I’ve Been Everywhere…well, not yet, but working on it!

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Of course, I haven’t been everywhere, and it would be impossible to literally go everywhere in your lifetime. But let’s narrow “everywhere” down to those places listed in the Johnny Cash song, “I’ve Been Everywhere.” I love that song, and it’s fun to play on road trips!

“I’ve Been Everywhere” was originally written by Geoff Mack about Australian towns, and was later adapted by him for release in North America, by changing the locations to those in the United States and Canada, with some exceptions in Central and South America (Tocopilla, Chile; Costa Rica; Argentina; Barranquilla and Padilla, Colombia; Salvador and Diamantina, Brazil).

As I listened to the song this morning on my way to work, I wondered to how many places in the song I have been? Then I thought it would be cool to try to visit every place referenced in the song. So, as a travel goal, we are going to work toward visiting (or at least passing through) each United States town or state in this song. While its very unlikely that I will ever go to Central or South America, Canada is always a possibility.

The lyrics to the North American version of the song are below, with the states included in parentheses and italicized (not in the song lyrics). Multiple states are listed when more than one state has a city/town with the same name. If I have been to a place listed in the song, it is bold. I used the criteria that I have been in anyplace bearing a name in the song, regardless of the state. If I have been in multiple cities with the same name, the city name and each state are bold.

So check back for our progress!!

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I’ve Been Everywhere

I was totin’ my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road
When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load
If you’re goin’ to Winnemucca (Nevada), Mack, with me you can ride
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand
And I said, “Listen! I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Reno (Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota)
  • Chicago (Illinois)
  • Fargo (Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Dakota, Oklahoma)
  • Minnesota (State)
  • Buffalo (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming)
  • Toronto (Canada; also U.S. cities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota)
  • Winslow (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, Washington)
  • Sarasota (Florida)
  • Wichita (Kansas)
  • Tulsa (Oklahoma)
  • Ottawa(Canada; also cities in Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin)
  • Oklahoma
  • Tampa (Florida, Kansas)
  • Panama (California, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska; also Panama City and Panama City Beach, Florida)
  • Mattawa (Canada; also a city in Washington)
  • LaPaloma (Texas)
  • Bangor (Alabama, California, Maine, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin)
  • Baltimore (Maryland, Ohio, Vermont)
  • Salvador (Brazil)
  • Amarillo (Texas)
  • Tocapillo (Chile)
  • Barranquilla (Colombia) and
  • Padilla (Colombia)

I’m a killer
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Boston (Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas)
  • Charleston (South Carolina, West Virginia)
  • Dayton (Alabama, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming)
  • Louisiana (State; also, Louisiana, Missouri)
  • Washington (State; also, Washington, D.C., and cities in Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Houston (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas)
  • Kingston (California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington)
  • Texarkana (Arkansas, Texas)
  • Monterey (California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia)
  • Ferriday (Louisiana)
  • Santa Fe (Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas)
  • Tallapoosa (Georgia, Missouri)
  • Glen Rock (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia)
  • Black Rock (Arkansas, Arizona, California)
  • Little Rock (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota)
  • Oskaloosa (Iowa, Kansas)
  • Tennessee (State)
  • Hennessee (Oklahoma)
  • Chicopee (Kansas, Massachusetts)
  • Spirit Lake (Idaho, Iowa)
  • Grand Lake (Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma)
  • Devil’s Lake (Michigan, North Dakota)
  • Crater Lake (Oregon)

For Pete’s Sake
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Louisville (Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Tennessee)
  • Nashville (Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin)
  • Knoxville (Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee)
  • Ombabika (Canada)
  • Schefferville (Canada)
  • Jacksonville (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia)
  • Waterville (Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin)
  • Costa Rica
  • Pittsfield (Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin)
  • Springfield (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • Bakersfield (California, Missouri, Texas, Vermont)
  • Shreveport (Louisiana)
  • Hackensack(Minnesota, New Jersey)
  • Cadillac (Michigan)
  • Fond du Lac (Wisconsin)
  • Davenport (California, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington)
  • Idaho (State)
  • Jellico (California, Tennessee)
  • Argentina
  • Diamantina (Brazil)
  • Pasadena (California, Maryland, Texas)
  • Catalina (Arizona)

See what I mean
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Pittsburgh / Pittsburg (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah)
  • Parkersburg (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia)
  • Gravelbourg (Canada)
  • Colorado
  • Ellensburg (Washington)
  • Rexburg (Idaho)
  • Vicksburg (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania)
  • Eldorado / El Dorado (Arkansas, California, Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin)
  • Larimore (North Dakota)
  • Atmore (Alabama)
  • Haverstraw (New York)
  • Chatanika (Alaska)
  • Chaska (Minnesota)
  • Nebraska (State; also, incorporated place in Indiana)
  • Alaska (State; also, cities in Michigan and Wisconsin)
  • Opelika (Alabama)
  • Baraboo (Wisconsin)
  • Waterloo (Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Kalamazoo (Michigan, West Virginia)
  • Kansas City (Kansas, Missouri)
  • Sioux City (Iowa)
  • Cedar City (Utah)
  • Dodge City (Kansas)

What a pity
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to 24 of the 91 locations mentioned in this song: UPDATED: 07/07/2013

July 31-August 4, 2013: International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

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Day 1: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Today’s the big day – we’re finally hitting the road for the 2013 International Route 66 festival, to be held this year in Joplin, Missouri. While I highly believe the Route 66 festivals should be held alternating in all of the various Route 66 states, for us and work schedules it’s obviously easier for us to attend the farther east they’re held.

It’s also the first time we’ll be taking our retro/Route 66-themed Serro Scotty trailer on a longer journey – traveling, rather than weekend camping. We mostly use it for camping only trips, where we spend the bulk of our time actually hanging out at the campground; to me, that’s a far different experience than using it on a road trip, where it’s just a place to lay our heads down for the night.

Though our goal was to stay off the Interstate as much as possible, we headed west out of Indianapolis on the Interstate through Indiana and part of Illinois. In St. Elmo, Illinois, we exited the Interstate and took US 40. An unexpected VERY early morning (after a late night) ensured my need for a nap, so Pat hopped back on the Interstate, which we took through the remainder of Illinois and into Missouri. After passing St. Louis, we exited – finally – for Route 66 in Eureka.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

We made our way along Route 66 in Missouri toward Joplin, and our destination for the night would be the Ladybug RV Park, west of Cuba. Just before arriving, we stopped at the Fanning 66 Outpost, a great stop along the road for Route 66 souvenirs, a Route 66 soda, some Missouri wine – and of photo op at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!
66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

We went back into Cuba for dinner at Missouri Hick BBQ, then went to a local frozen yogurt / ice cream shop called Dessert Island for some froyo -I got their salted caramel pretzel, which was really good! We were very impressed! We drove around and took a few photos of some of the murals in town (see the slide show at the bottom of this post), that provide Cuba with its nickname, the Mural City; then back to the campground for some much-needed rest.

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

 Day 2: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We continued to cruise Route 66, and stopped for a photo op at the Mule Trading Post (it was not yet open for the day).
Mule Trading Post, Route 66 - Rolla, Missouri

We stopped at the Totem Pole Trading post, where we picked up a “Cars” bag, featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater, for our grandson.

Along the way, I noticed a car along the side of the road, and the people by it were waving at us. I waved back, and in the split second we passed by, I thought I recognized them as our Route 66 friends, Kip and Quinn, and their daughter Natalie. Pat wasn’t sure, as he didn’t really notice (being the driver), so up ahead we found a safe spot to pull over and sure enough, they came rolling up behind us! We had a nice roadside chat, then continued on to Joplin.

We stopped by to say hello to Ramona, the owner of the iconic Route 66 motel, the Munger Moss, and made our always necessary stop at Redmon’s Candy Factory for a few sweet snacks.

In Carthage, an alert came up on our Garmin GPS’ “Roadside America” app for a roadside attraction called “Crapduster.” The creation of artist/sculptor Lowell Davis, it is a manure spreader fashioned with biplane wings and situated by a gas station.

Crapduster - Route 66, Carthage, Missouri

We arrived at the campground where we’d be staying until Saturday, the Big Red Barn RV Park, and got the Scotty all set up.

Serro Scotty HiLander at Big Red Barn RV Park

We decided to cruise Route 66 a little more, to head out to Galena and Riverton before we went over to the 66 Drive-in in Carthage. As part of the festival, the 2006 Pixar film “Cars” would be playing at the drive-in and Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis would be there “deputizing” kids (in addition to being Pixar’s go-to expert on Route 66, he provided the voice of the Sheriff in the film). For the weekend, Pixar provided life size versions of Lightning McQueen & Mater, who would be making several appearances throughout the festival. Tonight was their first appearance, at the drive-in.

So, we got to Galena, where we saw that the business Cars on the Route, was open and serving dinner. We were hungry, and always wanted to support local business as much as we can, decided to have dinner here. Cars on the Route is the home of the original tow truck that was the inspiration for Pixar’s character “Tow Mater” from Cars. Evidently, Pixar also provided an early prototype of Mater for the festival. Below, is Pixar prototype Mater on the left, and the original tow truck, dubbed “Tow Tater” by the owners, is on the right.

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

If you compare the Mater prototype in these photos to the final version from the movie (below), you can see how his appearance changed for the final.

After dinner, we decided we needed to get back to Carthage for the drive-in. We were not doing the cruise, just going straight to the drive-in on our own. We didn’t have too long of a wait, as we showed up later. We were able to get a spot in the back (didn’t really matter to us!), and started walking around. We ran into a few more Route 66 friends, Mark, Mike and Sharon.

We walked up to see the activity at the front, and caught sight of two familiar characters. We even did Face Time with our grandson so he could see the giant Mater and Lightning McQueen – I think he enjoyed it (couldn’t hear a thing as there was very loud oldies music blasting from nearby speakers).

Lightning McQueen & Mater  at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

Michael Wallis greeting and deputizing young fans:

Michael Wallis at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

It was fun watching Cars at the drive-in, despite having seen it many (MANY!) times before. We were fans when it came out in 2006, after having waited at least 5 years. I first heard of the movie when I saw Michael Wallis speak at a book signing in Chicago in 2001, and he talked about his tour of Route 66 with the folks from Pixar. Along with other Route 66 roadies, I was immediately excited about it, having been a Pixar fan starting with Toy Story in 1995, which I took my daughter to see, and following through with many of the others. Now, we’re getting our 2-1/2 year old grandson into “Cars,” so it’s viewed quite frequently at our house! The drive-in is digital, so the quality of the movie is completely on par with its small screen counterpart. Nice!

Day 3: Friday, August 2, 2013

We woke up bright and early to get a start on the day. I wasn’t hungry, but definitely needed some coffee, stat! I also wanted to visit a local place, and the Mother Road Coffee, on the town square in Carthage, fit the bill perfectly! Pat got a blended coffee drink and I got a regular brewed coffee. Finally having real cream in my coffee, and not my allergy diet substitute -coconut milk creamer- was sheer delight!

Mother Road Coffee - Carthage, Missouri

As we motored west into Joplin, we passed by the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. As part of the festival events, they were to be doing tours, so we decided to stop and do that now, as that was something we were interested in.

They had loads of various types of candy, mainly chocolates, but also taffy, Jelly Belly, rice krispy treats, lollipops, etc. Many of them were also Route 66-themed.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

The tour was fun and informative, and if you’re ever in Joplin, it is well worth a stop and a tour!

We also bumped into a roadie friend we hadn’t seen in a while, Bob and his wife Kitty. We chatted for a while, picked up some chocolates, and on to our next stop.

Next up, we were going to check out Grand Falls, the largest, continuously flowing waterfall in Missouri. But along the way, we passed by Wilder’s Restaurant and its very cool sign, which is in great shape.

Wilder's Restaurant - Joplin, Missouri

Along this route, evidence of the damage and destruction from the 2011 F5 tornado that ravaged Joplin. There were a mixture of concrete foundations where homes once stood, new homes, new homes still being constructed, and in the midst of this were also older homes that were relatively unscathed. I always liked Joplin, and when I heard about the tornado, I really wanted to try to help out and volunteer some time. But due to my work schedule and staffing, all we could do is donate financially.

The waterfall was just south of Joplin, and is situated along Shoal Creek.

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

By this time, we thought we still couldn’t make it to Riverton, so we headed back into Joplin for the opening ceremonies and dedication of a Route 66 mural.

Here is a video of Michael Wallis’ brief speech during the opening ceremony:

Patrick Tuttle of the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who organized the Joplin festival:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Rick Freeland of the Route 66 Alliance

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri
Michael Wallis, also of the Route 66 Alliance:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean
Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Dedication of the mural

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

After the ceremonies ended, we went down to the Christman Center, where the authors and artists were set up. We saw Carolyn there, as well as Mark, Mike and Sharon. We also stopped at a booth for Annie Mouse Books. Our friend Laurel had given us the Route 66 book for our grandson last year, and we decided to get him another book as well. Worth picking up, give them a look!

Afterward, we checked out some of the outside booths. There was a mix of various vendors, mostly local. There wasn’t much going on today, as tomorrow would be Joplin’s big festival day. Today, there was alot of activity at Galena’s festival.

We also went over to the see the Route 66 quilt exhibit at the City Hall:
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri

We decided to continue our westward trek to get to the Old Riverton Store, but as we really hadn’t eaten anything today, I thought it would be good to have some lunch too. We were so close to Miami that I suggested Waylan’s KuKu Hamburgers….sure didn’t need to twist Pat’s arm. Crushed ice and deep fried pickles? He was completely on board!

As we cruised through Galena, we noticed a new addition to the roadside, homage to Radiator Springs, a Happy Place! LOL

Galena, Kansas: A Happy Place

Then on to Waylan’s.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Hamburger, Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

We came back and stopped at Nelson’s Old Riverton Store. Formerly known as Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store, the store had been managed by their nephew Scott Nelson, who purchased the store in December 2010.

Nelson's Old Riverton Store - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

We continued on back to Galena for the festival there and to see The Road Crew – I’d often heard about them, but was not fortunate enough to have seen them; until today, that is. They were performing at the festival in Galena tonight, Joplin tomorrow night, and at Laurel’s Afton Station on Sunday. We had to leave early Saturday to make the haul (literally) back to Indy, so Galena was our only opportunity to see the band. They were great! here’s a quick video I took, followed by a few photos. The rest of my photos can be seen in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

We ran into a number of friends again in Galena, and bumped a few we hadn’t seen yet, including Robert, Fred, Jane, Jim and Shellee. Pat also spotted John Paget, a filmmaker who did one of my favorite Route 66 videos, “Route 66: An American Odyssey.” It was really hot and humid tonight, so we took a brief respite for a cold drink at the Main Street Deli. We listened to The Road Crew for a bit more, then took another lap around Main Street before heading back to the trailer.

As much as we want to go to the Route 66 e-group breakfast, we weren’t looking forward to the event ending prematurely for us.

Day 4: August 3, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Despite having gone to sleep reasonably early, Mother Nature had other plans early this morning, when she decided a thunderstorm was in order. The sound of the rain on the aluminum roof is magnified and immediately woke me between 3:30 and 4:00 am. Despite my body thinking it was an hour later, I was still tired and not wanting to hear the raindrops beating down on the trailer like BBs! My incredibly trusty “Simply Noise” iOS app, which generates various “noise colors” to cover up unwanted noises, didn’t fail me after I stumbled out of bed to grab my headphones and iPhone. Unfortunately, while it sufficiently drowned out the rain, after looking at the radar and seeing a thunderstorm nearby, there wasn’t any way I was going to sleep well until it passed. It isn’t bad enough being in a structure in a place where there is obvious possibilities for severe storms; but being in a tiny aluminum box during a storm did not do my nerves any good and I only drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. By 6, I was able to fall asleep, but it was past the time I wanted to get up! The Route 66 e-group breakfast started at 7!! I rushed to get ready, and we made it there by 8.

We had a nice time at the breakfast, always a great event organized by Mike and Sharon. We sat with Jane and a couple from Missouri. In addition to everyone we’d seen before, we caught up with more roadie friends, we hadn’t seen yet – Jerry, Emily, Ron, and Laurel, and met some new ones – Joe from the Road Crew stopped over to say hello and thank me for the photos from Galena and we chatted with him and the rest of the band (Jason, Don, and Woody) for a few moments before we left.  I even won a print of a brand new painting by Jerry of the Munger Moss Motel! I was hoping to win that, and was I surprised when I actually did!

We sadly said our goodbyes and went back to the Candy House to pick up some turtle candy for our T@B/camping friend Elaine. We’d be meeting her and her husband Dane in St. Louis this evening for dinner at The Big Chief (on an alignment of Route 66), and some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

We meandered east alternating on 66 and unfortunately, the Interstate. We stopped by Spencer for a photo op.

Spencer Phillips 66 Filling Station, Route 66, Spencer, Missouri

We also stopped by Mr. C’s Route Post, which was closed on the way out, as he was attending the festival. He must have had help today, as his father was tending the store. We purchased some 66 soda and a few souvenirs.

Mr. C's RoutePost, Route 66, Lebanon, Missouri

A perfectly timed Tweet from Roadside America reminded us that today was “Picture on the Rocker Day,” the single day per year that visitors are allowed to sit or stand on the giant rocking chair at the Fanning 66 Outpost. Pat was hesitant, indicating that he didn’t really want or need to go up there, but as you can see below, I was able to persuade him otherwise.

The World's Largest Rocking Chair - Fanning 66 Outpost

We also picked up one of the Road Crew’s CDs here, then continued on to Pacific, where we’d be staying at a KOA on Route 66.

We settled down and set up the Scotty, and waited for Dane and Elaine to arrive. We had a nice dinner at the Big Chief Roadhouse, on an old alignment of Route 66, followed by some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

Serro Scotty at KOA St. Louis - Route 66, Pacific, Missouri

Big Chief Roadhouse, Route 66, Wildwood, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Day 5: August 5, 2013

Our last day was fairly uneventful. We alternated between I-70 and US 40 throughout Illinois and Indiana, finally arriving home at 8:00 PM.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

July 7, 2013: Day 3 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

 

Our final day, we left our hotel in Indiana and went back up into Michigan to complete our journey on US 12 across Michigan. We made a short side trip hoping to locate some of the elusive Amish berry pie, but it was really elusive! We visited a few non-Amish farmer’s markets, hoping for even regular Michigan berry pie, but even that proved futile! But a road trip is always fun anyway.

We crossed into Indiana and spotted a couple of old motel signs in Michigan City:
Al & Sally's Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana
Blackhawk Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana

I happened to see a Facebook post by Pickle Barrel, a favorite vendor of mine from the Indiana State Fair, that they would be at the Lake County Fair, and by coincidence, today was opening day and we were nearby! This is the “good side” of social media. We stopped there for a bit and I had some sirloin tips.

We also stopped at a nice farm market called Garwood Farm. We bought some produce and baked goods, and though the pie was not from Michigan and only a single berry (raspberry), we bought one anyway.

We continued to meander back to Indianapolis on as many back roads as possible, also making a loop around Bass Lake, a neat little resort community, where Pat’s aunt had a home at one time.

By the time we reached Indianapolis, we hopped off the Michigan Road (US 421) onto 465 and headed for home.

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

July 6, 2013: Day 2 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We started out the day by heading into Mt. Clemens for breakfast at Louie’s Ham & Corned Beef with Thomas and Becky Repp, owners of American Road Magazine.
Thomas & Becky Repp - American Road Magazine
After a very filling meal, we said our goodbyes and Pat and I headed into Detroit to start our westward trek on US 12, the Heritage Trail. I’m not a big fan of unfamiliar urban environments, because the area’s quality and safety can shift from one street to the next, so with our route plan firmly in place, we followed it precisely and didn’t make any stops until were were out of Detroit.

My Roadside America app alerted us to the presence of a statue paying homage to “Dearborn’s Jaunty Racist Mayor.” Interesting.

Statue of Dearborn's Racist Mayor

Always on the alert for old signs, my eye caught sight of this one in nearby Inkster:

Alpine Motel, US 12, Inkster, Michigan

We also saw this one in Wayne, but unfortunately, the diner is closed:

Brownie's Diner (closed) - US 12, Wayne, Michigan

The Chick Inn Drive-in is in Ypsilanti:

Chick Drive-in, Ypsilanti, Michigan

We then made a stop at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. Pat had always wanted to go there, explaining that it has become known as the unofficial Corvair museum, due to the connection of Yspilanti to the Corvair, and also to Hudson, Tucker, Kaiser Frazer, and also Apex Motors and Hydramatic transmissions. These are the companies with a direct connection to Ypsilanti, though the museum’s collection also contains items relating to other manufacturers. It’s very a interesting place for general automotive history, and for the specific manufacturers I mentioned. They have several models of each car they feature and plenty of other memorabilia and documentation as well. I am posting a few photos below highlighting the collection, but for all the photos from the museum, please see the slideshow, below or click it to go to my Flickr page where you can see all of the photos from the museum (and this trip).

1960 Chevrolet Corvair Super Monza

Chevrolet Corvair Neon sign

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet - 1952

Allen’s Root Beer Drive-in is in Coldwater:

Allen's Root Beer Drive-in, US 12, Coldwater, Michigan

Thomas Repp gave us a tip that we would be passing by an abandoned dinosaur/prehistoric theme park, so we were on the lookout!

Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park

This funky 70′s 7-Up-sponsored sign for the Knights of Columbus was in Bronson:
Knights of Columbus - 7Up sign, Bronson, Michigan
Unfortunately, lodging in  the area of Michigan we stayed was sparse (or a bit past our budget), so we stayed in Elkhart, Indiana.
 

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

July 5, 2013: Day 1 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

 

 

We got an early start today (good thing, it turns out). We started out on all local roads, following US 36 from the east side of Indianapolis. I have the iOS app “Roadside Attractions” from the people at the cool website Roadside America, as well as an add on to our Garmin Nuvi. These apps feature the offbeat roadside attractions from their site. I knew it would be fun to start adding visiting some of these places to our travels. I immediately had a few attractions I wanted to take photos of that I saw on the app. The first was this giant cow:

Big Cow - US 36, Indianapolis, Indiana

This bovine was closely followed by a plastered pink pachyderm:

Martini drinking pink elephant - US 36, Fortville, Indiana

We continued on US 36 east and in Greenville, Ohio was a tribute to the 1800′s sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, whose life was the basis for the musical, Annie Get Your Gun:

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Afterward, we happened upon a store called the KitchenAid Experience, which also featured a museum dedicated to the history of KitchenAid products, most notably, the stand mixer.

KitchenAid Experience - Greenville, Ohio

We also opted to pick up a refurbished blender, since the motor on my cheapie blender has started to sound not so good.

The next item on the Roadside America app was the Maid-Rite drive-in and its legendary “gum wall, ” which is almost as famous at their loose meat sandwiches. We opted for a couple of sandwiches and drinks to go as it was fairly crowded inside. The sandwiches feature ground beef, but not in the form of patties, it’s loose ground beef. A bit sloppy but very good! We’ve been to two Maid Rites before, in Missouri and Minnesota and enjoyed them.

Maid Rite Drive-in, Greenville, Ohio

After lunch, the next roadside location was the graves of Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler:
Annie Oakley & Frank Butler's Graves - Brock, Ohio

Due to a nail in our tire, which was unfortunately in an area that couldn’t be repaired, we decided to go off our planned route in order to get to a Firestone to get it replaced. Several detours later, we made it to Napoleon for another roadside attraction:
Giant Campbell's Tomato Soup Can - Napoleon, Ohio

And a Campbell’s water tower:

Giant Campbell's Soup Water Towerb- Napoleon, Ohio

It was getting late, so we needed to unfortunately get going along the faster route, so we took US 24 to I-75. We finally made it to Michigan!

Pure Michigan

We stopped off for dinner at Monroe’s Original and got a coney dog and root beer.

Monroe's Original Hot Dogs & Root Beer

We had to take the superslab up to Detroit, and get to our hotel. Until tomorrow!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

July 5-7, 2013: US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan – Overview

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This trip was inspired by one of the radio ads in the fine arsenal of “Pure Michigan” advertisements. I love Michigan, and it doesn’t take much to sell me on this beautiful state. But these Pure Michigan ads are pure genius…pure enjoyment…pure road trip daydream bliss. I stop what I’m doing to listen to the ads when I hear them each weekday morning. I am easily mesmerized by the music, Tim Allen’s voice beckoning me to visit various Michigan locations. For the past few weeks, I have been hearing this one on US 12, the Heritage Trail and Coldwater Country.

“We go this way to school, that way to work, one way home. Before we know it, we’re stuck in a routine. So when our days start to run together, let’s take a left instead of a right. Instead of the direct route, let’s take the scenic route…to Coldwater Country on the southern edge of Michigan, along Route 12 the Heritage Trail. Coldwater Country shows us the unexpected is just what we’re looking for. So belly up at the diner for an old fashioned root beer; get hooked catching walleye and bluegill on two chains of lakes. Watch the gladiolas grow and grow. Let the kids stay up late for a drive-in movie, and save room for a slice of Amish Berry Pie we’ll never forget. Sometimes when we go off the beaten path, we find something worth coming back for. Right this way, to Pure Michigan.”

Having been convinced to take the Heritage Trail, I started a Trimble map and trip plan, adding various POIs and then forming the route to one end, then the route (we were going to go east to west), and back home.

Here is the route and all planned waypoints (all possibilities of things to do, not necessarily see and do them all!).

Above is the trip plan I created using my Trimble Outdoors web account.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

June 7-9, 2013: Mounds State Park – Anderson, Indiana

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This weekend we *finally* got the trailer out and camped somewhere other than our own yard! We had reservations at Mounds State Park for Friday and Saturday nights. We were going to see Huey Lewis and The News Saturday night at Hoosier Park Casino, and Mounds State Park is a small, but very nice, state park close to the casino.

Here was our spot for the weekend, in a small loop right next to the airport. We saw many small planes taking off and landing throughout the weekend.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Here are a few photos inside our Serro Scotty, featuring our new turquoise bedding, throw rug, and turquoise storage tubs under the bed.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

We used our electric grill, the Griddler, to make a reasonably healthy dinner Friday, chipotle lime chicken and grilled veggies.

Grilled chipotle and lime chicken and veggies

On Saturday morning we went for a 3 mile walk around trail 5 that loops the entire park, and also a bit of trail 1, that goes by the mounds.

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

After our walk, we relaxed around the campsite for a while, then we went out to an early dinner at the nearby Lemon Drop Drive-in and had onion burgers – yummm.

Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

Dinner at the Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

We went back to the campground to get cleaned up for the reason we were in Anderson – to go see the band, Huey Lewis and The News. They are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their hit album “Sports” with a tour and we thought it would be fun to go see them at the Hoosier Park Casino. I’d seen alot of popular bands back in the 80′s, but not Huey Lewis. I thought about so many of his songs and liked them all, so why not?

Why not indeed…the show was terrific. Huey Lewis sounds excellent, exactly the same as he did back in the 80′s. He puts on a very good, entertaining show and I recommend anyone who likes his music to go see them.

Huey Lewis and The News

The venue… The Outdoor Music Center:

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino - Outdoor Music Center, Anderson, Indiana

The main attraction – Huey Lewis and The News!

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The NewsPhotographs

Below is a slideshow of the weekend’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

Video

Here’s a video of “The Power of Love”

May 10-19, 2013: Overview-East Bound and Down

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Back home again in Indiana! Wow, what a great trip that was. It was loads of fun as Pat and I explored many two lane roads throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont (just a hint), New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Here’s the overview of our trip, and posts for each day will follow (and will be hyperlinked below as they are added).

  • May 10-11, 2013: Not much to report, as these were “get from point A to B as quickly as possible” travel days.  Slabbed from Indianapolis to Dubois, Pennsylvania on Day 1, and DuBois to Connecticut on Day 2.
  • May 12, 2013: Spent the morning in Waterbury visiting a friend, then my cousin. In the afternoon, it was onto the PEZ Candy Museum in Orange, then to Mystic, Connecticut.
  • May 13, 2013: Visited Mystic, Connecticut – downtown and Old Mystick Village. Meandered our way to New Haven. Spent the next two nights in downtown New Haven.
  • May 14, 2013: Rode the Metro North to New York City. Spent the day mostly hoofing it around midtown Manhattan, but also went downtown to visit the 9/11 Memorial. Took the Metro North back to New Haven.
  • May 15, 2013: Left New Haven, visited another friend in central Connecticut, then continued meandering northwest on some state roads, then on US 7 into Massachusetts. Took NY 23 to the Hudson River, then followed US 9 and NY 9J. Spent the night in Schenectady.
  • May 16, 2013: Today’s destination was Lake George, New York, a favorite tourist destination of mine from my teen years. Before heading north, we took a detour back east to Bennington, Vermont to have breakfast at the Blue Benn Diner. Traversed northwest and spent the afternoon and evening in Lake George on a cute motel on the lake.
  • May 17, 2013: Spent the morning in Lake George. There was not much open yet, since we were still in the off season (just a week away), so we checked out the site of the former amusement park Gaslight Village (now demolished) and figured out which motel my parents and I stayed in when I was a teen. Played a round of mini golf at Goony Golf, and then headed southwest / west on US 20, visiting an iconic tourist stop, the Tepee.
  • May 18, 2013: Continuing west on US 20 through New York state, through the Finger Lakes area, visited the town that inspired Frank Capra’s vision of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, continued on US 20 into Pennsylvania along Lake Erie on PA 5 (Circle Lake Tour).
  • May 19, 2013: Continued along PA 5 (Circle Lake Tour) by Lake Erie, visited a memorial to those lost in a bad train wreck in 1876, saw the longest covered bridge in the US, and the world’s two largest loaves of bread.

What a ride! Stay tuned.

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

May 19, 2013: Day 10 – East Bound and Down

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Today was the final day of our journey, and so far it’s been a great one!

After checking out of the motel, I opted for just coffee today. After having so many big breakfasts and a big dinner and dessert last night, I needed to give my stomach a rest. We continued into Erie on State Road 5, which was the Circle Lake route, and found a Dunkin’ Donuts in town. We made our way back to the scenic route and passed by this motel where we stayed several years ago.

Vernondale Motel - Erie, Pennsylvania
Along this route, the majority of the trip is in New York, and there is very little of Pennsylvania to go through. So before you know it, we were in Ohio. We continued to follow the Circle Lake Tour, and decided to stop at a park on the lake, Conneaut Township Park. What beautiful views! We decided to take a walk down on the beach and toward the lighthouse.
Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio

Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio
I checked out my Roadside America app again, which showed a town coming up called Ashtabula, featuring several interesting locations. The first was the longest covered bridge in the United States.
World's longest covered bridge - Ashtabula, Ohio
The next location were several memorials to people who perished in the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster, where a train bridge crossing the Ashtabula Rover collapsed during a blizzard, killing 92 of the 159 people on board.

Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
By the hospital, there is an audio memorial, and the hospital is relevant to the disaster, because there were no medical facilities nearby at the time. As a result, a local farmer left his land to be used to build a new medical facility.
Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
Ashtabula Medical Center - Ashtabula, Ohio

After we finished with the SR 5 portion of the Circle Lake Tour, we decided to take the Interstate home (at least for as long as Pat could tolerate it). We bypassed Cleveland and picked up I-71. After another obligatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn (and some free ice cream as a result of a Foursquare check in special), we continued on 71 until just north of Columbus, where we got on US 36. In Urbana, we found via the Roadside America app, two of the World’s Largest Loaves of Bread.
World's Largest Loaf of Bread No. 2
World's Largest Loaf of Bread
We continued on US 36 only a bit longer, then picked up I-70 east of Dayton and continued back to Indianapolis on the Evil I.
Back Home Again in Indiana
Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

May 18, 2013: Day 9 – East Bound and Down

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Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We checked out of the motel and decided to have breakfast in town at the local establishment, the Chef Diner.

The Chef Diner - US 20, Richfield Springs, New York

The food was very good and very plentiful here, as was the local conversation. :)
The Chef Diner - US 20, Richfield Springs, New York

We continued west on US 20 throughout New York, and we quickly approached the Finger Lakes area, but not before passing through some nice country, with rolling hills.
US 20 West, New York

Seneca Falls was recommended by a friend to be a good place to spend a little time, a nice town with shops and restaurants, etc. But it turns out that there’s more to Seneca Falls! I remembered reading about this, but didn’t remember the name of the town or where it was, but once we got there, I found through my new Roadside America iOS app, that there was a bridge in town that was called the George Bailey Bridge. Filming location for “It’s a Wonderful Life” perhaps? No…not quite. Turns out that the town of Seneca Falls was visited by Frank Capra in the mid-40′s as the screenplay was being developed. There are many similarities between the fictional Bedford Falls and Seneca Falls, which they have noted at their website, the Real Bedford Falls. We didn’t have too much time to spend in town, but we did enjoy some gelato at a local Italian shop, and then a walk over to the George Bailey Bridge (the Bridge Street Bridge). The bridge in the film certainly did bear a strong resemblance to this bridge.
Bridge Street/George Bailey Bridge - Seneca Falls, New York

Bridge Street/George Bailey Bridge - Seneca Falls, New York

After leaving Seneca Falls, we continued on US 20 through Buffalo and along Lake Erie. We knew that Erie, Pennsylvania was difficult to get a good, reasonably priced hotel room. The better hotels are expensive and lesser hotels and motels with sketchy reviews still had pricey rates. We stumbled upon a little mom & pop east of Erie, but no one was to be found in the lobby! We followed the instructions to ring the phone (basically the base of a cordless phone that you press to ring the phone). Despite many rings, no one came. A guest who “sort of” checked in was just as confused. He was able to find a check in card and key, but no owner. They weren’t sure if they followed the right process, but at least they did have a key and room. The husband went over to the local bar / restaurant across the street, but no one knew where the owner was. The clock on the desk indicated they would return at 9, but it was a long time away, so we decided to move on. Just down the road, we found another mom & pop called the Colonial Motel in North East, Pennsylvania, and it looked very clean, so we decided to stay. It was reasonably priced and had good wifi. Winner! :)

We had dinner at a nearby restaurant called the Freeport Restaurant, highly recommended by the motel owner. Before we did, we stopped at a park right down the road on Lake Erie to watch the sun set:

Sunset along Lake Erie

After a good dinner, it was back to the motel. Tomorrow was our last day and we’d be heading home.

Pat & Jennifer

 

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

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