Roadside Americana

Roadside Americana

Dragons, Elephants, and Lobster Cowboys

These photographs are an assortment of art and animal-things I've spotted in my travels over the last few weeks. They have no real connection to each other except that they are not connected. Now, in that un-connected connection, they're connected. Damn it! A very exciting-looking gas station, indeed. It almost ...
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Been Thinkin’ ’bout the Lincoln

Over the weekend I plucked a book off the shelf that I've had for a few years now: Lincoln Highway Companion: A Guide to America's First Coast-to-Coast Road by Brian Butko. Flipping through its pages, makes me want to hit the road. I wish I could pinpoint what it was ...
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Roadside Snaps: Captain Brown – The Big Fisherman of Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Literally just down the block from Big Bertha the Butt Tree, is the giant old salt fisherman, Captain Brown. He stands in the parking lot of Brown's Wharf Motel and Restaurant. At 15 feet tall, you can't miss him. Brown's must be pretty proud of him as he is heavily featured ...
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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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A Nod to Roadside Americana Staple – The Dinosaur

Over the weekend, I stopped and had a chat with this motley crew. Aren't they a handsome bunch? Dinosaurs are a hugely popular fixture in the roadside Americana landscape. Their popularity seems to transcend visitors' age, social rank, gender and every other qualifier I can think of. I have yet to ...
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Hunting Ghosts: Mail Pouch, Uneeda Biscuit and the Circle Dot

On Sunday I stopped by to take a peek at the Mail Pouch Tobacco ghost ad on East Main in Beacon, NY. Though I'd been to Beacon before, I never saw the sign. It has a serious fade going. As best as I can tell the slogan call outs are ...
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Ride Snaps: Recent Murals, Graffiti and Street Art

While I'm out cruising around, I like to stop and take a look at murals, graffiti and street art along the way. Here are a couple bright spots from the last couple weeks. I'm not sure why dueling grim reapers wearing oven mitts are partaking in a smash-up derby, but, okay. Also, ...
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The Very Handsome Muffler Man of Hancock, Massachusetts

Well, well, well. Would you look at this dapper gent with his new paint job! The last time I stopped in for a visit The Big Man was suffering from a heinous case of the peels. This picture was snapped in 2012. He'd even lost his hat. Poor fella. Seeing ...
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Roadside Americana: Greetings from Woolwich – Mainer C. Lobster

Mainer C. Lobster sits outside of Taste of Maine restaurant in Woolwich, Maine on Route 1. Isn't he glorious? Having a lobster this excited about well, everything would probably bring a lot of sunshine to your life. I'm a little bummed to discover that I could've gone inside and bought ...
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Boothbay Harbor: Gimbel and Sons Country Store Post Office Call Boxes

While in Boothbay Harbor, Maine last week, I was drawn to a lovely olde tyme gas pump standing outside Gimbel & Son's Country Store. I'm not much of a shopper. If I venture in at all, I usually breeze in and out of store fairly quickly. With vacation-centric places it usually ...
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Hunting Ghosts: Uneeda Biscuit and Gold Medal Flour

Troy, New York was once a bustling place that depended largely on the steel industry. When that moved away, the city began to decline. Such places are great for spotting ghost ads. I passed through town over the weekend and saw a few. I'd pulled over to take a photo of this ...
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Big Bertha of Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Oh, what a lovely little house. So New Englandy, isn't it? A charming seaside cottag... what the? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph what is that in the front yard? Oh. Right. It's a butt tree. No big whoop. ARE YOU KIDDING?! IT'S A BUTT TREE! A butt tree. A. BUTT. TREE! **dies** ...
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Serenity Glass Park – Port Allegany, Pennsylvania

While I was riding along Route 6 in Pennsylvania, I passed through Port Allegany. Right in the middle of town sits a small but eye-catching park featuring colorful glass block structures. I couldn't resist stopping to get a look at what the story was. It was called Serenity Glass Park ...
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I Finally Replaced My Stank-Ass Street Helmet

I finally broke down and replaced my manky street helmet. After riding in the outer bands of a hurricane during the Void Rally last October, it never smelled quite right again. As a matter of fact, the clearcoat was destroyed and the graphics peeled away. I've never seen that before. The poor ...
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Scenes from a Pennsylvania Rideabout

In the beginning of June, we spent a long weekend based out of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. My hubs Kenny was doing the Durty Dabbers Dual Sport. I wasn't into it so I opted out this year. Instead, I spent my time bumming around and taking in scenes of America. These ...
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Mail Pouch Tobacco: Looking For Ghosts

This morning I was trying to recall when and where I was first exposed to a Mail Pouch Tobacco barn or ad. I've come up with nothing concrete. My first blog post related to Mail Pouch was from 2009. I'd stopped to take a picture of a barn while we were ...
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A Sunday Morning Trip to the Post Office – Rebersburg, Pennsylvania

While I was standing in front of the charming Rebersburg, Pennsylvania post office taking photos, the clip-clop sounds of an Amish buggy crept up behind me. As the buggy rolled by, a little girl of maybe 7 or 8 hung halfway out of the back window. She wore a bonnet ...
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The Man With a Plan for a Can, The Legend – Chef Boyardee

Every American kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s probably had more than their fair share of curious meatlumps and squishy sketties from a can courtesy of this dude. The man with the can - Chef Boyardee. Most people probably think Chef Boyardee was just a marketing character ...
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Fading Away – Renovo, Pennsylvania Ghost Ads

I've passed through Renovo a few times over the last couple years. Each time I've stopped to snap a photo of the Mail Pouch Tobacco ad on the corner of Huron and 11th. The fade progression is clear in the pictures. Considering the weather and the blazing sun that batters ...
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A Handful of Murals Spotted in Pennsylvania

While riding around central Pennyslvania last weekend, I saw quite a few painted murals. They're one of my favorite things to spot when passing through smaller towns. The town of Jersey Shore had a lovely Veterans Park. It was beautifully manicured and featured a prominent mural. After nearly being hit ...
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A Little Taste of Norway on PA44

With the heat supposed to come on like gangbusters, on Saturday morning I zipped out from Lock Haven before the rest of the world was stirring. There was still a coolness hanging on the air following a quick rainstorm that passed through the valley. As I motored along PA 44, ...
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Visiting Yesteryear – The Red Apple Rest

When I was a kid, each summer my family would load up my mom's green Chevy Vega or my dad's Tradesman 100 van and take a camping trip to Speculator, New York. Those trips usually involved a stop at the Red Apple Rest. Going out to eat was a treat ...
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Clearing the Tracks with Jaws

There's no good reason at all that I'm posting this photo of the Bonnie next to the track-clearing plow train. I just like it. JAWS III sits beside the Long Island Railroad Museum in Greenport, NY. Whenever I stick close to home I seem to find myself out there on ...
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Coalwood, West Virginia – Home of the Rocket Boys

Over the winter I read a book called The Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. It is the memoir of a determined boy who grew up in the shadow of a coal mine tipple in Coalwood, West Virginia in the late 50's - and would go on to become a NASA ...
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Did I Pass Along the Wandering Gene?

Last week, my daughter Chloe and I were sitting in the backyard melting away the day's have-to-dos in the sunshine. Seemingly out of nowhere she said, "I wish I could just get in the car and drive and drive and drive." I gently reminded her that she's old enough to ...
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