Tag: roadsideamerica

A Great Big Cup O’ Coffee in Wilkes-Barre

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 than that? At times, it can seem like a moving target. But, when I stop and think about the core elements of what brings it to me, there are some simple truths. It is only after I start meddling by over-thinking, turning knobs and flipping switches that things get complicated. That’s when peripheral garbage distracts me from what is at the center of things.

The relaxed part of the mind knows the way. If only I would listen to it.

Perhaps I should switch to decaf.

The Giant Beetle Spider of North Palm Springs

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 really tickled my fancy!

I had to snap this picture from over a fence in a gas station but I think you get a good idea of what it was like. Pretty nifty, huh? It probably looks great when lit.

It’s a short scoot from the Cabazon Dinosaurs, so if you’re in the neighborhood give it a look-see.

Other Beetle Spiders:

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant stands sentinel on Route 66 in the town of Wilmington, Illinois. For as long as I can remember being aware of muffler men, he has captured my imagination as being special. Is it the handsome green space suit? The helmet? Maybe his name? I can’t say for sure.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

What I do know is that he is my favorite muffler man. That’s just the way it is. To some people these fiberglass giants all look the same. They think, what’s the big deal? They don’t do anything. They just stand around being the same as every other muffler man who stands around looking the same.

But, those people would be wrong.

The town of Wilmington is 900 miles from my house. In the scale of this big, wide world it’s not that far. Hell, people ride further than that in a 24 hour period. But, the truth is – sometimes it seemed like I would never be able to get there. I mean, it’s easy to hop on a plane, fly to California and do some sightseeing around San Francisco or LA. A trip like that seems to have a much more concrete purpose, a more definitive destination. You don’t question that you would be able to fill your time there with a million things. When would I ever have a reason to find myself in Wilmington, Illinois?

But, you know what? The only places you can’t get to are the ones you decide you can’t get to. When you decide there isn’t reason enough to go, there isn’t reason enough. But, when you decide you can and there is? Well, then…

In October of 2015, I finally made my way to Wilmington.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

It might sound silly but when I approached the spot where he stands I actually got a flutter of excitement. Especially when my GPS stopped marking his distance in miles and started marking it in feet. I may have said “Ohmygahhhhd” out loud. Maybe.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

When I pulled into the lot and parked, I stumbled around for a few minutes just gawking.

I’d made it!

To a parking lot of a closed down restaurant!

In Illinois!

😀

Reconciling what you’re seeing with what you’d imagined is a curious feeling. Arriving at knowing versus wondering is almost a physical sensation.

Though I was dazzled by his gorgeous green suit, that I did something that I set out to do was as important than seeing the thing itself. Maybe more important.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

I just now realized that the Gemini Giant is secretly smiling underneath his helmet. I know someone else like that.

Thankfully, I don’t have a football jammed up in mine, though.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant

Just wanting to is reason enough to do things.

Quirky Roadside Attractions from Illinois

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 what he thinks it is.

But since we’re on the subject, I will go ahead and share some actual quirky roadside stuff that I saw in Illinois.

Pink elephant towing a trailer? Sure, why not?

pink elephant antique mall

Boyfriend might want to think about a spray tan. Just sayin’…

Doesn’t he look like he might bust out signing into that ice cream one? “I love you, baby and if it’s quite all right I need you, baby… thank you, thank you, very much! Thanks for having me on the Merv Griffin Show!”

beach dude pink elephant antique mall

Big John. Not big Johnson. Two very different things. Although he looks pretty freakin’ chipper and has a strategically placed apron so maybe he’s got a secret we don’t know about.

It might be best to just move along here…

big john metropolis illnois

“Hi, Billy Mays, here. Do you like Muffler Men and motorcycles?”

harley davidson shrimpy muffler man

muffler man boot

The awesome green futuro house. I saw one of these on Milton, Delaware a few years back. I think they’re so great looking. They have that “this is what the future will look like in the year 2000,” flying car, spandex space-suit clothing vibe. Can you imagine living in one?

futuro house in Illinois at pinkelephant

For More Information & Articles:

A Twistee Treat ice cream cone-shaped building. There was a time when I just wanted to see one. Now I’ve got two under my belt after seeing this one in Illinois.

twistee treat ice cream building in illinois

Maybe when I’ve finally had enough of corporate America I’ll get myself a big ice cream cone and start slingin’ sprinkles. What can I getcha, honey?

One of the downsides to traveling alone is that often there is no one around to take your picture through one of these face-hole cutout things. I might’ve looked like a real motorcyclist. Oh, what could have been.

The well-groomed, much loved Lauterback muffler man of Springfield, Illinois:

lauterbach mufflerman

Vigilantly surveying his domain with beady eyes.

lauterback mufflerman

 

 

In the Shadow of the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle

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.

worlds largest ketchup bottle

During the few minutes I was there fussing around, the man finished up his call and began walking towards me. With a toothy grin, he said a quick hello and asked if I’d like him to take a picture of me with the ketchup bottle. He said he gets that request a lot. The big ketchup bottle is a big draw to the town of Collinsville, Illinois.

worlds largest ketchup bottle

The man also asked where I was from and if I was doing “the Route 66 thing.” Apparently he’s lived in Collinsville his whole life, there in the shadow of the big ketchup bottle and seemed pretty content with that.

  • The World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle
    Just how big is the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle?
    It’s 170 ft tall. That’s a 70 ft tall riveted steel bottle on top of 100 ft tall steel legs. The diameter at the base of the bottle is 25 ft and the diameter of the cap is 8 ft. It has a capacity of 100,000 gallons.

I first learned of the big ketchup bottle in a documentary on PBS called “A Program About Big Things and Unusual Roadside Stuff.” The video is available on YouTube (with terrible misspellings in the subtitles) 😀 :

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