Road Trips

Road Trips

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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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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Feeling the Glory Of Salvation Mountain

For a few days now, I've struggled with how to describe my experience visiting Salvation Mountain. I keep coming up short. I am unable to pinpoint the feelings that overwhelmed me there with my cliché words. Perhaps it was the hopeful romanticism of being on a trip and feeling free ...
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Road Trip Bucket List: Visiting the Cabazon Dinosaurs

There is no doubt about it. My introduction to the Cabazon Dinosaurs was through watching Pee Wee's Big Adventure a million times in Junior High. I loved that movie. So in December of 2016 while roadtripping in California, I was ecstatic to be able to visit the dinosaurs of my ...
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The World Famous International Banana Museum

Friends, did you know that there was an International Banana Museum? "A what?" you might ask. But I assure you that yes, you heard me right. International. Banana. Museum. A museum stuffed to the gills with luminous bananesence. It's world famous. It just so happened that on a sunny Wednesday ...
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I Met A Man On The Salton Sea

While I was heading south along the shore of southern California's Salton Sea, I saw a familiar shape casting a shadow across a parking lot. I'm sure my eyes must've swirled with stars as he came in to view. Abruptly, I clamped on the brakes. Before my trip, I hadn't ...
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Fly and Ride: Renting a Tiger 800 for 8 Days in California

Two days after Christmas, I left cold New York for chilly California. If you aren't familiar with California, you might assume a few things: It never rains there It's always warm Both of those things are incorrect. But while sitting in my office, I impulsively decided that I should burn ...
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Roadtripping: I’ve Got a Bad Case of the Hurry-Hurries

When I first set off on a roadtrip, I'm overcome with excitement. It isn't unusual that I will make "mistakes" right out of the gate as a result. I'll forget to plug in, turn on, write down, navigate to, or forego things I'd been excited about all because I'm on ...
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Roadtripping: Fantasy Versus Reality

In preparation for a trip, I might not create a strict timetable or map out a route, but I do find myself engaged in rapturous, absurd fantasies. These fantasies involve who I'll see, where I'll go and of course the gorgeous super-heroine exchanges that I'll have with everyone because I ...
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Happy New Year, Friends

Welcome to 2017, friends. I hope that your holiday season was fun, that you had some time off of work, ate, drank and enjoyed your loved ones. Add to that the hope that you've come in to this new year filled with excitement about all of the possibilities before you ...
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Travel Inspiration in a Cup o’ Coffee

You never know where you'll find inspiration to get out and see good stuff! 🙂 The Blue Whale Route 66 Catoosa, Oklahoma The Gemini Giant Route 66 Wilmington, Illinois Tall Paul Route 66 Atlanta, Illinois ...
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Route 66 Pit Stop: Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

After getting to know the Blue Whale of Catoosa for a bit, it was time to turn around and head back towards the east. Following Route 66 I passed through the town of Foyil, Oklahoma. My GPS favorites screen showed an entry for a Totem Pole. It was just a ...
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Pal’s Sudden Service with Bonus Mufflerman

The facade of the Pal's Sudden Service chain has to be one of the best around. Normally I wouldn't say such things in polite company but, look at that huge wiener! Back in 2012, when Kenny and I were heading towards the Shady Valley Country Store on TN 421 (The ...
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Seen, Unseen and the Route 66 Encyclopedia

Route 66 holds sway over my imagination. I know, it's just a road. And yet, for me something about it transcends that. I can't be alone in this thinking because it has evolved in to a cultural icon. Maybe it has something to do with being built on ideas, hope ...
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Airplane Filling Station – Powell, TN

The Airplane Filling Station née Barber Shop has been on my bucket list for a few years. I got the opportunity to visit when I left Fredericksburg, Virginia following the Void Rally 11 and headed towards Catoosa, Oklahoma to see the blue whale. It was on the way. 🙂 During ...
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Oh, Hello, Blue Whale of Catoosa!

In my last post where I rambled on about daydreams, I did have a specific daydream that was the catalyst. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma. Whale? Meet these fine people. I'd been trying to remember how I first became aware of the Blue Whale. If my ...
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Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

A few years ago during a pit stop at the DeLorme store in Yarmouth, Maine - I picked up a couple maps and travels books. One of the items I brought home was a map featuring Mid-Atlantic lighthouses. Having travel inspiration on the bookshelf at home is always a good thing. Scanning ...
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A Strange Encounter on Route 6 in Ohio

While riding through a fairly residential section of Route 6 in Ohio, as I approached the intersection of a side street, a big silvery fish fell out of the sky. Thick and long, it's 18 inches met the pavement with an unceremonious, vaguely moist sounding splat. It was a sound ...
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Lorain Lighthouse – Banana at East Beach

With my belly grumbling, I decided to stop for a spell at Lakeview Park along Lake Erie to eat my electric banana. I didn't know anything about the park, I just happened to see that it had a waterview. Though my morning ride was just little over a hundred miles since leaving Napoleon, Ohio ...
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Ghost Ad in Chenoa, Illinois: Selz Royal Blue Shoes

While riding Historic Route 66 in Illinois, I tried to take a turn through the towns that seemed to pop up like an oasis after a stretch of nothin' much. Often my ride would be like road, road, road, TOWN, road, road road... These places that punctuate the route seemed to hold ...
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Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

During my ride through Illinois in the fall of 2015, I followed Route 66 north from Springfield and passed through the town of Lincoln, Illinois. Prior to leaving home, I did almost no research about the areas I might ride through. I was just sort of floating on the wind ...
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Petrol-Love: Olde Tyme Service Stations in Illinois

Last fall after finishing a stint at the Void Rally 10 in Virginia, I set off on a road trip around Illinois. My plan was to just bum around and look at stuff. As an Americana-lover, Illinois and it's section of Route 66 have a lot to offer. One thing ...
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I’m Lookin’ Forward to Getting Dirty at the BBA

This year I hope to spend more time riding my dirty bike. The KTM has awakened something inside of me that needs to be explored. I don't know how or why but I'm just going to hop on this wave and ride it out; see where it goes. One of ...
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Quirky Roadside Attractions from Illinois

This morning when I saw the Daily Page prompt: What's the quirkiest thing about you? I had to smirk. Personally, I don't think I'm exceptionally quirky but then, who does? It's other people who find your you-ness quirky and comment on it.  I don't think I dare ask my husband ...
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Route 66 – A Leap of Faith

When the calendar rolled over to 2015 and the Northeast was frozen in the icy grip of a polar vortex, I didn't really expect to see any part of Route 66. I mean, sure I've always fancifully thought about it but never in a real "I should do this now!" sort ...
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In the Shadow of the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle

When I pulled into the parking lot below the world's largest ketchup bottle there was a man talking on his cellphone. I snapped a few photos and scribbled some notes on the hotel pad I keep in my tankbag. During the few minutes I was there fussing around, the man ...
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The Tangled Web of Bigfeet

Does anyone ever wake up in the morning, rub the sleep from their eyes, stretch and think... "I bet I'll see Bigfoot today"? I've got 5-bucks on probably not. But that's the funny thing about life. It is seemingly random. Bigfoot in Cave City, Kentucky I say seemingly because even ...
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The Illusion of Safety

It's funny how you can become fixated on the potential for things to go wrong at a particular time. You look at the situation and place some type of possible danger-score on it and tread lightly or carefully. Maybe that keeps mishap at bay. Or maybe whatever is going to ...
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Oh. Hello, Mr. Water Tower – Nice to See You!

Do you live in the type of place that could have a smiley face water tower? I don't. But I wish I did. This tower was along my route from Metropolis to Springfield, Ill. in the town of Makanda. That bulbous knob with a smirk surveying the land has to ...
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The Decaying Standard Oil Station of Vienna, Illinois

While riding from Metropolis towards Springfield, Illinois I passed through the town of Vienna. It was a place I'd never heard of before. As I slowed approaching the stop sign at IL-146, to my right was the most beautiful ghost. A Standard Oil station. Seeing it immediately made me wish I ...
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That OTHER Guy From Metropolis? Maybe You’ve Heard of Him?

When I left Fredericksburg, Virginia my plan was very loose. I didn't have a route but I did have a few points on the map that I wanted to see. One of them was Metropolis, Illinois - the Official Home of Superman. Now I was never a huge Superman buff ...
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