Tag: travel

Seen, Unseen and the Route 66 Encyclopedia

Seen, Unseen and the Route 66 Encyclopedia

Route 66 holds sway over my imagination. I know, it’s just a road. And yet, for me something about it transcends that. I can’t be alone in this thinking because it has evolved in to a cultural icon. Maybe it has something to do with being built on ideas, hope and possibility.

Though I’ve traveled parts of 66 in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma – in many ways I am more sure than ever that so much was unseen. There is a feeling of a secret beyond the veil and a need to look closer, look longer. Coming home from those stretches of road, I am more curious about what I saw than when I left. Now I know there is a story to be told about what I saw versus going in search of answers about a story that I’d already known. It may seem semantic, but to me there is a difference.

A few months ago, I bought a book called The Route 66 Encyclopedia by Jim Hinckley. The book does a great job of intertwining history, photographs, references to old travel guides and materials. It is.. encyclopedic, really. Peppered all throughout the pages are delicious bites of history for the 66-curious.

When I first got the book, I thought it might inspire me to seek out the things in its pages. But when it arrived and I gave it a cursory look-over, I put it aside and there it stayed for a month or so. For some reason, I didn’t want to know about what I was going to be looking at prior to my trip out to Oklahoma.

When I returned home from my road trip, it was only then that I’ve been able to turn my attention back to the book. Now I want to know about what I’ve seen. What was that crumbling facade? What was in that blank space? How did that town spring up in the middle of nowhere? Now those blank spaces have shape, line and form and I can learn about them. If I did it in reverse the ideas would have been too abstract to appreciate. Or maybe too overwhelming. There is so much to feel in a couple thousand miles. Maybe pre-programming myself was subconsciously too much? I dunno. I’m just riding the wave.

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

A few years ago during a pit stop at the DeLorme store in Yarmouth, Maine – I picked up a couple maps and travels books. One of the items I brought home was a map featuring Mid-Atlantic lighthouses. Having travel inspiration on the bookshelf at home is always a good thing.

Scanning around the map, reading the names of the lighthouses makes me want to visit them. How could you resist a place called Point No Point? Between you and me, that seems like the name that should be hanging on my office door. Then there is the gelatinous sounding Solomons Lump. Unfortunately that one isn’t accessible by land, which may be just as well. It sounds like it could be infectious.

I don’t know what initially sparked my affinity for lighthouses but they are one of my “go to” stops when looking for things to visit. Maybe it has something to with their implied independence, perseverance and strength against the elements. No matter how small in stature, the mighty lighthouse keeps shining its light when things get nasty.


So far, I’ve only visited a few of the lighthouses in the Mid-Atlantic region. But maybe that will change. Maybe this year I’ll find myself seeking out a few more.

Sandy Hook
85 Mercer Rd
Highlands, NJ 07732

Navesink Twin Lights
Twin Lights Historic Site
Lighthouse Road
Highlands, NJ 07732

Concord Point
700 Concord St
Havre De Grace, MD 21078

 

Pretending to be Brave – Leaving the Void for Parts Unknown

Pretending to be Brave – Leaving the Void for Parts Unknown

On Sunday morning as I rubbed the I think I drank one too many pints from my eyes I wondered how in the world my weekend had gone by so fast. What started on Thursday evening, riding out to State College, Pa. for a pre-rally dinner, moved in to doing the 24-hr Void Rally on Friday in to Saturday and finished with me waking up in Virginia on Sunday morning wondering where the time went.

There is often a bittersweet feeling in achieving your goals. It makes me wonder what percentage of joy comes from the wishing, hoping and planning before the event itself.

Though my rally was over, I was staring down a new journey. With a spark of excitement I began shoving everything into my two travel bags. It’s amazing how scattered everything gets in a hotel room. My rooms often look like a “stuff bomb” went off. And yet it all folds back up so tidily as if nothing ever happened. Kind of like cramming one of those gag snakes back in to its can.

Though I knew I would be shoving off for a week of riding on the back-end of the Void, in the weeks leading up to the trip I did little to no planning. I left home armed with a loose idea of a few things that I wanted to do and see while I had the time, but that was pretty much it.

I had no route and no immediate timetable, just the want to feel something.

I left Fredericksburg under a bright blue sky and set off towards the Blue Ridge Parkway south. It was time to float.

Where do you go when you have nowhere that you need to be? Anywhere.

While doing the Void Rally, I had to cover long distances in a short amount of time. As such, that meant lots of highway miles. Now that I was on my clock, I set the GPS to avoid the slab as I picked my way south and west. I would milk the back roads up until those times I found it necessary to punch out a leg that required fast-paced hustling.

Being on my own, I felt a great sense of freedom. A huge expanse opened inside of me and it seemed like anything was possible. All I had to do was stop being afraid.

The world was there for the taking if I could just find enough bravery to reach out and grab it.

Around the World with AntiHero

Around the World with AntiHero

Let’s face it. The lives that many of us have chosen don’t allow us to fling ourselves out in to the world to just wander. Maybe we do it in small doses – a trip here and there. And maybe some of us don’t find a way to do it at all.

Thankfully there is an army of other motorcyclists who share the view from their visor. As they send back images and dispatches from the road, they can help to feed your dreams until the time that you find yourself out there in the world.

This is currently my favorite world traveler. He’s taking me around the world with him and doesn’t even know it.

AntiHero

You may have seen his Ducati Panigale trip threads on ADVrider.

I like to follow him on Instagram too:

#ducati #panigale #rtw

A photo posted by AntiHero (@dennis_matson) on

Regarding Instagram

I know some people are sensitive about using Instagram. They don’t want someone else owning their images. Fair enough. But, if you register an account you can still follow, comment and search the app without ever posting a photo yourself.

You can of course still look at a user’s profile on Instagram without logging in. But, you can’t search the site for users and hashtags so you’d need to know who you’re looking for and navigate there directly.

The sheer number of images that are posted on the service is staggering. And some of them are downright incredible.

Olde Tyme Travel Blogging By My Mom

Olde Tyme Travel Blogging By My Mom

While at my mom’s house for Thanksgiving, I got a chance to look through a bag of travel mementos that she’d set aside for me. Inside were stickers, pamphlets, receipts and ticket stubs from her travels over the years.

My eyes zeroed right in on a South of the Border bumper sticker in the stack. I knew I was there as a kid but haven’t really been able to place the exact time. Now, thanks to my mom’s olde tyme blogging on the back of an envelope – I know. July 17, 1988. I was 14.

fuzzygalore south of the border bumper sticker

Apparently we actually stayed over at a motel there. I wish I could jog my memory for any dusty recollection of this. I don’t remember going up in the sombrero tower or seeing any of the fiberglass figures around. Other than a dim memory of perusing some fireworks in a store, I’ve got nothing.

My mom scribbled down the toll rates, mileage, times, dates… I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I have been talking to my daughter Chloe about going to South of the Border. I’m not even really sure why. I just want to. She seems to be all in on taking the trip. Maybe it’s a rite of passage in the Fuzzmop family 😀

Side note: “Vargina”? Really, Mom? 😆

Update:

fuzzygalore howard johnson dillon south carolina

While going through the papers today, I found that we stayed in a Howard Johnson’s at I-95 exit 193 in Dillon, SC for the bargain rate of $37.40, including tax. Today that HoJo is long gone.

fuzzygalore south of the border brochure

The South of the Border brochure is super kitschy.

fuzzygalore south of the border brochure

Just check out the deluxe crushed velvet honeymoon suite! Velvet lamps on chains, carpet covered champagne chiller, entertainment system in the clamshell headboard thingy. Hubba hubba!

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