Tag: americana

Road Tripping: Recent Road-Related Reads

Road Tripping: Recent Road-Related Reads

Over the last month, I’ve read a few books that inspire my riding in different ways. Some directly, some less so.

What do any of these have to do with motorcycles? Well, that depends on who you are, I suppose. For me, the what and why of things is a great motivator. When I ride past an old building that screams, “I used to be an old filling station!” knowing what type it was or having a clue to help me look for information, is an interesting pursuit for me.

My eyes are drawn the vestiges of early to mid-20th century Americana. Books like Fill ‘er Up, Hopper’s Places and The Lincoln Highway Companion help me to know, dream, seek, and understand more. They turn my rides into satisfying personal missions that don’t end when the wheels stop turning. Seek, see, question, understand, feel, know, share – those are ways that these types of books help my riding.

With Lois Pryce‘s Revolutionary Ride, the reasoning is more direct. It is a travelogue of her time spent riding as a solo Western woman in Iran in 2013/14. It is a fascinating human story that picks at the scab of long-held perceptions about people. This book is an excellent companion to her other two titles: Red Tape and White Knuckles and Lois on the Loose.

Petrol-Love: Olde Tyme Service Stations in Illinois

Petrol-Love: Olde Tyme Service Stations in Illinois

Last fall after finishing a stint at the Void Rally 10 in Virginia, I set off on a road trip around Illinois. My plan was to just bum around and look at stuff. As an Americana-lover, Illinois and it’s section of Route 66 have a lot to offer.

One thing that always catches my attention is old service stations. It must have something to do with my affinity for what petrol-powered vehicles represent to me: freedom, possibility, motion, the open road.

These were some of the lovely old stations that I saw in Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

I previously posted about this lovely old skeleton in Vienna, Illinois:

Travel Planning: Offbeat Museums

Travel Planning: Offbeat Museums

Since turning 40, it seems like I have become highly sensitive about squeezing all the fun out of each day. There aren’t lots of things that I really want. Sure, “stuff” is nice but it doesn’t usually set my heart on fire. My daydreams are filled with colorful imaginings of traveling on my motorcycle or some deeper human connection. Maybe that’s why I am constantly stuffing my brain full of beautiful, interesting or curious destinations.

fuzzygalore offbeat museums book

A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of “Offbeat Museums” by Saul Rubin.  You know, just ‘cuz. On an unassuming Wednesday, just like any other humdrum humpday, I discovered that there is a Toilet Seat Art Museum.

That’s right. Toilet. Seat. Art. Museum. 

I’m not really sure how I moved through my life for all these years without knowing such a place existed.

Do you stop in to small museums when you’re traveling? Have you been to the toilet seat art nirvana?

Fading Americana: Ceresota Flour Barn – Lehigh County, PA

Fading Americana: Ceresota Flour Barn – Lehigh County, PA

Fifty years from now, what will my generation have left behind that tugs at the heartstrings of people who like to play the “Remember when…” game? What will our contribution to fading Americana be?

Painted Barns

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time then you probably know that I am completely enamored by Mail Pouch Tobacco barns and advertising. But, I’m certainly not one to turn up my nose at any of the other lovely painted barns that decorate the landscape of rural America.

There is something perfect and sweet about the life that I imagine being attached to such places. In my mind they represent an ideal, a kind of life that is fading from the fabric of America as sanitized suburbia creeps further and further.

Ceresota Flour Barn Lehigh County Pennsylvania

This Ceresota Flour barn on the Limeport Pike near Coopersburg, PA has to be one of the most lovely painted barns I’ve seen. And as it turns out, this mural replaced a fading Mail Pouch ad. I thought that the blue trim around the barn edges was reminiscent of Mail Pouch.

Ceresota painted barn pennsylvania

It makes me happy to know that there are people out there in the world who are working to hang on to the shadows of our popular culture.

See it on the ole Roadside Map.

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