Posts tagged road trip

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


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!!

 The above map is interactive, you can click and zoom around it, and expand the left side with the icon on the upper right to see all of the places we’ve been in the song!

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 35 of the 91 locations mentioned in this song: UPDATED: 05/05/2017

The Road Trip That Made Me


Sometimes I sit and wonder when I became addicted to road trips and all of the memories they create. Growing up, we frequently vacationed in northern Minnesota and drove some 800 miles each way from Indianapolis to our destination, which was a cabin at a resort on one of 10,000 lakes.

But I think I can point to a trip 30 years ago in July of 1985 that really opened my eyes to what a road trip vacation is all about. It was July 4th weekend of 1985 when my mom, dad, and I loaded up in my folks’ 1977 Chevrolet Impala. I was getting ready to head into my senior year in high school and my five older brothers were all out of high school and working jobs, so we had moved beyond the full family vacation. I was the last one in school, wasn’t working a part time job, so it was natural for just the three of us to hit the road.

Granted, my memory on the events of that week 30 years ago isn’t complete, but that trip made an impact on me to where I remember more about it than most people would. Our destination was an area mom wanted to go to, the northern most part of the upper peninsula of Michigan, specifically Copper Harbor, Michigan. We left on Saturday, July 6, 1985. We cruised north out of Indianapolis and went through Chicago via US 41.


We didn’t stop in Chicago, but we took the two lanes out of Chicago and into Wisconsin. We continued on through Milwaukee and finally that first night we started to look for a place to stay for the night. Unfortunately we were running out of luck the darker it got. We got into Green Bay, Wisconsin in the 11pm hour that night, and we couldn’t find a motel with rooms to save our lives. We found out we were passing through that part of Wisconsin where everyone stayed who were in for the annual Oshkosh air show, which brought hundreds of thousands in from all parts of the world.

So there we sat at midnight in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn in downtown Green Bay. No Vacancy. At this point, mom was pretty hot, in every sense of the word. We were all tired and cranky, and at that point mom told my dad, “Oh, let’s just go home!” to which my normally mild mannered dad quickly shot back with “I’m not driving back tonight!”. Mind you, Indianapolis was some 400 miles back south. Once cooler heads prevailed, it was decided the farther we get away from the Oshkosh airshow, the better luck we’d have finding a room. So we decided to make the best of it and head north out of Green Bay. We motored up US 141, a 2-lane US highway that cut through the woods and pastures of northeastern Wisconsin. Back in 1985, there were very few 24 hour gas stations, and at one point we had to pull off so mom could visit a field so she could relieve her bladder. :-) We still hadn’t found a place to stay, but before we got to the border of Michigan, we found a 24 hour roadside cafe where we pulled in around 1am to grab a bite to eat.

I don’t recall the name of the place, but we were all tired, hungry, and half asleep. The one thing I remember about the place is that it was the first time I had a burger that had BBQ sauce and bacon on it. Other than that, I was ready for bed. Fortunately just a few miles up the road, we crossed into Michigan and into the town of Iron Mountain. FINALLY! It was 2am and there was vacancy at the Holiday Motel.



After doing some homework, I’ve found that is no longer called the Holiday Motel, but it is still currently in business operating as an Econolodge.

After our short night’s stay, we forged north into the upper peninsula at Houghton. Cool little town with a neat little draw bridge that still functions today.


On Day 2 we forged ahead and headed towards Copper Harbor, which is at the very tip of the peninsula. We stayed that night at Eagle Harbor at the Shoreline Motel. Loved this place! Situated right at the harbor, it’s a little mom & pop motel resort with an onsite restaurant. And much to my surprise, it’s still open with the onsite restaurant. There’s a lighthouse on the other side of the harbor, and I vividly remember laying in bed with the window open listening to the waters of Lake Superior splashing against the beach while the bell on the buoy in the harbor occasionally rang. And a little pesky mosquito buzzed around my ear while I tried to get to sleep. How’s that for a memory? It looks like we stayed in Room 4, as I took a picture with my mom waving at me from inside. img008




We explored the area that next day and made our way into Copper Harbor. The towns up there aren’t very large and thus there weren’t a lot of other tourists. But the scenery is incredible! img010



The Brockway Mountain Drive offers some incredible views of not only Copper Harbor, but also Lake Superior for as far as the eye can see. One thing that was different for me was how late the sun set up there. The picture above was taken somewhere in the 9pm hour, and the sunset close to 10pm. That night we stayed at a motel in Copper Harbor, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name. It was situated back into some trees not far from the end (or beginning) point of US 41. The last time I was up there, the motel was closed, but the building was still standing.



That night we ate at a restaurant that still is there today called the Harbor Haus. Great seafood they had with a great view of the harbor. One of the locals told us if we really wanted to experience Copper Harbor, we needed to head to the city dump at sunset. Apparently black bears made there appearance at the dump and it was quite the tourist attraction. The dump is now closed and the bears find their food by other means, but it was one of the highlights of the entire trip.


For the remainder of our trip, we headed west and went into our old vacation spot of Park Rapids for a couple of nights before working our way back home. Not to say that leg of the trip wasn’t fun, it wasn’t new and adventurous as the first 3 days were.

So as the 30th anniversary of that trip approaches in a few weeks, I look back on it with great memories, especially knowing it was the last trip I’d take with both of my parents, as my mom passed away a little over a year later. Her passing made the trip that much more special. And as a 17 year old, it made an impression on me that shaped me as a traveler.

I hope to get back up there and retrace as much of that trip as I can. Perhaps even stay at one or more of the rooms we stayed in. There’s a lot of my soul as a road warrior up there. My passion for hitting the road is deeply rooted in the memories of that trip, and those roots are alive and well in the Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan. 

**All photos above were from the trip.

My Cannonball Fugitive – A Trip 8 Years in the Making


For those couple of you who follow my blog, we sometimes incorporate photographing movie filming locations into our road trips.

We first researched the filming locations for My Cousin Vinny in the fall of 2008. We had decided (as we regularly do), that it was a great movie to watch for some laughs. But of course, instead of watching the movie like normal people, on this evening, our curiosity was piqued and we ended up breaking out the laptops to start researching filming locations and continually pausing the movie. At the time, there wasn’t alot of info on the Internet, but we did have satellite images and maps available, as well as the newest research tool that was in its infancy, Google Street View, launched the year before.

I was very excited to photograph the filming locations and had them all plotted out on a DeLorme map (along with some from The Fugitive, which we also researched). Over Thanksgiving in November 2008, we planned on doing this trip, and rain was looking to douse the south for days, so as we left town, we made a right turn and went west and took a trip on 66 instead. Yes, we switched gears immediately…that’s how we roll. Impulse! But we really didn’t want the trip to be a literal washout, so we decided to wait for another time.

Unfortunately, life didn’t work out to afford us the opportunity to get down there in the spring or summer. By the fall 2009, after purchasing a T@B travel trailer and getting hooked on camping, road trips took a back seat to camping trips. Since then, for one reason or another, if we took a road trip, we always went somewhere else and just never got around to this trip. Fast forward to the end of December 2014. Pat had 5 days off he needed to use or lose, and we debated on camping vs. a road trip. I thought about the My Cousin Vinny locations I’d always wanted to see, sent Pat my map and the decision was made…we’d go “Way Down South!” Finally!

We also knew that the trip would be done with certain filming locations for The Fugitive, which were filmed in North Carolina. Primarily the bus-train wreck scene, hospital, ambulance chase, and leap from the dam were all filmed in North Carolina (despite that it’s supposed to be in southern Illinois and bears no resemblance to that area). After that, the action switches to Chicago.

Lastly, I was watching The Cannonball Run this past year, which has a ton of locations across the country. I didn’t look for many, just a few, but one notable location was when Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise landed an airplane in a street in a town to get more beer, and then took off again. That would also be along this route.

Other than photographing the locations, the trip was uneventful. It was all about the filming locations! It was a very pleasant drive and temperatures were much warmer. Light jackets were all that were needed. We did get to The Varsity in Atlanta for dinner on the first day (New Year’s Eve). What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?

The Varsity - Atlanta, Georgia

New Year’s Day, we set off for The Cannonball Run and My Cousin Vinny locations.

The hotel from The Cannonball Run was, to say the least, a major disappointment. What was a thriving hotel at one time (looked very cool in the movie) is now a very run down cheap motel, with a seedy clientele. We didn’t stick around long enough to get a decent photo, particularly as not one – but two – police cars arrived to patrol the property. No thanks, moving on…

Next up was Covington, Georgia – home to the airplane landing scene, which I will post on my Movie Filming Locations page at some point when I have good screen captures.

Then, it was on to Monticello and Eatonton, and the surrounding area, to do all of the scenes from My Cousin Vinny.

The next day we headed up to North Carolina, where we went to Sylva and Bryson City, as well as near Robbinsville, to work on The Fugitive.

On the second to last day, we did make a quick stop in Gatlinburg to walk around and check out the shops – it was in the 70’s! The final was a bit colder, and we only drove back home and didn’t do much. All together, it was a fun trip, and we enjoyed the filming locations!

So, here are the results of our journey!

My Cousin Vinny Filming Locations

The Fugitive Filming Locations

Here is a map of our complete road trip, including all of the locations for My Cousin Vinny and The Fugitive:

Hope you enjoyed the ride!
Pat & Jennifer



July 6, 2014: Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico


Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

We got started from our hotel in Amarillo and headed over to Route 66. First, we  spotted this now-closed shop called Spudnuts Coffee and Donuts. My grandson got a huge laugh out of “Spudnuts,” so for quite a while he amused himself by repeating “Spudnuts”…over and over and over…we felt alot like Charlie Babbitt in Rain Man, as Raymond repeated 97X, BAM – the future of rock and roll, 97X, BAM – the future of rock and roll…you get the idea.

Spudnuts Donuts & Coffee - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

 Followed by a cool Sinclair Dinosaur at King Auto Sales

Sinclair Dinosaur - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

Arrow Motel sign

Arrow Motel - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

Next up was a newer addition to Route 66, but not Amarillo. This cowboy statue used to call his home a barbecue joint in Amarillo, but he was sold at auction earlier this year and now resides at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park on Route 66 in Amarillo…of course, not far from Cadillac Ranch.

2nd Amendment Cowboy - Cadillac Ranch RV Park, Amarillo, Texas

Then we motored on through Vega and Adrian. Just for my grandson, more water tower excitement, complete with a Route 66 shield, which he’s also fond of spotting. So, this was 2 for 1! Route 66 Midpoint Water Tower - Route 66, Adrian, Texas We stopped by the Sunflower Station gift shop, owned by Fran Houser, former owner of the adjacent Midpoint Cafe, and the inspiration for Flo, from the Route 66 themed Pixar film, Cars. Fran had an abundance of die cast Cars, and we picked up a Doc Hudson (in full Fabulous Hudson Hornet paint scheme and crew chief headset). We chatted with Fran for a bit and promised not to wait 12 years to come back, however, she currently has the Sunflower Station up for sale so she can retire (again) and spend more time visiting with family. More info on the sale can be found on Ron Warnick’s Route 66 News site, here.

At the Texas-New Mexico border, is the “ghost town” of Glenrio. The town sits on the border, so there is a Glenrio, Texas and a Glenrio, New Mexico.

Another inspiration for the Pixar team here in the former Little Juarez Diner…

Route 66 - Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico

…which Pixar made into “The Glenrio Motel.” Again, for more locations that inspired Cars, see this link. 


After crossing into New Mexico, we took the pre-1950’s alignment from Glenrio to San Jon. It was paved, but is now dirt. It is very reasonably passable when dry.

Route 66 - New Mexico

We then arrived in Tucumcari, another town which provided alot of inspiration to Pixar for Radiator Springs. Tucumcari is a neon paradise, though it was very early, so we were not staying here (I had stayed here in in 2000 and 2002, though, and would love to again!).

Here’s a collage of some of the signs in Tucumcari (many are from the return trip too). For more from Tucumcari, see the slideshow at the bottom.

Route 66 - Tucumcari, New Mexico

Of course, another prominent – and natural – feature is Tucumcari Mountain, which inspired the mountain in Cars, shaped like a radiator cap.

Tucumcari Mountain - Tucumcari, New Mexico

We shopped at Tee Pee Curios and picked up some souvenirs, then left Tucumcari, continuing on 66 through Newkirk, and as we passed Cuervo, we took the pre-1950’s alignment of Route 66 known as the Cuervo Cutoff. If you look on my trip map above, you can follow along our path. We took the “dog leg” route, but didn’t take the diagonal section (we had taken part of that during our honeymoon in 2002). Cuervo Cutoff - Route 66, Cuervo, New Mexico

 Cuervo Cutoff - Route 66, Cuervo, New Mexico

Here’s a brief video from the Cuervo Cutoff:

The next major city along Route 66 in New Mexico is Santa Rosa. Many towns along Route 66 in various states are preserving – and restoring – their neon signs and buildings. Sometimes the building is long gone, but the signs remain, and they are being restored. But it sure appears New Mexico Route 66 is really working hard at restoring signs, because there are some beauties in this state! I wish I could have been in every town and city with neon during the golden hour. Ahhh, the dream of early retirement…back to reality! Here are few shots from Santa Rosa. Like most of this trip – I didn’t take all my photos westbound…we were also taking 66 eastbound, so I saved some photos for the return trip!

Sun n' Sand Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

La Mesa Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Tower Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Past Santa Rosa, we continued on I-40. There’s a fragment of post-1937 Route 66 at the westbound rest area at exit 252, just past the on ramp back onto I-40, which you can see on my map. We saw this in our friend Jerry McClanahan’s excellent book, EZ66 Guide for Travelers, which you can pick up at Amazon. We continued on I-40 until Clines Corners, a large travel center, which dates back to 1934 when it was started by Roy E. Cline as a filling station and cafe to the south of its current location. In 1937, it was relocated to its present location. It’s a very cool stop, with tons of souvenirs, curios, and other sundries. Quite a lot for a 3 year old to get (over)excited about, so we couldn’t spend as much time as we would have liked, and it was getting late. The sun was setting!

Clines Corners - Route 66, New Mexico

From Clines Corners, 66 continues to follow I-40 until Moriarty. By this time, however, it was dark and we were all pretty tired (did we say yet that traveling with an over excitable 3 year old is tiring? LOL). We wanted to stay in Albuquerque, so we continued on I-40. We were also taking 66 back, so if we needed to skip any parts of 66 on the way out, we would take them on the way back.

We decided to stay at a mom & pop motel in Albuquerque called the Monterey Motel. It’s a non-smoker’s motel and they mean it. From their neon sign to their website, they make it perfectly clear that’s how they want the air there – so NO smokers. Asthmatics like me do appreciate that.

Monterey Motel - Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico

It was a very nice place – clean, well decorated and comfortable. I would definitely stay there again and I’d like to. We rolled into Albuquerque far too late, and with a tired toddler in tow, we couldn’t take any nighttime neon shots (though of course, I’d prefer the golden hour anyway). Maybe next year. But until then, we hit the sheets, ready to seize the next day – taking some photos of Wild Hogs filming locations around Albuquerque…fun!!

Slideshow of All Photos (from July 3-5, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! Pat & Jennifer


Plans change; relax and go with the flow…


Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…OK, we didn’t really have an actual trip plan yet; just a general declaration that we were going to go west instead of east this year, and our destination would be South Dakota, and we’d travel in September.

We’re still heading west, only now we’ve bumped up the trip to July! After talking it over, Pat and I decided that since I was planning on taking two weeks off work to watch our grandson, we might as well just take him on a road trip, rather than me just using two weeks off to stay home. Pat only has a week available, so I’ll spend my first 4 days locally with my grandson, then we’ll hit the road for the rest of the time.

So then, the next question came up…where should we go? Take him to South Dakota? I immediately thought “no” on that…he’s only 3, so we need to go somewhere he can connect to and get excited (which I am sure we could do if we went to South Dakota). But now with the date bumped up, I’m not sure how intensely I want to plan on a new unknown destination with him. I’m feeling called VERY strongly back to the familiar and comfortable – the Mother Road. We can travel Route 66 without detailed plans or schedules (though I do want to make a few plans to visit kid-oriented attractions that Pat and I would not typically visit on our own). I already had a copy of our Route 66 friend Emily Priddy’s book, “Route 66 for Kids,” a first edition copy we bought when she first published it in 2003. I found that she has since created a Kindle version, so I bought it (see previous link). She also has a companion website,, with additional information and even some fun coloring pages that can be printed out and brought along. Getting some great ideas!

Another bonus to taking Route 66, is that our grandson is familiar with Route 66 – not only due to our direct influence indoctrinating him into the Route 66 fold, but the Disney/Pixar film Cars is largely set on Route 66, in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, which is a composite of many places along the Mother Road. Route 66 lends itself heavily to the film, and is a driving theme of slowing down, taking the scenic route, enjoying life and the scenery along the way. That theme is the essence of Route 66 and the towns along the route, and there’s history about the rise and fall of the two-lane, with the coming of the interstate, and its effect on the towns that were bypassed.

Pat and I (along with other Route 66 roadie friends) learned about Cars many years before its release (5 long years!!!), from Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis and his wife, photographer Suzanne Wallis. Michael served as the Route 66 consultant for Pixar, leading them along several Route 66 journeys, fully absorbing them into the road. If you own or rent the DVD of Cars, there is a good “making of” bonus feature, with footage of the Pixar team traveling Route 66 with Michael Wallis. Not only did Michael Wallis serve as the Route 66 consultant, but he also was given a role in the movie – the Sheriff – and Pixar did a great job animating the Sheriff to resemble Michael, with the car’s front grille resembling Michael’s mustache.

Michael Wallis Booksigning at Hit the Road Travel Store, Chicago


Pixar did an excellent job of incorporating the people and places of Route 66 into the movie – whether they outright animated a building (Ramone’s is dead on to the Conoco-Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas – or paid homage to them, like the mountain range that resembles Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo – or somewhere in between, like the Cozy Cone, which is based upon the Wigwam Village motels (route 66 has two – one in Holbrook, Arizona and the other in Rialto, California). For an in-depth comparison of Route 66 locations to Cars, check out our friend Ron Warnick’s page on his Route 66 News site: A Route 66 Guide to the “Cars” Movie

We know we’ll have fun showing our grandson the Route 66 sights he’s already familiar with, but can be excited to see and experience for himself. While we were looking forward to a new destination, I’m actually feeling really good about visiting an old familiar friend. We may just veer off on our way back and take a different route…we’re not sure yet, but we’ll have fun and enjoy no matter where the two lane roads take us.

Stay tuned!

A drive like we took back in the day….


I’ve really been been itching for a road trip! For the past couple of months, we hadn’t been able to go on many road trips because we’re providing some necessary care and maintenance to our house, which has been neglected for just a little bit too long…due to so many spontaneous road trips and camping trips! So now, we have to be responsible homeowners! But regardless, I’m still itching for a road trip. LOL But, as I posted recently, our vacation has been moved up from September to July, so now I can really anticipate an upcoming road trip!

But about two weeks ago, before this latest change in plans, I was traveling home from a doctor appointment in a part of the city I don’t normally visit, and I decided to return home via local roads I don’t usually travel. As soon as I reached the Michigan Road, I needed to turn south to head toward home…but I was wishing I was turning north to head to Michigan instead! One of my favorite drives is along the coast of Lake Michigan. We have done the entire loop twice. The first time, in September of 2005, we made the trip clockwise, starting in Chicago and looping through the UP, across the Mackinac Bridge, and along the Michigan coast. In September of 2012, we made the trip counterclockwise, starting in New Buffalo, Michigan and effectively ending in Chicago. Coming home from a doctor appointment and waiting at a intersection of a road that has taken me on some fun adventures instantly made me long for a road trip.

There’s so much fun, freedom, and adventure to be had on a road trip. You get to see and experience real America – something you don’t do when you fly over it. Sometimes, you can on the Interstate (there are some that have some nice scenery) – but for the most part, the Interstate is just an endless slab of monotony with the same generic rest stops, indistinguishable from one another.

By contrast, America’s two lane highways have so much more to offer. We have found these quirky little museums in small towns and cities that have this claim to fame that they cling to and are so proud to share with visitors. And you’ll rarely find anyone as passionate as the local volunteers who work at these museums and share their stories. Blink and you might miss them; but stay and you’ll learn all about things you probably would never have!

I have mentioned this previously in our US 12 Heritage Trail post, but I am entranced by the “Pure Michigan” ad campaign, in particular, the radio ads featuring Michigan native, actor Tim Allen. They are mesmerizing and perfectly capture the spirit of travel and specifically to the featured Michigan locations. This ad below remarkably epitomizes road trips.

The family road trip. It was the high point of summer. The car packed to the gills, a folded-up road map at the ready, surrounded by enough snacks and drinks to last into next month. Well, let’s go there again. Take a drive away from our schedules and routines…to a sandy beach, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a secluded trailhead. Someplace that right now is calling our name at the top of its rustic little voice. It’s time to go fishing, to go exploring, to experience firsthand some of Michigan’s small town treasures. Miles of shoreline, forests, and endless lakes and trails. Let’s follow our noses and see where we end up. Because adventure is out there…waiting for us at the end of a drive. A drive like we took back in the day. The kind of summer to remember…that’s Pure Michigan.

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


Above is the trip map tracked 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.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634726099179″ width=”600″]

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


Above is the trip map tracked 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.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634732633826″ width=”600″]

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


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


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


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.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633529592554″ width=”600″]

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