Roadside Americana

Roadside Americana

Metal Gear Garden – York, Pennsylvania

While navigating my way around York, Pennsylvania to look for murals and ghost signs, I rode passed a metal garden which had giant flowers made out of gears and things. Something about the Gear Garden felt reminiscent of the PennDOT Sculpture Garden in Meadville, Pa. - another great stop. Perhaps ...
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Roadside Giants Along the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's leg of the Lincoln Highway has some interesting sights peppered along the route. For reasons unknown to even me, I especially love riding along it's western half. The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor established a group of 5 roadside attractions called Roadside Giants for people to stop at and enjoy ...
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Giant Chicken Army: North Carolina’s Master of Disguise

Don't sleep on the Giant Chicken Army. I've warned you all before but it's the same old story. No one does anything until it's too late. While heading towards the Dragon in October, I encountered another mobilized soldier, but this time the scaly legged critter was in uniform. Or... disguise ...
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A Gorgeous Coca-Cola Ghost Sign in York, Pennsylvania

I'm pretty sure I became aware of this ghost sign in York, Pennsylvania from reading Wendyvee's great blog, Roadside Wonders. It's been pinned on my Google Map for years. When I pulled up to take pictures, a man across the street stood and watched me with a big smile on ...
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Harley-Davidson Mural – York, Pennsylvania

York, Pennsylvania has many murals scattered about the city. One that was pinned to my map to visit is the Harley-Davidson Tradition by Michael Svob. As you can imagine any public art related to motorcycling gives a tug at the ole heartstrings. York has hosted a Harley-Davidson plant since 1973 ...
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Pennsylvania: Double Mail Pouch Barn Goodness

Just a hop, skip and a jump up the road from Pennsylvania's great welcome sign, I serendipitously saw a double Mail Pouch barn. Aside from the two visible sides in the picture, the small barn also had a Mail Pouch ad on the side facing the big barn. I seem ...
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Great Sign: Welcome to Pennsylvania

Over the course of a lifetime, we pass lots of welcome signs. They're on stores and parks, at state and country borders. I like stopping to document the border crossings with photos. As my friend Jamie mentioned recently, in addition to the welcome sign, some states will also follow up ...
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Gorgeous Coca-Cola and Mail Pouch Ghost of Winchester, Virginia

File this firmly under the Things I Love category. I first got wind of this ghost while scrolling through states on Dr. Ken Jones' fantastic American Ghosts site. It is an awesome resource for adding punctuation marks to my rides. What I particularly love, beside the combination of the two ...
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Adjusting Expectations With a West Virginia Big Boy

Everything doesn't always come up sunshine and roses when you're road tripping and looking for something you read about or might've heard of in passing. Sometimes a pin on my map for a Mail Pouch barn will turn up a pile of collapsed wood where a barn used to be. Or ...
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A Yeti, an Art Gallery, a Kickass Road – This must be Ranchita, California

In December of 2016, I was in California taking a week-long riding trip. I flew to LA, rented a bike and wandered about. While heading towards Borrego Spring on Montezuma-Borrego Highway, I passed a Yeti in Ranchita. Often people will ask me how I find such things. In this case, it was ...
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See Rock City Barn – Grainger County, Tennessee

While my love for Mail Pouch Tobacco barns and murals is well documented, I do find other olde tyme advertising campaigns appealing, too. Even though I find smoking and tobacco use totally gross, the nostalgic feelings that are stirred within me when I look at Mail Pouch ads is deep ...
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The Old Underwood & Petty Service Station – Strawberry Plains, Tennessee

One of the stars on my Google Map that was close to where I stayed one night in Tennessee, was the old Underwood & Petty service station in Strawberry Plains. I'm not sure where I first saw a picture of the old station. It may have been something in my ...
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Love is Just ‘Round the Corner from Hope in Culpeper, Virginia

When I rolled into Culpeper, Virginia I was charmed by the small town America vibe. At the heart of things is a lovely main street lined with well-manicured restaurants and shops. What pulled me to Culpeper was my worst addiction, the drug I crave most: Love. But before I could ...
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Scenes from a Rainy Thursday

Thursday was the reckoning. I'd enjoyed mostly dry weather the whole week prior so it was time for me to pay the toll. The rain dogged me all day long varying from mist, drizzle, frog-choker, to partly cloudy but menacing. It made for a long cold day and I wound ...
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Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Mural – York, Pennsylvania

This Harley-Davidson mural in York, Pa. has been starred on my Google Map for some time now. It was painted in 1996 by Michael Svob. York has many murals scattered around the city that are worth a look. Address: 258 West Market St. York, Pa ...
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White’s Muffler Man – Wilson, North Carolina

Do you think the people who live in this neighborhood are tormented by the irresistable urge to wave back to this muffler man? I mean, look at him. What a friendly guy. "Mornin', Bob. Have a great day at work." "Hi, Mable. Hair looks great today." "Hey, Jimmy. Goodtaseeya, buddy." ...
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Ceresota Flour Mural – Riegelsville, PA

This spring after spending the night in a caboose, I decided to take the long way home and to stop and see a few stars on my Google Maps app. One of the things I was most looking forward to is this Cerasota Flour mural. Sadly, my car looks way ...
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Are You Ready to See the Greatest Mural Ever?

Hands down, the most incredible mural I saw while visiting Lynn, Massachusetts, and perhaps that I've ever seen is this collab between JPO and Miss Zukie. “Zukies are a fluffy and chubby character that don’t talk,” the Peru native said. “They communicate with facial expressions and thought bubbles.” -itemlive.com They ...
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Beyond Walls – Lynn, Massachusetts Murals and Vintage Neon

The town of Lynn, Massachusetts has been incredible-ized by a program called Beyond Walls, which features neighborhood beautification with vintage neon, sculpture and gorgeous murals. We activate spaces that foster more livable, economically viable, and equitable communities while retaining the voice and integrity of area residents. On Saturday I zipped up ...
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Two Coca-Cola Ghost Signs Spotted

Though I don't drink soda or smoke, I do have an affinity for tobacco and soda wall advertising. Whenever I see a Coca-Cola ghost ad, it feels like a win for the day. Previously I posted a few ghost ads that I saw in Middletown, New York. One that I left out ...
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The Ghosts of MIddletown

Last weekend we had an itty-bitty taste of spring. Temperatures crept into the 60's and so I decided to hop on the Bonnie and visit a few of the pins on my Google Maps app. If I don't look at the Streetview of a pinned item, sometimes I'm not sure what ...
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Would You Like to See My Sweet Caboose?

Sleeping in a caboose is one of the items that has been on my life's To Do list for many years. How it ended up there, at this point I can't say. It's not like I'm not a railroad fanatic or anything. No doubt I stumbled across the existence of ...
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Tales of a Second Grade Nothing

In September while heading east on the Lincoln Highway in the Chambersburg area, I stopped to snap photos of two gas pumps that were part of the Pump Parade. The first was at Shatzer Fruit Market in Chambersburg. It features a Chambersburg peach motif. A little way down the road was ...
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Photos: 2017 Post Office Pit Stops

Stopping and snapping photos of post offices while traveling has become something of a habit. A post office seems to give clues about what a place is like. These snaps are some of the post offices I stopped at in 2017. Rhodell, WV 25915 Helvetia, WV 26224 Vesuvius, VA 24483 North Matewan, ...
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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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