[/caption] One of the norms of driving the back roads of America are the town signs.  Anyone that drives any roads typically sees hundreds of them.  Of course, some are pretty typical town names, but, there are many that aren't typical.   Here are a few "descriptive" town name signs that I have picked up along the less beaten paths of America.  I have written about some of these places, but now we can "compare." I would like to say I have made it to all of the strange and wacky town places, but indeed I have not.  Here is one non-definitive list from  Here are a couple more links to the topic - Top 10 Worst Named Cities, Bad Names for Towns, Interesting Town Names. As my photo…
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