Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

Mail Pouch Barn at Cantagree Farm – Stanfordville, New York

Mail Pouch Barn at Cantagree Farm – Stanfordville, New York

Any road trip that includes a pitstop at a Mail Pouch Barn is a good day.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york yamaha fz07 motorcycles

One of the “local” areas that I love riding my motorcycle is Duchess County, New York. Granted from where I live on Long Island, it takes a couple hours to get to get there but a good chunk of the gettin’ there is a big part of the fun.

Much of Duchess has my favorite type of riding – rambling roads that line horse and other farms, big green rolling hills, small towny towns and less traffic than some of the neighboring counties.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york

In addition to great riding, there are some roadside sights that I love in the county. Just up the road from Wing’s Castle is one of the southern portion of New York State’s few Mail Pouch Tobacco barns. You’ll find it on Duell Road in Stanfordville.

mail pouch tobacco wall ad beacon new york
Mail Pouch Tobacco Wall Mural – Beacon, Duchess County, New York

Though the western tier and the most northern portions of the state do have a good handful of Mail Pouch Tobacco barns, they are hard to come by in this neck of the woods. What we’ll find here downstate more often are city-based mural ads on brick buildings.

Mail Pouch Barn Relocated

A quick search around the web turned up a great blog post from Chuck the Writer with information about how this barn was actually relocated to the wonderfully named Cantagree Farm from Spring Green, Pennsylvania by former co-publisher of the Daily New and U.S News and World Report Fred Drasner. In 2003, the renovated farmhouse on the property was featured in Architectural Digest.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york - duell rd - c5 corvette

It makes me so happy when I am able to find information online about such sights. I hope that other curious bloggers continue to research and share their findings. Documenting the world around us is important. Keep exploring, keep sharing, and thank you!

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

Muffler Men are the handsome superstars of the American roadside attraction universe. With their chiseled good looks and steadfast perseverance they are a welcome sight to many a roadtripper.

When traveling around the US, visiting muffler men is one of my go-to sightseeing stops. The fiberglass giants always put a smile on my face.

Seaside Height, NJ – Mini Golf Halfwit

My awareness of and interest in muffler men is now spanning into plural decades. It started with an “oh, so that’s what they’re called!” after thumbing through a paperback copy of New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler’s Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America’s Tourist Attractions in the early aughts. It then spilled into tracking and visiting them via the Roadside America website, and iPhone app.

But before I knew that muffler men were indeed referred to as muffler men, I knew that they existed in a peripheral sense. You see, we have a muffler man Indian here on Long Island. I’d passed the Elmsford, NY Bunyan many times and mini-golfed with a halfwit in Seaside Heights, NJ.

Muffler men have long been a part of my universe. They were simply waiting for me to wake up to them.


Muffler Men – The Same But Different

Now, I’m sharp enough to know that some people think my level of interest and muffler man visitation is a waste of energy. The idea of traveling around and looking at big dumb fiberglass statues that “look the same” as all the other big dumb fiberglass statues I’ve seen before is ridiculous. But who needs that kind of negativity in their lives?

Yes, it’s true that they share the same basic DNA. And yet, these same-old-same-olds do have their own personalities, if you will. Each with little details that set them apart from one another that the uninformed might not be aware of. From accessories like hats, hamburgers, eyelashes and chest hair, the giants do have their own unique flair.

Wilmington, Illinois – Route 66 – Gemini Giant

It has also occurred to me that each one is infused with the flavor of their locale. They take on the vibe of their surroundings as they become infused with the landscape, neighborhood, or the personality of the owner.

You hear it all the time, “people are the same everywhere.” Hell, I’ve said it myself and meant it. But that sentiment is both true and false depending on the parameters and nuance you wrap around it. The same is true for big fiberglass people. They’re all the same, but different.

oaks pennsylviania halfwit muffler man and giraffe 2021
Halfwit and Giraffe – Oaks, Pennsylvania – 2021

Take a moment to consider the thought process of the person charged with repainting the Uniontown, Pa. muffler man. They looked at his face, squinted their eyes and said “something is missing…”

A few thousand bush strokes later, and with a triumphant voila! our boy was befitted with bedroom eyes.

Uniontown, Pennsylvania

And then someone somewhere else looked at the Lake George, NY Around the World mini-golf muffler man and said, “Yeah! Him, too! …but only on the right eye.”

Lake George, NY Mini Golf Muffler Man

Tales of Muffler Men Resurrection

When cruising around if I know a muffler man is close by, even if I’ve previously visited, I will typically stop to see what’s doing.

Over time the overall condition of the giants will change due to wind, sun, storms,… people hitting them with their cars. When you pull up to find one repaired or in better condition then when you last saw it, I’m not gonna lie – it’s kind of exciting. It’s heartwarming when someone loves what you love.

Hancock, Massachusetts

Hancock, Ma.

Having passed by the Hancock, Massachusetts giant a few times over the years, I got to witness his resurrection. He’d been suffering from a terrible case of the peels and it was great to see him freshly painted again.

Check out his blue bowtie – now red, nails on fleek, and sporting a fresh baseball cap.

Hancock, Ma.

Just look at those beautifully manicured nails!

hancock Massachusetts muffler man nails
Hancock, Ma.

Elmsford, New York

Another case of a giant who needed some TLC was the Elmsford, New York Bunyan. He stood armless for years. This spring (2021) when I stopped by, I was glad to see he’s got at least one ticket to the gun show again.

elmsford new york bp bunyan muffler man no arms - triumph speed triple motorcycle
Elmsford, NY

Sadly, the green-eyed giant is now starting to peel.

elmsford new york bunyan muffler man 2021
Elmsford, NY – 2021

Cheshire, Connecticut

The first time that I pulled up to the House of Doors in Cheshire, Connecticut years ago I was surprised to find nothing more than a pair of muffler pants. Doh!

cheshire connecticut muffler man pants - triumph speed triple
Cheshire, CT

Saved! The muff was returned to flag holding service!

Cheshire, CT

Riverhead, New York

When superstorm Sandy crushed the east coast, Long Island’s Muffler Man Indian, also featured on the Sopranos, was sheered across the middle.

Riverhead, NY- Following Superstorm Sandy

He too was little more than a pair of muffler pants for a while.

Thankfully, Long Island’s beloved giant was repaired and is back to waving at the traffic in the town of Riverhead, NY.

Riverhead, NY

Muffler Men on the Move

As well-loved as muffler men are, it isn’t surprising that enthusiasts and collectors buy and move the giants from their long-term locations to new locales. Sometimes they move clear across the country.

And then sometimes, they just up and disappear altogether.

The Big White Guy of Massachusetts

Big White Guy – Chicopee, MA

This fella, previously referred to colloquially as “Plantation Man” as he stood outside of the Plantation Inn in Chicopee, Massachusetts – was sold at auction and then turned up in nearby Agawam, Mass. He stood there for a short time and is now MIA.

Big White Guy – Agawam, Ma.

From Mecca to Joshua Tree, California

Mecca, California

In 2016, I visited a muffler man who stood in the town of Mecca, California along the Salton Sea.

Fast forward to January 2020, and I visited that same muffler man, now sporting a new paint job and name. Meet Big Josh, of Joshua Tree, California.

Big Josh – Joshua Tree, California – 2020

AWOL – Desert Storm Muffler Man

I stopped to visit the Desert Storm muffler man in Havre de Grace, Maryland several times. As of 2015, he was taken down and moved to storage. Who knows where and when we’ll see him again?

Desert Storm Muffler Man – Havre de Grace, Maryland

Big Mike – Hayward, California Muffler Man

In 2014, we visited Big Mike in Hayward, California. He stood outside of a business that was boarded up. That’s typically a sign of uncertainty for the giants.

Hayward, California

Thankfully Big Mike was purchased and moved across town to Bell Plastics to keep a host of other giants company. He was even thrown a 50th birthday party!

Bell Plastics – Big Mike and friend – Hayward, California

Uniroyal Gal – The Ladies of the Muffler Man World

Rare in the muffler man world, there are only about a dozen known Uniroyal Gals in the wild. Seeing one is a treat for any muffler man lover.

The Uniroyal Gal of Pearsonville, California – Hubcap Capital of the World

Uniroyal Gal – Pearsonville, California – 2016

Nitro Girl – Uniroyal Gal Superhero

New Jersey is home to Nitro Girl, arguably the most badass of all the Uniroyal Gals. She’s my favorite of all the girls.

Nitro Girl – Blackwood, NJ

During my last stop to visit her, I was able to purchase a Nitro Girl bobblehead which stands proudly on my desk at work

Muffler Men - Nitro Girl bobblehead
Nitro Girl Bobblehead

Muffler Men Photos

If you too love muffler men keep scrolling for more photos of the big guys I’ve seen in my travels. Buckle up, there’s a lot to look at!

Alabama

Say, hello to Stan from Birmingham, Alabama. He’s a gemini and like lifting invisible weights. Hiiiii Stannnnn.

birmingham alabama - stan the muffler man
Birmingham, Alabama

California

cowboy muffler man happy camp california
Hat Creek, California
hayward california muffler man cowboy bell plastics
Hayward, California

I’ll be honest – there is something a bit creepy about the dead black-eyed stare and drawn on mustache of the Planada, Calfornia muffler man. It’s a wee bit, I dunno,… murdery? I believe this guy may have been sold or moved.

planada california muffler man
Planada, California
willits california muffler man cowboy
Willits, California
kevin van buys california muffler man
Kevin – Van Nuys, California
el salsero muffler man in mailbu california
El Salsero! – Malibu, California
babe - san jose california muffler man
Babe – San Jose, California
bakersfield california muffler man indian
Bakersfield, California

The house where the Mentone, California muffler man stands has a yard full of… stuff including a giant chicken army fiberglass rooster! It’s quite something.

mentone california muffler man bunyan
Mentone, California

Connecticut

cheshire connecticut house of doors bunyan muffler man - triumph bonneville motorcycle
Cheshire, Connecticut
norwich connecticut cowboy muffler man
Norwich, Connecticut

Georgia

The Washington Georgia muffler man has a formidable set of nostrils.

washington georgia muffler man
Washington, Georgia

Illinois

The Gemini Giant on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois was my holy grail of muffler men. My favorite of all. I love this guy!

gemini giant muffler man route 66 wilmington illinois
Gemini Giant – Route 66 – Wilmington, Illinois
lauterbach muffler man route 66 springfield illinois
Lauterbach Muffler Man – Route 66 – Springfield, Illinois

The shrimpy Harley-Davidson muffler man stands outside of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall which is chock full of interesting roadsidey goodness. Definitely worth a stop and a look-see.

harley-davidson muffler man livingston illinois
Livingston, Illinois
hot dog holding muffler man atlanta illinois route 66
Atlanta, Illinois -Route 66
surfer dude livingston illinois at pink elephant mall
Surfer Dude – Livingston, Illinois
big john metropolis Illinois
Big John – Metropolis, Illinois

Maine

rumford maine muffler man bunyan
Rumford, Maine

Maryland

berlin maryland mark cline muffler man cowboy with ice cream
Berlin, Maryland
ocean city maryland pirate muffler man
Ocean City, Maryland
desert storm muffler man - havre de grave maryland
Havre de Grace, Maryland

Massachusetts

big white guy muffler man agawam - texaco big friend - ktm 990 baja motorcycle
Big White Guy in Agawam, MA
shirely Massachusetts muffler man indian
Shirley, Massachusetts
yvon shrimpy muffler man groveland massachusetts
Yvon – Groveland, MA

New Jersey

halfwit in jackson new jersey
Jackson, New Jersey
ocean city new jersey pirate muffler man
Ocean City, NJ

You may recognize this muffler man from the opening credits of The Sopranos. He hangs out underneath the Pulaski Skyway.

sopranos muffler man - jersey city new jersey wilsons carpet
The Jersey City – Sopranos – Carpet Muffler Man
deerfield new jersey carpet store viking statue
Viking – Deerfield, NJ
mr bill - halfwit muffler man - winslow new jersey
Winslow, NJ
nitro girl uniroyal gal muffler man blackwood new jersey
Blackwood, New Jersey
magnolia new jersey muffler man
Magnolia, New Jersey
cowtown rodeo muffler man cowboy woodstown new jersey route 40
Cowtown Rodeo – Woodstown, NJ
seaside height new jersey halwit muffler man mini golf
Seaside Heights, New Jersey

New York

yasgurs farm hippie muffler man - bethel new york
Yasgur’s Farm – Bethel, NY – 2021
muffler man - around the work golf lake george new york
Lake George, New York
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, New York – GONE
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
former magic forest muffler men - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
lake vanare new york one armed muffler man
Lake Vanare, NY
soda jerk mark cline muffler man derby new york
Derby, NY
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york paul bunyan
Lake George, NY – GONE
irving new york muffler man indian
Irving, New York

This muffler man is in the town of Stony Point close to where I grew up. He’s a little sentimental for me because I actually took my dad to see him before he left this world.

stony point muffler man
Stony Point, New York

North Carolina

I believe that the Cherokee, North Carolina muffler man may be in storage.

former cherokee north carolina muffler man indian
Cherokee, North Carolina

I don’t know why but the face on this guy looked so amazed to me 🙂 And i love the sartorial choice of overalls!

raleigh north carolina muffler man
Raleigh, North Carolina

If he just isn’t the most friendly muffler man!

wilson north carolina white tire service muffler man
Wilson, North Carolina

Pennsylvania

uniontown pennsylvanie muffler man - one of the muffler men with eyelashes
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
kittanning pennsylvania muffler man holding a hamburger
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
greensburg Pennsylvania headless Pittsburg steelers muffler man
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
muffler men - big chip - coopersburg pennsylvania
Big Chip – Coopersburg, Pennsylvania – 2021

The Rockwood, Pennsylvania muffler man is only available for viewing when the campground is open. I had to check in at a booth and get a pass to enter the grounds. It’s worth it. He’s awesome!

muffler men royalty - red white and blue rockwood pennsylvania muffler man
Rockwood, PA

Tennessee

This burger-clutching muffler man stands on top of Pal’s Sudden Service in Kingsport, Tennessee.

pals sudden service kingsport tennessee muffler man holding a hamburger
Kingsport, Tennessee

Virginia

A muffler man… with an actual muffler!

newport news virginia muffler man holding an actual muffler
Newport News, Virginia
roanoke virginia muffler man
Roanoke, Virginia

This kooky amalgamation is called The Paulverizer.

paulverizer muffler man in buena vista virginia - a mark cline creation
Paulverizer – Buena Vista, Virginia

West Virginia

farnham colossi muffler men group in unger west virginia
The Farnham Colossi – Unger, WV

Learn More About Muffler Men

Hope you enjoyed this trip down road trip muffler man memory lane. If you’re interested in finding out about the history of, the latest news, and location maps for muffler men, these sites are excellent resources for more information:

Motorcycle Blog – A Dinosaur Paradise

Motorcycle Blog – A Dinosaur Paradise

Fuzzygalore Motorcycle Blog - 2016 Yamaha FZ07

The other day while talking to my daughter (20), I asked her if she read any blogs. Her tepid response was a sing-songy “not reaaaallllly.” Not really. Yep, not really. Over the course of my internet lifetime things sure have changed. Traditional hobbyist bloggers are dinosaurs.

Remember when Facebook was new and “fun”? Its smoldering carcass is an echo chamber for shit politics and I don’t even know what. Useless garbage.

It’s been that way for years but now it feels like it’s on its last swirl circling the drain. I give it a cursory glance each day and more often than not find myself thinking, oh, who cares? about the majority of the crap the algorithm thinks I want to see.

Instagram isn’t too far behind on the apathy scale. Scroll, habit-scroll, habit-scroll. Most of the time I don’t want to participate. I don’t want to share. I don’t want to care. Maybe I’ve just reached my saturation point, I dunno.

So much of the Instagram experience feels phony – where bodies are displayed as a commodity under the guise of talking about van life, or motorcycles, or travel, that I just… blah. I super don’t care about anyone else’s boobs. Like, at all. If I want to see relatable or inspiring photos of women traveling, having the images served up with what?-no!-its-totally-not-intentional cleavage is such a turn off.

We’re never moving beyond the need to sexualize and titillate for relevance, are we? It works. Every. Fucking. Time.

In some way I feel like I’ve allowed myself to be numbed out, and my thinkin’ muscle to get weak. All I do is cram more of this useless nonsense into the spaces where curiosity should be toiling away. I’m slowly smothering my imagination with a walrus-lost-his-bucket meme’d pillow.

And I hate myself for continuing to participate in something that doesn’t bring me joy. Because social media definitely doesn’t do that. But, because blogs are typically passive, if I don’t leverage social media to remind people that I exist the chances are pretty good that I’ll miss out on reach opportunities. At least that’s the excuse I tell myself. I’m a whining hypocrite.

Maybe I need to reevaluate for the eleventy millionth time why I write these posts. Would it truly matter if no one read them? Is the real key to it all that the satisfaction and purpose is solely in the doing? And once the word baby flies away to the world at large, my job is over. If a post was not read by someone would I still get what I came for?

Or maybe the pendulum needs to swing wildly in the opposite direction – I should post cleavage shots next to my motorcycle and STFU. Because Likes = Love. Or something.

Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here petting my brontosaurus.

Desert Christ Park – Yucca Valley, California

Desert Christ Park – Yucca Valley, California

In 2020, I spent a little time riding motorcycles in California. While there, one of my pitstops was at the Desert Christ Park. Admittedly, it wasn’t a place on my radar before I left home. But, standing in a gas station looking at the Roadside America app on my phone, I discovered that it was just a hop, skip and a jump away over a dusty hill so I decided to take a look.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California sculpture

While I do not subscribe to any organized religion, there are facets of Christianity that filter through my thoughts simply from exposure growing up. Messages of peace, being of service to others, and loving your fellow man hit the mark for me. But then there are many, many other things do not. So, I pick and choose and follow my own path… STRAIGHT TO HELLLLLLL!!!!

I kid.

Maybe.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California sculpture

“Slap me low… too slow!” Dammit – He gets me every time!


The park is mainly clusters of stark white statues dotting a desert hillside. You follow a dusty path that winds through the scrub and Joshua trees, taking in the sights under the baking sun.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California The Rock Chapel

For me, the highlight of the park was this lovely building: The Stone Chapel designed by Frank Garske.

Unfortunately while I was there, it was locked due to prior issues of disrespect, so I did not get to go inside. But, even just seeing its curious facade was a treat. It looked fragile, sharp, and dangerous simultaneously. And also like it might be made of nougat.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California  Rock Chapel Frank Garske
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California  Rock Chapel
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California Rock Chapel Sign
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California Rock Chapel

The first time I was in Milan in 2000, I viewed Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie. Along a corridor I saw photographs of the former convent that houses the fresco after being bombed during World War II. Amongst piles of rubble the wall and the work persisted.

Could its survival be attributed to the toil of man and engineering, luck, or divine intervention? Who can say with any certainty. All I know is that those images have stayed with me for the last 20+ years. They meant something to me. They symbolized… something.

The Last Supper Wall during World War II - following bombing
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California Last Supper

The Last Supper at Desert Christ Park? Ehhhh… while a good effort and one surely done with a pure heart, it didn’t quite have the same thoughtful, lasting effect.

What is Peter looking at through the drapes? Is he creeping on the neighbors again? “Jeeeesus, would you look at Ezekiel’s lawn? The place is a shambles!” And Thomas looks like he’s asking the guest of honor if he wants a knuckle sandwich for dinner.

::shrug:: I dunno. Family gatherings can be tough.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California sculptures
pew-pew-laserbeams
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California sculptures
::shrug::
Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California Joshua Tree

We often find messages and meaning differently within the same boundaries. Even if you aren’t religious, you may find that taking in Christ Desert Park is still worthwhile.

Christ Desert Park Yucca Valley California sign

Christ Desert Park
56200 Sunnyslope Dr
Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Reminiscing with the Mothman

Reminiscing with the Mothman

Winter has settled in with its icy temperatures here on Long Island. There hasn’t been any riding for me in many, many weeks now. For the most part, I haven’t missed it. I suppose the love for it is a state of mind more than anything else. I’ve been keeping myself occupied with other things instead.

While I haven’t done much exploring lately, I do have a million photos and 10’s of thousands of miles in exploration to fall back on. I figure maybe it’s time to blow the dust off of some of them.

Mothman Statue in Point Pleasant West Virginia

This afternoon, I found myself watching The Mothman Prophecies for the millionth time. It was never well received critically, but I love the movie. There is some conceptual thread that runs through it, that makes me unable to turn away when I come across it.

Maybe it’s the idea of a harbinger of news; that there is something that “knows” more that we do. But when it comes down to it, would I want to know the future? If it were only the good stuff? Maybe.

John Klein: “What do you look like?”
Indrid Cold: “It depends who’s looking.”

Seeing the Mothman would likely make me shit my pants.

Alexander Leek:
“The nocturnal butterfly. In ancient cultures, the moth represents a form of the psyche, or the soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms”. Mothman. Well, that’s what the Ukrainians called him. Rough translation of course. There were a hundred sightings in Chernobyl when the nuclear pump went down. Galveston, nineteen sixty-nine, just before the hurricane. They saw it. But seeing isn’t always believing.

In the last decade I found myself in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia – the real life town on which the move was centered – a couple of times. In the 1960s, there were many sightings on the Mothman in the area preceding the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

Point Pleasant has embraced their most popular cryptid with not only a museum and statue, but also a festival celebrating all thing Mothman.

Mothman Statue Plaque - Point Pleasant West Virginia
Mothman Museum sign in Point Pleasant West Virginia
Hanging Mothman at the Mothman Museum Point Pleasant West Virginia
ghost sign and triumph bonneville in point pleasant west virginia
mothman statue in point pleasant west virginia
downtown point pleasant west virginia
Avalon Motor Inn from the movie Mothman Prophecies - 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
Avalon Motor Inn – 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
lai pouch tobacco ghost sign in point pleasant west virginia

Being able to explore on a motorcycle has been such a blessing in my life. Finding myself in small town, taking in unusual sights and sipping at a cup of Americana has been an incredible education about people and life.

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