A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

American Gothic

From the Archives - Iowa 2012

Seeing the covered bridges of Madison County (yesterday's post) was one thing but I really enjoyed being able to see the house featured in the famous painting by Grant Wood.
You couldn't go into the house for someone lives in it presently,

but they do have a very nice visitors center next door.

Now does the house seems familiar?

 This is an interesting read if you wish to do so.
Click on the images to enlarge and read easier.

 The two people used for the painting.  
At least read the The Models for the Painting in the above sign.
Still grumpy after all those years.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Covered Bridges of Madison County

From the Archives - Iowa, 2012

There once were 19 covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa, only 6 remain today.  You can pay $50 for a two-hour guided tour of the bridges but it is more fun to search them out on your own.  One can pick up a free map from the Chamber of Commerce in Winterset which is pretty well centrally located among them all. One we didn't go to for it wasn't motor home friendly getting to it and another was clear across the county away from our intended direction of travel.  
Most of the six bridges were used in some way or another 
in the movie by that name starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Pretty amazing the engineering in the construction of these covered bridges.

Some goober wanted his picture taken on the bridge.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

At the Hospital

Took a friend to the hospital yesterday for an operation.  This sign greeted us at admissions.

Since I was taking an interest in reading it, I was asked if I had been there. 
 "You couldn't pay me enough to go there.  Even if you include free airline tickets, accommodations and all meals provided."  They laughed and left me alone after that.
Why would I even consider?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Geo-caching is a game/sport where using GPS coordinates you search out these hidden boxes. They can be hidden anywhere; cities, parks, mountain tops, wilderness areas, war zones, you name it.  It is a world-wide pastime with a website where you can gather information and share your experiences.  I don't play it.  I don't have a GPS.  I doubt I could follow it's directions either.  Inside the little box is a notebook so you can log in your GPS name and write a few words about your experience in locating the cache.  People sometimes leave little trinkets in the box for others.

One day years ago, by pure dumb luck, I stumbled upon this one hidden in a clump of Redwood trees far from any established trail in my next door State Park.  I've been up this way numerous times and you think I could find it again?  Nope! I was really beginning to think someone swiped it.  Ah but yesterday I looked some more and there it was hidden beneath a couple slabs of bark.  The last entry was a week ago, and before that was a year ago.  Not many come this way it seems.

And, the first of the wildflowers are starting to show in the park.  I doubt they will do well.  We are currently trapped beneath this dome of high pressure for weeks keeping any of the Pacific rain storms away.  The last several days have been nothing but gusty high winds.  Everything is so dry, even the air.  It is so lacking in moisture (the air that is) the humidity level is barely at 20%, (normal should be twice that much) it feels like desert air.  You feel it in your nose and throat.  Not good.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Native American Life

From the Archives - Arizona, 2012

Hopi Indian Pottery Shards

From 1290 to 1400 A.D. one of the largest Hopi Indian settlements was on this land. It consisted of two settlements of 4-5 villages. The two settlements were approximately 5 kilometers apart and had as many as 1100 and 1200 rooms respectively.  It makes you wonder how such a desolate land could support so many people but back then it probably looked a whole lot different than it does now.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Enjoying the Hot Arizona Desert Sun

From the Archives - Arizona, 2012

Working on that tan.

Oops, need some tanning oil and that shoulder.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trailer Trash

From the Archives - 2012

This is one of my better finds for the Trailer Trash series 
I would run after each of our yearly cross-country trips.
I cannot help but think all of the wonderful adventures it must have had back in the 60's or so.
Now it is abandoned along some lonely stretch of road in some state, I have forgotten which.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Longest Straight Road in America

From the Archives - Oklahoma, 2012

Laying claim to having the longest absolutely straightest road is always a contest between several states, but it is generally accepted that Hwy 412 east of Guymon, Oklahoma pretty much is it at 47.7 miles.  West of Guymon the highway continues on for 65.5 miles and is just as straight or so it seems.  At any rate, North Dakota's claim of 123 miles for Highway 46 fails for there is a slight kink in it somewhere along the way leaving only 31 miles of perfect straightness thus disqualifying it.  
To me, I don't care.  I love roads like this however long and straight they are doesn't really matter.  And no, I don't get bored either.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oh Buffalo Burgers!

From the Archives - North Dakota, 2012

There was an eatery near where we camped one evening and I thought I'd treat myself to eating out.  Their menu included buffalo burgers.  I had them once before in Montana I believe it was and wasn't all that impressed.  Well this venture into the exotic cuisine didn't improve my opinion any.  Touted to be healthier for you with less fat and cholesterol (marginal), this is the only plus for if I didn't know better, it was pure cow - tasted no different, but costs a lot more.  I won't buy one again.
That lemonade was really good though.

Good advice which I didn't put to the test as I did trying a buffalo burger, again.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Our Take

We decided to stage the cute little picture I posted the other day.  
Here it is again.

Yep, I think we nailed it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Old Church

From the Archives - North Dakota, 2012

The brutal North Dakota weather has done its work on this poor church.

 Not bad though for being 103 years old.

With less than 100 people living in the little town of Jud,  
the old church probably doesn't stand much of a chance for the future.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Other Home

From the Archives - Nebraska, 2012

Well, maybe in another life like 100 years or so ago.
Or if I was 40 years younger and was running away from someone or something.
Sure is a lot better than a sod house, that's for sure as a sod house would have disintegrated by now.
This trading post built as it is would be quite cool in the summers and yet able to retain heat very well in the winter.  Rain and high winds would not affect it in any way either.
About the only thing you'd have to be concerned about
would be a 2000 pound buffalo walking on your roof.

Here is the story behind this neat dwelling.

Monday, February 16, 2015

One of My Favorite Finds

From the Archives - Missouri, 2012

I had vague directions for this and once in the graveyard I thought I would have little chance in locating it.  So you can imagine my glee when I did.

Pete worked in a railroad yard and lost his foot in an accident there.  We can surmise a train ran over him.  Anyway, Pete held a burial for his foot with the thought of someday when he died, the rest of him would be buried there also.  As time went on Pete eventually hopped out west to seek his fortune like so many people did at that time.  Pete never returned to Missouri and his foot lies buried there still.  It would be fun to find where the rest of Pete is buried out here on the west coast but I have no idea where that may be.

Cemeteries are nice, peaceful, quiet places to have a picnic lunch.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lamp Shade & Cat

Would you have known?

On a side note, a friend sent this to me.
So cute!

I remember Sinbad being like this when he was young.
He's still doing fine.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

My wife knits these hearts then runs them (not the one in the middle)  through the washing machine to make them fuzzy.  Funny thing though is we have a front loader washing machine and they weren't coming out the way she wanted.  A friend suggested trying a top loader machine and so she did.  
It worked.  Weird how the orientation of the tub made a difference.
Have a nice heart day!

Friday, February 13, 2015


From the Archives - Missouri, 2012

A nice place to live

a nice way to travel

and a nice size town.

My great grandfather lived here and owned the only store in town.
After him it became a short-lived furniture store then storage for who ever owns it now. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Corn Capitol

From the Archives - Minnesota, 2012
I have always likened the thought of corn growing to the state of Iowa
but it seems Minnesota thinks otherwise.

Supposedly this is the world's largest ear of corn,
so I'll take their word on that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Left Alone

From the Archives - Greensburg, Kansas 2012

One of the less than 5% of the structures left standing after a EF5 tornado struck the town on May 4, 2007.  If Chandler Minnesota left any doubt in my mind about my long time wish to see a tornado, Greensburg took care of that.

It is a mystery as to why all the houses around it were blown away yet this one was left standing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Other Side of the Road

From the Archives - Arkansas 2012

This is one of those things that I drove way too far in on a way not-so-good road to see and then once I was there I was thinking this was a dumb thing to come to see. 
 The guy was a Harley guy and he had hung Japanese motorcycles in his tree, 
making his personal statement of sorts.

But his neighbor across the road provided a nice scene to photograph at least which made the ordeal somewhat worthwhile.