Road Trips

Road Trips

Party of One – Wednesday Night in Breezewood

In the past couple of years, I've cruised through the town of Breezewood, Pennsylvania a handful of times. Not because I was seeking it out, but just... because. If you're riding along Route 30, it just happens. One minute you're buzzing through nothing much and then whammo! You're smack in ...
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Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch – Oro Grande, California – Route 66

On the gray morning of January 2, 2017, I was cruising along Route 66 through Oro Grande, California on a rented Tiger 800. Amongst the dusty scrub sat an oasis - Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch. It was glorious. During my visit, I had the place to myself. I silently walked among ...
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One Year Later: My Desert Awakening Went Back to Sleep

One year ago today, December 28, 2016, I stood in the golden sun of the California desert taking in Salvation Mountain. The day shimmered with magic, possibility, and the excitement unique to being on a journey. sal·va·tion noun: salvation 1. preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss. synonyms: lifeline, ...
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Seeking LOVE in Monterey, Virginia

After leaving the town of Buckhannon, West Virginia then stopping at the tiny Randy Brown Memorial Chapel - I wound my way across the mountains down 219, across 250 and into the town of Monterey, Virginia. I've ridden this section of Route 250 quite a few times and it never disappoints. After ...
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That Time I Met the Lord on a Virginia Backroad

Some might say that riding along through the mountains and valleys of Virginia backroads is heaven. I'm inclined to agree. After dipping off of Virginia 42 in favor of some smaller roads, I found myself in a rolling valley. The road I was following didn't have a stripe up the ...
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The Old Burke’s Garden Virginia Post Office

Following the very wiggly VA 623, will drop you into the upland valley of Burke's Garden, Virginia. When there, something about it feels like you're in a place cut off from the rest of the world. The local whitepages: My travels brought me to Burke's Garden because of a photo I'd ...
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Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial – Whitesville, West Virginia

While riding along Route 3, I passed through the town of Whiteseville, West Virginia. The small town doesn't stand out much from any of the other small towns nestled in the West Virginia mountains. But it is home to a memorial that is an arresting sight. "Come to me, all ...
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Cruising Along Route 3 – West Virginia

After passing through Rhodell, I spent the night in Beckley, West Virginia. That evening I sat drinking a beer alone in a restaurant, thinking about everything I'd seen along the way. Spilling my observations and secrets into my little pink notebook was cathartic. When taking in so much input all ...
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Snapshots: The Odd, West Virginia Post Office

Maybe I should just go ahead and have all my mail forwarded here 😉 I think that the first time I ever saw the name Odd, West Virginia was in a photo from David over at Less Beaten Paths blog. He always features great Americana from his travels on his ...
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Paulverizer – The Cyborg Muffler Man of Buena Vista, Virginia

This ain't your mama's muffler man. No, this? This is somethin' else! You've got that familiar sturdy jaw and that manly mug but that's about it. And a nice little hat tip to the motorcycle. Unfortunately, with the sky so hazy and the crazy backlighting, I didn't snap very many good ...
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Just Passing Through – Small Town, West Virginia

Rhodell, West Virginia - a place I'd never heard of prior to standing in front of the alternating colors of the post office's awning. Why would I have? It isn't a pass-through on a way to a bigger town. It isn't famous for anything. No, it's just a little tucked ...
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I’m Pretty Sure Bigfoot is Looking for ME!

While I was standing around gawking at lovely Cubanola Cigar ghost ads in Radford, Virginia, I felt someone looking over my shoulder... At this point, I think that Bigfoot might be looking for me. I see him everywhere! Posts about Bigfoot ...
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Cubanola Cigar Ghost Ad – Radford, Virginia

The town of Radford, Virginia had a 1-2 punch of beautiful ghost ads. There was the Wine of Cardui, R. S. Carson Druggist and Cubanola Cigar combo. And then there was this. Hello, gorgeous! Cubanola 5¢ Cigars - All Havana Filler I don't know anything about tobacco and it's history. I don't smoke ...
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Radford, Virginia Ghost Ad – Wine of Cardui

In the town of Radford, Virginia there are two excellent walls with ghost ads on them. While appreciating the aesthetics of the ads themselves is one thing, falling down the rabbit hole of finding out what the olde tyme ads are for can be its own kind of fun. When I ...
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September Road Trip Notes: Taking the Bonneville

For my road trip in September, I did things a little differently. The biggest change was that I decided to forego my zippy, mile-eating Tiger for the stripped-down simplicity of the Bonneville. The choice left some people wondering "why?" The simple answer? Because I wanted to. Because I'd never done ...
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Photo: Onego, West Virginia Post Office

The Onego, West Virginia post office on a Wednesday afternoon ...
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The Mail Pouch Tobacco Ad of Grafton, West Virginia

One of my favorite Mail Pouch Tobacco wall ads is in downtown Grafton, West Virginia. There is so much going on, it is a feast for the eyes. Is it just me or is that gentle gradient on the Pianos & Organs part especially lovely? The whole thing feels like ...
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Photos: Morning in Orange, Virginia

There are moments in the morning when the light that spills over everything feels special ...
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Two Barn Murals Around Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

When I woke up in Wilkes-Barre, my plan for the day was to swing by Williamsport to see if I could find the repaired Whispering Giant, Woapalanne. Then I would turn my wheels south to make my way to Fredericksburg, Virginia for the night, where I was volunteering to staff ...
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September Road Trip Notes: Odds and Ends

In September, I took a road trip to mosey around a bit on the Bonneville. These are some of the notes that I jotted down about the peripheral odds and ends that helped to make my trip a success. A few weeks before my trip, I'd added a RAM X-Grip mount to ...
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Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Along with dinosaurs and my favorite, the Giant Chicken Army, cows have to be one of the most abundant roadside animal statues. I saw two more big ladies of note while road tripping in September, both in Pennsylvania. The well-loved big cow of Wilkes-Barre. She's just up the road from ...
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Rambling Along on Virginia 56

After visiting the old Rockfish post office, I picked up Virginia 56 and followed it for about 30 miles. Aside from being a nice little wiggler, the sights along the road were just the type of thing I was hungry to see. It's the Devil's Road! Now, that might seem ...
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The Tiny Old Rockfish, Virginia Post Office

One for the tiny post office files. This little gem has been starred on my Google map of stuff to do for quite a while now. In September, I stopped by for a look: US Post Office Rockfish, Virginia 22966 Est. 1914 Closed 1974 Each photo that I've seen of ...
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Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

While puttering around the house on this rainy morning, the notion of posting some of the photos from my most recent road trip flittered in and out of my thoughts. That idea was swirled between the need to do laundry, buy dog food and have another cup of coffee. Needing ...
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A Foggy Virginia Morning with Cows

While life unfolded around me - school buses came, people went to work, cows took a morning dip - I just stood. I stood looking at the hills rolling away into the fog. At first, I thought that maybe I stood there doing nothing. But nothing is far from the truth ...
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Vintage Signs Actually Worth Writing Home About – Plymouth, Pennsylvania

Leaving Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Friday morning, I decided to follow Route 11 west for a while. Busy but not too busy two-laners that pass through towns long past their prime are where you can spot some of the aging Americana that I love so much. The riding isn't so hot, ...
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Rewinding the Spring – Returning from a Road Trip

Each time I've come home from a riding trip, there is a strange period of decompression that happens. Or maybe re-compression - that's likely more accurate because it's the process of rewinding my internal spring too tightly. When I ride home through the NY Metro gauntlet back to the place ...
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Whispering Giants: Chief Woapalanne of Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Last week I stopped in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania to see the Whispering Giant, Chief Woapalanne. Though he was taken out of commission from his original perch in the summer of 2015 due to rot, a rescue effort was mounted and the Giant was restored. Following a tweet from the ...
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A Great Big Cup O’ Coffee in Wilkes-Barre

This big coffee mug sits vacant in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Spring street. A wonderful dream - unrealized. Are we all standing at the edge of greatness? Is it always there waiting for us to take a leap of faith and grab hold of it? Happiness - is there anything greater ...
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Wrestling the Monster of Pre-Trip Guilt

Whenever I am getting ready to head off on a solo trip somewhere, inevitably I find myself conflicted by a range of discordant emotions. There is, of course, the giddy excitement and wonder about what I'll see and do along the way. But, conversely, there are the feelings at play ...
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Road Trip Planning – Fighting the FOMO and Shrinking My Radius

In a few weeks, following the Void Rally, I'll once again set off on a week-long road trip. Already being away from home makes it easy to continue going further. From Fredericksburg, Virginia - I'll be heading... south? West? This is my dilemma. Since I'm closer than I would normally ...
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Road Trip Inspiration: Hillbilly Hot Dogs Postcard

Recently, I wrote about my friend Chris and how he sends me postcards from the places he visits on his motorcycle. Last week I received a card from Hillybilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, WV. The card looks like a folksy representation of a roadside shack you might see being reclaimed by the ...
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Walking With Ghosts in The Desert

The Goldwell Open Air Museum sits just outside of the northeastern entrance of Death Valley and at the edge of the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. I'd seen photos of the sculptures that grace the grounds many times online. But, seeing the ghostly shapes of Albert Szukalski's pieces in person ...
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New Year’s Day with Beggars in Death Valley

On New Year's Day, I awoke in Las Vegas. The rest of the world was still asleep after a long night of reveling. As I rode down the strip towards old Las Vegas and the Freemont Street area, a less-than-glamorous film stuck to everything. Once outside of the fantasy bubble ...
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New Year’s Eve in the Valley of Fire

On the morning of December 31st, 2016, when I awoke it was still dark. I was in Las Vegas. I hadn't planned on being there for New Year's Eve, it was just the way that my trip unfolded. Though it was a holiday, it was an easy place to get ...
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Using Google Alerts For Road Trip Inspiration

There is no telling what will inspire you to hit the road to go and see something with your own eyes. You could, of course, leave things to chance. Afterall, serendipity is a beautiful thing. But, if you're an information glutton like me - you like to cram your head ...
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Random Odds and Ends from Kansas and Missouri

My route back home to Long Island from Catoosa, Oklahoma in October of 2016 bumbled along Route 66. At the time I remember feeling like I was moving too fast, that I wasn't taking enough time to linger. I don't know why that happens but it does. You long for ...
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Remember That Time I Rode to Oklahoma?

In October of 2016, after completing the Void Rally 11 in Fredericksburg, Virginia I set off towards Oklahoma with the goal of seeing the Blue Whale of Catoosa. I know, I know. It's ridiculous. But, that seems to be my specialty. Straight as an arrow along Route 66 in Ok ...
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The Grasshopper, Scorpion and Serpent Who Stole My Heart

Coming down from the mountains along Montezuma Valley road there were spectacular views of the desert valley below. I was on my way to Borrego Springs to visit Galetta Meadows and the metal sculptures that live among the sand and scrub. Though there are over 100 different sculptures scattered about, without hesitation ...
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Riding to Sloan, Nevada to Visit Seven Magic Mountains

On New Year's Eve eve, I found myself tracking across the Mojave, on through Amboy, past the world's largest thermometer in Baker and towards Las Vegas. The sky was gray and a chill settled in. When I made it to Sloan, Nevada the surface of the road whispered that I was chasing ...
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Serendipity is a… Giant Rocking Chair?

"Babe! You're never going to believe where I'm standing right now!" "Where?" "In front of the world's largest rocking chair!" "Why am I not surprised?" "Actually, I ended up here completely by accident." "Of course you did." My husband Kenny's sarcasm came through loud and clear, even in text. It's ...
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One Of The Simplest Pleasures of Riding a Motorcycle Is When You Stop

Sometimes the simplest pleasure in the world is doin' nothin'. There can be so much to see when you're just standing around being. Life becomes uncomplicated and yet expands far beyond the reaches of your mind. Not far from Ocotillo, I stood watching some wind turbines and snapping a few ...
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Riding a Motorcycle Through the Big Wide World

Riding across the Mojave from Twentynine Palms on my way to Amboy, California was something of a spiritual experience. Seeing an ocean of sand spill out before me with dappled light spread across the expanse... it is a moment I will never forget. I had many such moments in different ...
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Route 66 Amboy, California – Roy’s Cafe

When something from popular culture becomes a fixture in my mind, often when I visit such a place I don't know how to react. Almost like standing around at a party and not knowing what to do with your hands. The sight isn't a surprise. You've seen it a million ...
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California Desert Art: Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum

While near Joshua Tree, California - I made a pitstop at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Museum. When I pulled up in the early morning, the light coming east across the desert was glorious. It bathed everything in a golden glow. To the west, menacing clouds gathered. And me? I ...
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Motorcycle Travel Packing – Some Odds and Ends

When I'm roadtripping on the bike, I do my best to pack lightly with regard to clothing. I try to pack things that are easily re-wearable, wrinkle resistant and fast drying. Fast drying is a huge help. That means I can wash them when I stop for the night and they're ...
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Finding Forgiveness in the California Desert

It was cold when I left the town of Brawley. The sun was just starting to make its way up the eastern sky. The dusky morning blanketed the horizon in a gray-blue haze. The world was not awake yet. With the sun rising at my back, I hummed west with ...
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The Giant Beetle Spider of North Palm Springs

There aren't many people that I know who love spiders. But I have a peculiar fascination with big spiders like tarantulas and the giant huntsman. Not that I want one on me - I just like to look at them. Perhaps thats why this giant Beetle Spider in North Palm Springs ...
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We Are All Just Little Seeds

With the sunset closing in on Salvation Mountain, I continued south along the Salton Sea to the closest town with a chain hotel in it. Google Maps said that was the Best Western in Brawley, California. By this time of the day, I was hungry, dirty and windburned. I felt ...
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Love Wins and Other Streetart Wisdom

What someone chooses to say publicly in paint fascinates me. I feel similarly about bumper stickers. You might only have one shot at getting the attention of someone's eyeballs and this is what you want them to know. My biggest takeaway from this little shack is LOVE WINS. I want that to ...
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