Tag: Roadside America

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.

International Banana Museum Proves Slippery

International Banana Museum Proves Slippery

Everyday I count my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough to have been born and live in a place in which we have such roadside attraction gems as the International Banana Museum. What a wonderful world.

International banana Museum Sign

Twice. TWICE! That’s how many times I’ve stopped at the World Famous International Banana Museum in Mecca, California only to find it closed.

International Banana Museum - Mecca California - Building front

In January of 2020, once again my chance to go inside and peruse mountains of banana-themed wares slipped through my fingers. My only option was to slip around the side of the building to see if there was anything… appealing… to look at.

International Banana Museum Restrooms Banana Toilet Mural

And while not being able to run my fingers across DIY knitted banana cozies was disappointing, seeing the magnificent artwork painted on the outdoor restrooms was a consolation.

international banana museum restroom murals

It wasn’t until that very moment that I realized how healing a newspaper reading banana with fart-lines sitting on a toilet would be to my tired soul. But, it was.

It is.

Look at how happy that guy is. We could all learn a thing or two from him.

banana on a toilet mural

After snapping these photos, I… split.

banana mural on international banana museum in california

Until we meet again AGAIN, International Banana Museum. Hopefully the third time will be a charm.

International Banana Museum
98775 CA-111
Mecca, CA 92254

Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man

Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man

As of 2018, there is a new guy in town, the Joshua Tree Muffler Man – Big Josh.


Where is the Joshua Tree Muffler Man?

You can find Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man outside of The Station, in the town of Joshua Tree. It is just east of the National Park entrance.

The Station
61943 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA

In December of 2016, I traveled south along Route 111 on my way towards Salvation Mountain near the town of Mecca, California. At the time, the only thing on my mind was racing the setting winter sun so that I could have enough time to visit the attraction.

To my surprise, a muffler man came in to view as I motored along. All decked out in his cowboy finery, he was a handsome surprise.

Fast forward to 2017. The Mecca Muffler Man was sold and removed from his perch along the Salton Sea.

After being out of sight for almost a year, in 2018 he returned to view with a spiffy new paint job in the town of Joshua Tree. You’ll find him now a hop, skip, and a jump from the World Famous Crochet Museum standing outside of The Station.

In addition to his spiffy new livery, he’s also got himself a new name: Big Josh!

Fuzzygalore visits big josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man

Say hello to Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man.

Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man at the Station

Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man stands outside of The Station, welcoming visitors from far and wide with his rugged, handsome exterior.

His newly painted orange shirt, blue jeans and cowboy hat are a nice sartorial update. And, they do a good job of protecting his delicate skin from the ever-present sunshine of the desert. No one likes a wrinkly muffler man with age spots. Truth.

The Station
61943 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA

Unfortunately, The Station wasn’t open when I stopped by. Based on my peek through the window, it looks like they have a few items that I would have enjoyed.

Come for the muffler man, stay for the Gay Bikers for Jesus.

World Famous Crochet Museum – Joshua Tree, California

World Famous Crochet Museum – Joshua Tree, California

In the town of Joshua Tree, California at the gateway of the National Park, sits another glorious American institution – the World Famous Crochet Museum. While on a riding trip in January of 2020, I stopped in for a visit.

A what…? you might ask. Well, have a look:

Nestled in the belly of a cheerfully repainted former 1-hour photo kiosk, museum visitors are treated to wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling, wholesome treasures. Each piece lovingly hooked and looped into being. Crocheted objects fill the space – and your heart with smiles.

While inside, little vignettes of similar genres come into view. Oh, look, it’s the watermelon slice section! There were clusters of poodles, desserts, sushi and clowns. You’ll also fine bears, sea critters, cakes, rabbits and more.

But what really caught my eye was the dainty amigurumi bathroom suite.

Yes, indeedy – a full bathroom set. Not just a sink. Not just a tub. Nope! Guests are treated to the whole shebang including a toilet and rug. It’s safe to say that whoever made this little ensemble doesn’t do anything half-assed. They’re whole ass all day in every way.

Just ask yourself – wouldn’t you want to be friends with the type of person who crochets a tiny toilet on a Tuesday night? I think we can both agree the answer is ‘yes.

Inside the World Famous Crochet Museum

The pink frosted donut was of course near and dear to my chubby little heart. A thing of beauty, really.

The World Famous Crochet Museum in Joshua Tree, California

Before leaving, I left a little donation and took a sticker from the museum. Places such as this keep the child inside our heart giggling.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth the stop.

sign inside the world famous crochet museum

(Enjoy my squeaking boots!)

wheels of fortune fence at the world famous crochet museum in joshua tree california

It came as a surprise to find a Rokon Trailbreaker leaned up against the wall, baking in the sun like a 2-wheel drive James Dean. If James Dean were a nerd who wore orthopedic shoes, that is.

World Famous Crochet Museum
61855 Highway 62
Joshua Tree, California

The Tepee: Cherry Valley, NY

The Tepee: Cherry Valley, NY

The TePee, Cherry Valley, NY’s famous roadside attraction has been around since 1950. It’s made up of a pinch of giftshop, a dash of Americana, and a whole heap of awesomeness.

I’d stopped there once before years prior, but I was hot and miserable. The experience wasn’t especially pleasant. Thankfully, my latest visit was the opposite of that.

This time I bought a Tepee shot glass to commemorate my excellent trip.

the Tepee Cherry Valley, New York

The TePee looks out across the Mohawk Valley. The valley spills out to the edge of the Earth. And in between the Tepee and eternity, there are lovely roads to ride.

Telescope at the Tepee Cherry Valley, NY

During my visit, I had a little tête-à-tête with the sleepy-eyed buffalo. He didn’t have a lot to say, he just kinda grazes in the parking lot; keeps an eye on things.

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but Buff is smiling, too.

Fuzzygalore selfie withe the buffalo at the Tepee in Cherry Valley

I’ll be honest. The first thing I thought when I saw the buffalo was that I wanted to sit on it. They must get that a lot.

Please do not ride the buffalo sign at the Tepee

During a quick search, I was able to find vintage postcards that feature The Tepee.

This particular image was taken before the attached building was built.

It’s fun to imagine what the woman would be saying to the brave on the bucking bronco if they were real. Maybe she was part of something like a carhop service, but for horse riders. “What can I getcha, hon?”

Vintage postcard

How much do you love that bucking bronco out front? Unfortunately, it is no longer there. And can we talk about the totem pole? So good. Sadly it too is no longer around.

vintage postcard

When the Tepee was built, it was clad in silver like a disco space tepee. Everybody knows that disco space tepee parties are the best parties.

vintage postcard

The Tepee
7632 Hwy 20
Cherry Valley, NY 13320

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