Tag: Roadside Stuff

Road Tripping: The Coffee Pot – Bedford, Pa

Road Tripping: The Coffee Pot – Bedford, Pa

There was a time when visiting the Bedford Coffee Pot was one of those things that just nagged and nagged me. Way over on the western half of Pennsylvania, it seemed lightyears away. In truth it is a mere 330 miles that for whatever reason may as well have been a million. Maybe it can be chalked up to some type of mental roadblock or… maybe sometimes the wishing for something is just as satisfying as the getting. Daydreams are perfect where life isn’t.

Then on winter Tuesday in 2009 I found myself at the coffee pot. Just like that. You wake up one day and finally just do whatever it is you want.

breadbox at the coffee pot

Then on a trip to Cleveland in December 2013 with my mom and daughter, we once again stopped at the Coffee Pot. Doing something once can make it a lot easier to do again. The roadblocks aren’t there anymore.

bedford coffee pot

In July of 2015, I stopped by the Coffee Pot yet again. This time on my motorcycle. You know, just to check on things.

fuzzygalore at bedford coffee pot

Nothing much had changed since the last time I visited. Considering the life that these roadside giants can endure, that was a good thing.

 

Road Tripping: Pit Stop at the PEZ Visitors Center – Orange, CT

Road Tripping: Pit Stop at the PEZ Visitors Center – Orange, CT

Just across the Long Island Sound from where I live is the PEZ Visitors Center. Yes, PEZ as in the candy with the cool dispensers.

When I pulled in to the parking lot I was surprised to find a line of about 20 people waiting for the visitors center to open. Perhaps I was naive to the popularity of PEZ!

There is a $5 admission charge to enter the floor. But, you will receive $2 bucks back if you buy something in the gift shop. Frankly, buying something is hard to resist. I bought a pin for my hat, a My Melody dispenser (a throwback to my childhood) and some postcards.

Check out that John Quincy Adams, below. Pretty sure my life won’t be complete until I have one of those.

pez visitors center game card

With your admission, you are also given a game card. The object is to solve a word puzzle by finding hidden Presidential PEZ dispensers in the displays. Finishing the puzzle earns you a spin on a wheel to win a dispenser. I got a raccoon. Or maybe a wolf. I’m still not sure.

fuzzygalore pez dispensers

Though the production floor was closed for a few weeks when I stopped in, you could still peer inside the inner workings of the PEZ heart. But, the dispenser displays were most interesting to me. They really bring on feelings of nostalgia.

fuzzygalore occ pez motorcycle

Did you know that OCC built a PEZ Motorcycle?!

PEZ Visitors Center Photos

-removed-

Visiting The Queen of the Roadside – Nitro Girl

Visiting The Queen of the Roadside – Nitro Girl

For all of the cliche popular images of the scary, hardened bikers – I feel like I must exist on the opposite end of the spectrum. When I’m out and about on my bike strangers approach and talk to me all the time. So much for a tough image.

I don’t think that I have an exceptionally friendly face or anything. Besides, most of the time people seem to want to talk to me when I still have my helmet on. No one talks to me when I drive my car anywhere. Is it the same for you?

nitro girl uniroyal gal

Just last week while traveling through New Jersey, I stopped off to snap a picture of Nitro Girl. She’s the coolest Uniroyal Gal around. She stands outside of Werbany Tire Town  in the town of Blackwood.

nitro gal new jersey uniroyal gal

I parked my bike, took out my camera and snapped a few photos. One of the customers who was having his car worked on walked over to me and said “If you like her, they have bobbleheads inside.”

Jackpot! Thanks, helpful stranger guy!

nitro girl bobblehead

Ten bucks later I was jamming my very own NG into my sidebag. Admittedly, I was probably more excited than is healthy. 🙂

Interesting – The website lists the bobbleheads at $25. The fella in the shop charged me $10. Did I get a deal because I looked like a hobo or have they been marked down? Who marks down Nitro Girl?!

Sights from the Road: License Plate House – Hinsdale, NH

Sights from the Road: License Plate House – Hinsdale, NH

Set back from the road in Hinsdale, New Hampshire is a fabulous house that is covered in license plates.

license plate house new hampshire

When I say covered… I mean covered. Isn’t it wonderful?

hinsdale new hampshire license plate house

The house is no longer lived in, but another one was built right next to it. That is where the family now resides.

When I walked down the driveway, the lady of the house came to the screen door before I even made it to the front stoop. I said a quick hello and asked if it would be alright if I took some photos and looked around.

license pate house new hampshire

She was very friendly and said to absolutely look around. While we exchanged small talk, she went on to tell me that people actually steal some of the plates off of the building. That struck me as sad. I just don’t understand people who do things like that.

license plate house new hampshire

Even though the behavior of some must be disheartening, I’m glad that she still welcomes strangers to come by and look at this sweet curiosity. It must have been a labor of love.

I leave you with my favorite plate on the whole house and my wish for you~
bee happy license plate new hampshire

Day 2: Detour to the Roanoke Muffler Man

Day 2: Detour to the Roanoke Muffler Man

Some time around midday I pulled us off of the BRP around Roanoke, Virginia. When we finally stopped at the first traffic light we’d seen all day, Kenny looked at me quizzically and slowly said, “um,… wherrrrre are we going?

Foolish boy. After all this time, he still has to ask?

Roanoke Virginia Muffler Man

I happen to have the GPS waypoint file-y thing-a-ma-bob from Roadside America. So, Satan’s Compass (GPS) had hipped me to the fact that there was a muff in our midst. Actually, I’m lying. I knew it was there before we even left New York. I’m weird like that.

Sweet, sweet, blue-eyed Bunyan. Face… peeling. ::sigh::

Roanoke Muffler Man

Get with the program people! Respect the muff!

More Posts from the Trip:

2011 In Review: Big, Silly, Weird and Wonderful Sights from the Road

2011 In Review: Big, Silly, Weird and Wonderful Sights from the Road

Finding a roadside treasure while riding my motorcycle is one of the simple joys in my life. There is a happiness that only spotting a 15 foot fiberglass cauliflower can bring. Am I right?

From the Road in 2011:

Bigfoot – Happy Camp, California

Bigfoot Happy Camp California
While riding along on CA96, I was excited to see the school bus icon on the GPS get closer and closer to the town of Happy Camp. I knew this awesome giant was in town and I couldn’t wait to see him. He was more impressive than I imagined he’d be.
……….

CA36 Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree on California 36

There are other celebrity shoe trees out there in the world that are more “popular” than this one on CA36. Sadly, several of these perennial favorites have fallen victim to soleless vandals. (See what I did there?) 

I had no idea this shoe tree existed so you can imagine my surprise when we found this baby in all of it’s shoe-filled glory.

……….

Hat Creek Muffler Man

Hat Creek Muffler Man California
This fella relocated from Dunsmuir to Hat Creek. In the process he got some spiffy new clothes and a very smart looking cowboy hat. I’m sure that after all of those year of standing at Daily Drivers’ Auto Care, a change of scenery was nice.
……….

Hayward Muffler Man – California

Big Mike Hayward Muffler Man California
It seems that we were able to get an audience with Big Mike shortly before he was sold and taken down. I don’t know where he’s headed but it’s nice to know someone cared enough to take him home instead of sending him to the big fiberglass dump in the sky.
……….

Willits Muffler Man – California

Muffler Man Willits california
This well-cared for Muffler Man is found on the Willits Rodeo Grounds. He is behind a locked gate until rodeo time. Anyone know if he wear cowboy boots?
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Big Shoe Building – Bakersfield, California

Big Shoe Repair Bakersfield
Shoes, roadside attraction, motorcycles. It’s like the holy trinity of things that I love! Giant rope shoelace? ::swoon::
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The Big Duck – Long Island

The Big Duck Flanders Long sland
The Big Duck is one of my favorite things about Long Island. Now at 80 years old, it is also one of the greatest surviving examples of programmatic architecture. I find it nearly impossible to ride past it without stopping for a photo. Did I just hear Kenny mumble, “I know”?
……….

Partridge Family Bus – Ashland, NY

Partridge Family Bus
The Partiridge Family Bus replica that sits on Route 23 in Ashland, NY doesn’t appear to have moved since I last saw it 4 years prior. C’mon, get happy all over town in that thing, already!
……….

“The Big White Guy” – Chicopee, Massachusetts

Chicopee Man Muffler Man
According to Roadside America, the Big White Guy is a Texaco Big Friend.
He has such a dopey-eyed, simple look about him, doesn’t he? I just know his voice would sound like Bing Crosby.
……….

South Park Monster Truck Bus – Leggett, California

South Park Monster Truck Bus

What I wouldn’t have given to be driven to school each day in that baby.

The whole time I was standing there, in my head I sang “Goin’ down to South Park, gonna have ourselves a time…” in my best impression of Les Claypool’s wacky twang.

……….

Mustachioed Muffler Man – Merced, California

Merced Muffler Man

There is something about this particular muff that makes me think of “Bob,” the dude who took the armoire from Kramer on Seinfeld.

I believe this is the first muffler man that I’ve seen who happens to have a very hip mustache.

……….

Excited Elephant – Connecticut

Elephant loves the Speed Triple
One hot summer day in 2011, I was stuck in a line of traffic crawling along at 35mph behind a giant hotdog. Seeing this totally psyched pachyderm on the side of the road gave me a chance to get out of the conga line of cars and off my hot motorcycle.
……….

House of Doors Muffler Man – Cheshire, Connecticut

House of Doors Muffler Man
One of the last times that I stopped in to see the House of Doors Muffler Man, he was nothing more than a pair of pants standing there. He has since been put back together and is proudly holding his American flag.
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Yellow Submarine Oil Tank – Shelter Cove, California

The Yellow Submarine tank was a really nice surprise. When Kenny and I pulled into the parking lot of the Inn at the Lost Coast in Shelter Cove, it was sitting in the front yard. It is painted on all four sides.
……….

Smiley Bouy – Montauk, Long Island

Smiley BouyIt’s hard not to smile when you pass this giant smiley out in Montauk.
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How About You?

Did you see any roadside treasures in your travels this year?

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For

Triumph Tiger on Route 116There are several many people in my life that might argue that I am a weirdness magnet. But, what would that say about them?

Am I really a magnet -or- do you think that just maybe when I am riding my motorcycle I try to be hyper-aware of my surroundings? Strangely enough, I prefer to think that weirdness looks for me. My Gramma used to say that ‘water rises to its own level.’

A few weeks ago, while riding around in Westchester County we passed this charming red building. I think it was once an antique or consignment shop.

Red building in Westchester

Cute, but easily passed by. That is unless something glistens in the sun and catches your eye.

C3PO head in the windowRandom. Just the way I like it 🙂

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

When the shadows start getting long, that’s when I start missing home. I continuously walk the line of having the curiosity of a person who likes to wander and one whose heartstrings reel them back home. Those two facets of a life can be hard to manage.

Catskill Park Sign and Speed Triple

I’d wound my way around to the edge of Catskill park. This was where things started to get “familiar”. These were the roads where I cut my teeth riding.

I have to believe that everyone who leaves home finds themselves gripped by moments of loneliness. When you’re standing on the side of the road drinking things in with your eyes and there is no one to turn to and say, Did you see that? or to share an unspoken, knowing glance with – that divide can feel immeasurable. Those moments can feel like an eternity. Being “close” to home made it all that much harder.

Patridge Family Bus - Ashland New York

Gripped by my own sentimental weakness, I began my decent from the atmosphere and started working towards home.

In many ways it felt like a failure that I wasn’t able to work past my suddenly overwhelming homesickness. But, the idea of sleeping in my own bed started to push those clouds away. There was just the pesky matter of already having 450 miles on the seat for the day and a solid 200 more if I wanted to head home the “un-fun” way.

Decisions, decisions…

10 Awesome Long Island Roadside Attractions

10 Awesome Long Island Roadside Attractions

Looking for a place to ride to on Long Island? Love roadside attractions? Well, then you’re in luck.

Long Island is home to an interesting collection of deliciously kitschy roadside awesomeness. Break out the map and string some these great destinations together on a route. Here are 10 of my favorite Long Island Roadside Attractions.

The Big Duck

The Big Duck - Flanders New York Long Island

Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the Big Duck of Flanders, NY is Long Island’s most recognizable roadside attraction. It was built in the early 1930’s as an attraction to sell Peking Ducks. Constructed with a frame made of wood, wire mesh was then attached and covered in cement. The Duck’s eyes are made from Ford Model-T taillights.


Riverhead Raceway Muffler Man Indian

Muffler Man Indian Riverhead Long Island Raceway

This handsome silent sentry stands on the grounds of the Riverhead Raceway. He is Long Island’s only Muffler Man. Many folks will recognize him from an episode of the Sopranos where Tony walks in front of him at the raceway.

Location: Riverhead Raceway – 1797 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY


 Mr Millennium – The Giant Snowman

Hamptons Giant Snow Man Mr. Millenium

The smiling snowman is nearly 20 feet tall and stands outside of North Sea Auto Radiator on Sandy Hollow Rd. I don’t know why but I totally love his big mittens. They’re so cute! His plaque says he was made in the year 2000 and that his name is Mr. Millenium [sic].

Location: North Sea Auto Radiator-Towing – 25 Sandy Hollow Rd., Southampton, NY 11968


The Giant Rooftop Hotdog

First National Franks Giant Hotdog Medford Long Island NY

Located on top of First National Franks in Medford, the giant rooftop wiener is a winner! You can ride to eat and see something kitschy in one shot. What’s better than that?

Location: 3147 Route 112 Medford, NY, 11763


The Pirate House

No doubt the neighbors of the Pirate House in Miller Place must get fed up with the gawkers who stop by for a look.

“The Connor Belle”
The local story that I have heard about this house is that the owner built this temple of pirating for his daughter who has a brain injury. It came in the wake of seeing her happy reaction to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride during a trip to Disney World.  I cannot say if that is indeed true; it could just be an urban legend.

The house does have a notary public sign out front. Maybe you can get the scoop from the horses mouth while having a document notarized? Hmm…

Pirate House Miller Place Long Island Pirate House Miller Place Long Island Miller Place Pirate House Long Island Miller Place Pirate House Long Island

Casa Basso Restaurant

Casa Basso Westhampton Pirates

Nothing says delicious Italian food like a stucco castle with 2 Musketeers, a horse, a two-headed snake and a gold lion in the yard. From what I understand the food is actually quite good.  Go for the kitsch, stay for the pasta.

Location: 59 Montauk Highway Westhampton, NY 11977


Home Depot Cemetery

The Home Depot in Commack is now located on what was once a World War I air field called Brindley Field. Prior to that, it was a farm.  Today it has an interesting secret “hidden” in plain sight; the Burr Family cemetery plot. As people go shuffling by with their carts full hammers and nails, many do not even realize the tree-lined little square houses a handful of tombstones.

Location: Home Depot 5025 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY


Home Depot Cemetery Commack Long Island New York Home Depot Cemetery parking lot Commack Parking Lot Cemetery Home Depot Commack

Giant Bull of Calverton

Long Island Bull Statue Calverton

I found this guy by accident one day just cruising around. He stands inside the pen of a private farm. Between you and me, I like him so much more than the oft talked about Smithtown bull.
Location: Wading River Manor Rd. Calverton, NY


Atlantic Seafood

Atlantic Seafood Shark Door

The Shark Mouth door of the Atlantic Seafood restaurant always makes me smile when I ride by. It’s amazing how many locals don’t know the name of the place and just call it ‘the shark mouth.’ View on flickr
Location: 125 Main St Center Moriches, NY


The Cement Sphinx

Cement Sphinx Bayport Long Island New York

A Long Island landmark since 1911. “She who climbs the Sphinx’s head, a millionaire will surely wed.” Unfortunately ladies, the sphinx gives mixed messages with it’s ‘No Climbing’ sign. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Location: 890 Montauk Hwy, Bayport, NY


Nipper the Dog

Nipper Plessers Appliances Babylon
This 6ft tall fiberglass Nipper the dog stands at the front door of Plesser’s Appliances in the town of Babylon. He’s a town favorite!

Location: 6 E Main St Babylon, New York 11702

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