Because part of their enduring appeal is directly correlated to familiarity and the use of the same imagery or logo, you might be inclined to think if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. In the most simplified terms, there is truth in that sentiment.
However what I’ve found over time is that though I love the olde tyme advertising simply for what it is – big uniform block yellow and white letters – the ads have a way of transcending their simple existence. The barns and wall ads are a punctuation mark on the line of journey. In some ways my photos of them become a touchstone of a moment in time, a spotlight on their surroundings, or a phantom feeling made visible.
This barn has been hanging around as a star pinned to my Google Map for years. You can find it on US 522 in McVeytown, Pennsylvania. It carries an interesting mix of messages on it’s north and south ends.
Though I’m not a a religious person, I do find certain iconography, images, messaging, ideas and the beliefs of other fascinating. I admire spiritual faith and am not ashamed to say that It is a concept that continues to elude me.
Some of the last precious words my dad said to me before dying were, “say a prayer for me.” A decade now since his passing, they still haunt me. Facing the end of his road he believed he was going to meet his heavenly father. I have often found myself strangely envious of his unwavering faith. I hope he’s where he knew he’d be.
Muffler Man: Big Chip from the Inside Scoop – Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Looking for some place to road trip to? Why not pick a place that combines two magical options – ice cream and a muffler man?
Say hello to Chip, the ice cream scoop wielding giant who welcomes you to The Inside Scoop in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. This place is a roadtrippers trifecta. Roadside giant, delicious ice cream and a fab neon sign to boot. What’s not to love?
With the heat supposed to come on like gangbusters, on Saturday morning I zipped out from Lock Haven before the rest of the world was stirring. There was still a coolness hanging on the air following a quick rainstorm that passed through the valley.
As I motored along PA 44, there was a moment when I considered stopping to close the vents on my jacket. It was that cool alongside the damp woods. That joy didn’t last long. By midday the heat started pressing down.
I pulled over to take a look at a collection of shed-like buildings on the side of the road. What caught my eye in particular was the one modeled like a stave church you might see in Norway. That was a curious sight along the backroads of Pennsylvania. I have no idea what the story is there but it’d be interesting to know.
When I walked back across the road to my bike, the wriggling road ahead was calling my name.
You never know what you’re going to see out there in the world. Every day has it’s surprises. Riding around, taking in the world is an excellent education.
I’ve been trying to remember how I first became aware of the Blue Whale. If my memory serves me, it was in a hotel elevator in Leeds, Alabama across from the Barber Museum. My hubs Kenny was just finishing up the Kevin Schwantz school at the track and I flew down to visit the museum. Inside the elevator was a poster that featured the whale and some information about the Hampton Hotel’s Save-a-Landmark program. That was 2010. If I had to guess, that is when the seed was planted.
“Kenny, did you know that the blue whale was an anniv…”
“No. You can’t have a blue whale.”
Route 66 is an important experience for many people.
As I said previously, maybe the “thing” that pulls you out to the far flung edges of the universe doesn’t make sense to anyone else. As a matter of fact, I’m certain that some people will read this post and say “you rode all the way to Oklahoma to look at some dumb whale?” And the answer would be, yes. But of course that is the most simplified truth. The bigger story is that I rode to Oklahoma to live my life.
On the most direct route, there are 1,400 miles between my house and The Blue Whale of Catoosa. When you think of all of the sights, smells, experiences, interactions with the world, the thoughts that float through like clouds between here and there? It makes perfect sense to go all that way.