A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Out of Order

Sinbad and I are heading out for the desert for a little get-away so the blog will be inactive while we're gone - no internet out there.  Sinbad continues to be doing fine yet I don't want to venture too far away from home so no more long cross-country trips are in our future travel plans.  We'll just stick close to home and enjoy the desert lands of the southwest.  Plus he's just happy as can be to roll around in the desert dirt anyway. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Monday Mural

Just by chance I happened upon this mural on the side of a video store in my town.
Yes, I wrote Video Store. Amazingly they are still doing business.

I knew Sonoma County is a popular location for the film industry.  I think Alfred Hitchkock's The Birds is the most well known fact being filmed at Bodega Bay.  It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World (one of my favorite movies) used the Sonoma County airport for a few scenes.  I did not know that.  Most of these other movies I've not seen.

As for the town of Santa Rosa itself...there's a bunch more movies I've not seen.

I guess I'm not that much of a movie goer.

For more murals check out Oakland Daily Photo's Monday Mural

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Man Behind the Bowling Ball

Nowata, Oklahoma - 2012

At the entry to his place.

Inside the little house of bowling balls you saw the other day.
Some of these balls and pins were quite collectible he told me.

The local newspaper did an article on Chris.

He was the nicest guy.

So you may be wondering how this guy got going on bowling balls.  He told me he worked in the oil industry then the last ten years at a printing business in town. The rural property he lived on belonged to his parents and when they died he decided to move there for his retirement years.  He and his wife bought a large mobile home and had it installed on the land.  His wife had 14 bowling balls that she fixed up and put among her roses for decoration.  When she died he figured there was no need to continue to make payments on such a large mobile home for one person so he had it removed then converted the storage shed on the property into his home.

He felt he should do something with the 14 bowling balls of his wife's and thought about making a fence with them. He figured if he collected some more balls it would take 2 or 3 years to build the fence he had in mind.  In May of 2006 he started collecting bowling balls from thrift shops and the like and it soon evolved into art objects.  He estimates he has well over 2000 balls most of which are from donations.  He knows pretty much where every ball came from. 
To the right of the house you can see the rusty steel door for the storm cellar.  The cellar leaks and water collects inside which he'd have to pump out onto the grass.  He later realized the waste of water that was so now has collecting tanks in the cellar.  He pumps the water up to cans, pots, bathtubs, sinks and toilets that set on top of the storm cellar all containing his vegetable garden.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Even More Bowling Ball Art

Oklahoma, 2012

I bet this looked pretty neat when he first built it but as you can see, 
the Oklahoma weather did a number on the table.

I didn't understand this one until it was explained to me by the artist.
You Catholics should be able to get it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Bowling Ball Art

Oklahoma - 2012

I think you will not have too much trouble figuring what each one is supposed to be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bowling Ball Art

Oklahoma - 2012

Here is some more bowling ball creations where yesterday's flag was displayed.

It is hard to picture this not being a standard size croquet set.

You wouldn't want to decorate this Christmas tree and have one of the ornaments fall on your foot.

Yes, that is the entire alphabet made with bowling balls. 

More bowling balls tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

That Old Car

Several viewers liked the old car that was with the chickens in the window so here are a couple more pictures of it resting in North Dakota.

The license plate shows 80 (1980) so it was on that road at least up to that date.

It is a 1940 Chevrolet Town Sedan.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chickens in the Window

North Dakota - 2012

Nice that there was chicken wire over the window so I could get the shot.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Carhenge 2

Alliance, Nebraska - 2012

Ar Carhenge which I showed yesterday there are other cleverly created works of art consisting of automobiles parts and pieces among other "junk" the artist had lying about.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Alliance, Nebraska - 2012

Some may think of Cadillac Ranch in Texas when viewing this same-size reproduction of Stonehenge in England done with automobiles.  There is no comparison - this is way better.
In fact, don't waste your time in going out of your way to see Cadillac Ranch.
Its not worth the effort. 

 Yep, this is one of my favorite finds along America's highways and backroads.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Hobo Trail

Tindall, Missouri, 2012

Whenever I see train tracks in the country I always think of the life of a hobo.

Pictures like these I never can decide to show in color or black and white.
  So I'll do both.

Monday, March 16, 2015

van Gogh Buffalo

Seen in Minnesota, 2012
That wasn't the official name for this; I just made it up for some type of title to this post.
Really, someone thought this looked nice.  I guess you can tell I didn't think so.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Funnies Art

One of the most popular images from the funny papers made into an art piece in Kansas.
A clever use of an automobile engine oil pan and motorcycle gas tank in making Snoopy.

Odd that we've never seen Snoopy using one of these.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Old Signage

I love finding old signs such as this during our travels.  
This beauty was in New Mexico.

They really look proper in black & white.  
Using a polarizing filter helps with the effect.

Friday, March 13, 2015

More Trailer Trash

Another one of my favorite trailer finds,  this one was in Arizona.  Things I noticed:  The addition of a raised roof with corrugated tin roofing.  The original probably leaked so bad they just built an entire new roof on top.  The back door has been removed and made solid.  The front door looks to be from a regular stick house, definitely not original trailer design.  Neat old bed head and foot ends leaning up against the side by the front door.  Very simple bed frame design.  The deer which is the type used by bow hunters for target practice.  I'm sure they never used him while leaning against the trailer.  They didn't need anymore holes in their home.  A string of Christmas lights are draped over the deer.  Train tracks in your backyard so I bet sleep was frequently interrupted as the Sante Fe Super Chief roared by in the middle of the night.  I'd have to pass on this place as somewhere I could live.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lunch Stop

From the Archives - The Great Plains Road Trip 2012

We stopped at the Nebraska/South Dakota state line for lunch.
I sat in Nebraska while much lunch was in front of me in South Dakota

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wide Load

Somewhere in South Dakota

I don't know about you, but I'd be uncomfortable driving this rig.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Drive-in Theaters

In all the miles we have traveled back and forth across America I can probably count on one hand, maybe two, the number of drive-in theaters I've seen along the roads.  This is not taking into account if they are still operating or not.  This one in South Dakota was still in operation, but only during like May through September  I think it was.  I can't recall as this was 3 years ago.  But got me to thinking while putting together this post - just how many are there left out there?  Well a quick internet search I found as of June 2014 there were 338.  One year earlier, June of 2013 there were 357.  
So we lost 19 in one year.    

But wait!  Another source reveals that in July 2014 there were 348.  So they built ten in one month! They are coming back...NOT.  Yet Wikipedia does mention a resurgence in what are called guerrilla drive-ins.  You'll have to look it up.

Nevertheless I am grateful for having lived in a time when drive-in movie theaters were in abundance and we went to them all the time.  I suspect many of you have memories of drive-ins.  I feel sad for the later generations who will never know how it was to watch a movie from inside your automobile with a speaker hanging inside from the window.  Remember having to start the car to run the heater so to get warm?  And then there was the run to the snack-bar in between movies and wandering around with your arms full of popcorn, sodas, boxes of candy and trying to locate your car?
Great times.

Monday, March 9, 2015


From the Archives - South Dakota, 2012

So many sunflowers in this state it was hard to choose which ones to photograph.

See what I mean?  Too many choices!

Black and white doesn't work well with sunflowers.
They deserve their color.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


This place needs a bit of work before you move in, unlike yesterday's abandoned home.

Pull back some so you can get an idea of how remote 
these families were living on the plains of Oklahoma.