A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Always the Rebel

Camp two nights ago in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Camp last night at the American Legion Post 37 in Holbrook, Arizona
The lady who was just opening up said I was more than welcome to park there overnight being a veteran.
This is option I need to work more.

I am doing the Wal-Mart parking lot thing again tonight in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Okay, I like the challenge.

My post this morning about Wile E. Coyote and ACME took me nearly an hour to put together and post.  The computer kept stalling on me.  I agonized over this all day long while driving trying to figure out what was haywire - the laptop, Blogger, the connection?  Mid-day I pulled off to see if I could use the iPad to post on the blog and relieve myself of all this pain during the next month or so.  That was the Continental Divide post so it can be done but with limitations.  Here in Albuquerque I quit driving early, filled the tank (this Gas Buddy app on my iPhone is saving me a bundle in $$$ finding the cheapest prices in towns), got online at a McDonalds  (there are 1000's of them around so Free Wi-Fi is never farther away than the next pair of Golden Arches) and planned to devote some time in solving this blogging problem.  Here I sat staring at my screen when all of a sudden the light bulb went on in my little pea brain.  Try using Google Chrome!  This post was put together in minutes with no problem. I had forgotten about GC on this travel laptop.  So all of this was a test and now all is well. 
Now for a cup of tea.

All Downhill From Here

I Found It!

Here is where Wile E. Coyote orders all of his equipment from in his futile attempts trying to capture the roadrunner.  Fortunately it is located in Seligman, Arizona close to where Wile lives thus saving him a lot in shipping costs.

Today we enter New Mexico

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sunset Over Mojave

First night camp was at a rest stop near Boron, CA. in the Mojave desert after 415 miles of driving.  Breakfast in Barstow after getting fuel at a Food for Less store where I replaced the brand new jar of peanut butter I bought at Safeway last week that turned out to be dated "Best by October 11, 2012"!  I guess Planter's peanut butter is not a fast seller.  A reefer truck woke me up at 5:30 in the morning.  That and yesterday's drive caught up with me and I had to pull off for an hour nap before crossing  the Colorado River and entering Arizona...finally.  Called it a day in Kingman, Arizona.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Here We Go

We will be on our way to the deep south, the land of Dixie, early tomorrow morning.  It will take us all day and then some just to escape from California.  I will try to post entries onto the blog as we travel along but the real meat of the trip will not begin until we hit Texas which will be several more days of travel so hang in there.  
As usual on these trips I most likely will not be able to keep up on the blogs I follow due to weak and iffy internet, so I'll miss that.  Be good while we are away.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Sometimes I take pictures and later wonder why I did.  This is one of those.  
I guess at the time I felt I should.

Seligman, Arizona

No I didn't eat there and I have had my last buffalo burger anyway.  There is nothing special about them except their high price.  And why would an ok saloon be famous?  Now if it were an awesome saloon I could understand it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flea Market Find From the Past

I have not seen one of these for decades.  In fact I had forgotten all about them.  The last time I saw one in use was when I was a young boy.  I've tried to recall where it may have been but could not with any assurance.  Most likely it was at a repair shop or shoe repair store. 

It is a register or till if you prefer.  Notice the hand crank in the shadow to the left.  You turn it and a receipt would roll into place where the blue square is on top.  That blue is carbon paper.  The receipt on top usually was yellow and the store owner would write out what you purchased or the service he performed on the yellow receipt.  He would rip off the yellow original which was for the customer and his copy (usually white paper) made by the carbon paper would roll up within the machine as he cranked up a new receipt for the next customer.  At the end of the day he'd unlock the top and remove his copies of the day's transactions.

Now how many of you were familiar with these machines?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Four Fer on Monday Mural

As I will be back on the road in a few days this will be the last Monday Mural post for some time.  
So I will use up the last of my Chillicothe Missouri murals in this one posting.

This town had the largest and highest quality murals of any 
that I discovered during our Great Plains Tour of last fall.

Now if only they could do something about the infernal cars being parked in front of them!

Iron Bronc Rider

Around and in back of the building where yesterday's Metal Art Triceratops stood was this art piece.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Metal Art Triceratops

Lemmon, South Dakota
Just collecting the metal alone for this is mind boggling, 
but then to make it all work plus the time involved in doing so,
pretty amazing.

This is linked to Weekly Top Shot

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Good Kind of Voodoo?

From this week's Crime Watch section of my local small town newspaper:
A resident in the 800 block of Madrone called to report hearing sounds up in the attic and wall.  The caller said they knew who was making the noise, and said this person was using voodoo on her.  The caller also said the suspect had engraved smiley faces on some personal property.

I need to remember this if I think I am hearing strange sounds in the house,
start looking for smiley faces.
If I find any, voodoo might be involved.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The 10 Most...

Last month I mentioned in this post about coming across a news article of the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S., and 6 of those 10 cities were in the South.  Well since then I came across two more of those surveys.  I don't go looking for these things, they just pop up in online news magazines I view.

The 10 Saddest States.
The Gallup Healthways Well Being index evaluates areas such as health, behavior and work environment.  Again, 6 southern states made the 10 Saddest States list: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina who tied with Nevada for the #10 spot.  If that wasn't depressing enough, I later stumbled upon...

The 10 Most Depressing States.
Using data from federal health agencies, Health.com has identified the 10 states with the highest rates of depression, psychological distress, and other indicators of poor mental health: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas (I'm seeing a pattern here), Oklahoma and Kentucky were 5 of those 10.  

Sheesh, they are making it sound like we will be traveling through some third world country.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Sunflowers

Viewers seemed to enjoy the sunflowers I had last week so here are some more scenes.

I want to see cotton fields and maybe tobacco fields too while in the South but it may be too early in the growing season.  I have never seen a cotton ball on the plant.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Old Signage

Eldon, Iowa

I like old signage and hope to find more of it while travelling through the South.
Purdin, Missouri

All the better if they date themselves with prices like these,
Coffeyville, Kansas

or praise the latest technological development.
Commerce, Oklahoma

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Endangered Species

You don't see many of these around anymore and there may come the day that they become extinct altogether, except for those preserved in museums and private collections.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Long Monday Mural

Plains, Kansas

This mural is the longest I had come upon during our Great Plains Tour.  Sadly it is on a side street of this small town, hidden in an alleyway one drives in to access the drive-up window of the neighboring bank.  If you didn't have to go to the bank you would probably not see this really great piece.

From left to right -

Here I am backed up to the bank's drive-up window

Television - Just More and More of Less and Less

1 in every 4 Americans has appeared on television (I don't make this stuff up)

Well, I am one of those 4.  
In 1987 I appeared (in a non-speaking role) along with Raymond Burr (of Perry Mason fame) in a intro that was filmed for one of the Unsolved Mysteries television specials before it became a regular series hosted by Robert Stack.

I will be available for autographs while on the road.  Thank you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cemeteries and Graveyards

Milan, Missouri

A few of the scheduled stops during our Great Plains States Tour of last year took us to cemeteries.  I am not as fond in visiting cemeteries at this stage of my life.  I get to looking at dates on the markers, start doing the math and get uneasy as to how close I am in age to the person lying in the ground.

Sometimes I use the word graveyard instead of cemetery.  One time someone called me on it wondering if I grew up back east for people rarely say "graveyard".  I had never gave it any thought before.  A small bit of research revealed that places of burial were always called graveyards and most commonly were close to churches.  But as little towns became cities, populations increased and open land became scarce, cemeteries were established as privately or municipally owned sites separate from the church.

I think I have a few graveyard stops planned for our upcoming Tour of the South.  
I'll try not to let the headstone math get to me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Somewhere in South Dakota

I had been sitting on these sunflower photos for months, ever since I made them last August.  The problem was I shot so many pictures of them it boggled my mind as to which ones to use.

My wife and I can go out and take pictures together and it is not uncommon for her to come home with hundreds of images.  Me?  Maybe a couple of a dozen.  Selective photography I call it.

Here the sun was behind the sunflower and the yellows were dull.  So...change it to a black and white.  It helped the photo but not to the extent I would make a print and hang it on the wall.

This is linked to Madge's

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Left Where She Died

I suspect (hope) I will come across many scenes like this while travelling through the South in the next couple of months.

One of those examples of being unable to decide original color or black and white.

Here with a slight vignette added.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Trailer Trash Tuesday

Commerce, Oklahoma

This trailer does not qualify as "Trailer Trash" to me.  I was in Commerce for a different reason,  the old gas station and this trailer happened to be there.  While taking photos a lady stopped by to see the trailer.  She had come all the way from out of state on a tip from a friend who had seen the trailer sitting, neglected.  It was just what she was looking for but as it had no for sale signs or any means to contact the owner, she resigned herself to the fact it was unavailable and drove off for home.
Someday it will have a new owner I hope who will put it back to use on the road.
What a cutie.

This is the last of my trailers found from the Great Plains Tour last year.  I feel confident that our upcoming tour through the southern states will provide many more Trailer Trash photo opportunities.  So many more that I might need a bigger gigabyte card for my camera!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Good Day at the Flea Market

Well they are all good, this one was just a wee bit gooder.

First was this which instantly came to mind was a scene from the Terry Gilliam movie Brazil.
A great movie and a favorite of mine.

The scene, enough to give you nightmares and I'll not go into detail.

Guys like to ride their old bicycles to the flea market, stand around and gab about their passion.
This one here was new upon the scene.  Polished rust and bare metal seat. I love it.

This gentleman's wife makes these tea cup and saucer bird feeders.
What a clever idea I thought.

I rarely ever buy anything.  I just enjoy browsing around and the characters there are entertaining.  I saw this 8x10 photo in a frame and loved it.  The seller was on his cellphone sitting on the tailgate of his truck.  I held up the picture frame.  He held up 3 fingers.  I stepped aside and fished into my pocket for my money.  By now he was off the phone and finishing up with another customer.  I handed him a 5 dollar bill.  He gave me back 3 dollars (???).  I thanked him and walked away happy with my purchase.

At home I removed the photo from the frame hoping there was a date and maybe who and where this was but it was blank.  I mounted it on a mat and took the photo below.

After I had it framed I realized I had mounted the photo to low and cut off her boots.  I fixed it but forgot to take another picture.  This one below is in the frame behind glass and not as sharp as above but wanted you to see her boots and the scene, plus how cropping out the bright glare of the tin roof helped the overall image.

Oh how I would love to know the story behind this photo.