Category: Sights from the Road

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects a religious experience.  It’s just one of those things that sneak up you when you aren’t lookin’. If not the sight of Saint Pete at the gates or Archangel Michael eating tacos, what could you attribute the expression on this guy’s face to?

Point of note: One of Saint Peter’s patronages is Horology. Horology and Whoreology? These homonyms are two entirely different things and will guide you down two very different internet rabbit holes.

Maybe this muff looks so in awe to me because I keep thinking that his lips are an open mouth – My God, It’s full of stars.

But upon closer inspection, he does seems to have bags under his eyes. Perhaps his look is less rapture, more why did I wake up behind a dumpster in a winter coat, with no pants and one shoe on. I mean, who doesn’t know THAT feeling?

Wait, what? No… one… else..?

Well, would you look at the time. Lunch hour is over, best be running along.


If you’d like to visit this muffler man, you’ll find him in Raleigh, North Carolina.

See Rock City Barns

See Rock City Barns

While riding in North Carolina and Tennessee last fall, I saw three See Rock City barns – one of which was entirely serendipitous.

Isn’t it funny how that happens? Something becomes of interest to you and it begins to show itself in unexpected places – sometimes on a path which you’ve already trod. Maybe my dad was right, water rises to its own level. Do we become magnets for things? Do we disperse our energy into the world and watch it fall like glitter on the air, dusting those things that are supposed to sparkle for our attention?

This Rock City barn in Grainger County, Tennessee was gorgeous. I was graced with a big blue sky, vibrant red barn, and green grass just waving in the wind. Seeing this baby was like being inside of a postcard.

On my way north along Calderwood Highway heading to Marysville, Tennessee, I passed this Rock City Barn. I’d had a vague recollection of seeing it several years before on a trip with friends to the Dragon.

Marysville, Tennessee
Google Maps

This super-fade was a stone throw from where I saw one of those menacing Giant Chicken Army soldiers in Robbinsville, North Carolina. One minute you’re contemplating your next move in a global war game against fowl beasts and the next thing you know, BAM! Rock City Barn. Life is nothing if not mysteriuos.

See 7 States from Rock City
Robbinsville, North Carolina
Google Maps

Interested in seeing some barns yourself? Well, you’re in luck. The Rock City website happens to have a location map for ya.

Stumblin’ Upon Some Backroad Petroliana

Stumblin’ Upon Some Backroad Petroliana

In October of 2018, I spent some time bumming around on the Bonneville. My meandering route took me down through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky before I started making my way back east to New York through West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Not having a set route or a plan is my usual road trip vibe. I leave home with a general sense of where I want to go or things I might want to visit. But, other than that I try to leave myself wiggle room to add and subtract along the way. After all, it is a big gorgeous world out there. You never know what wonderful thing is waiting for you around the next corner.

Not long after visiting the husk of the Underwood & Petty Service Station in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, I had to slam on the brakes and pull a quick U-y to get a good look at this building:

I can’t say for sure whether this was an actual business or just the trappings of a collector-type. Looking at the details on the building and the “fire door” sign through the window, maybe it did operate as a store of some type. Whatever the case may be, it was nice to stumble across it.

Sadly, I have no stinkin’ idea where it is. I’d be only too glad to share the location. For now, it’ll have to remain a mystery.

Metal Gear Garden – York, Pennsylvania

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 the idea of making something lovely out of throwaways is the connection.

I bet the flowers look especially lovely on a bright blue day.
Roadside Giants Along the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania

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.

This 1921 Selden pickup is just a walk across the parking lot of Shatzer Fruit Market in Chambersburg.

I previously wrote about this Chambersburg peach-covered gas pump at Shatzer Fruit Market in the post: Tales of a Second Grade Nothing

In October, I was able to stop and see the awesome giant quarter near the town of Everett.

I’ve now seen two out of the five giants. Seeing the rest will keep me thinkin’ ’bout the Lincoln.

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