Archive for April, 2008

Day 45: the Journey Home to Brooklyn

Posted in Roadtrip on April 13, 2008 by roadsidenut

All good things must come to an end. I aborted the trip a couple days early because of the snow in Colorado & the Midwest. I can take decent photos in the rain but snow makes for ridiculous white blobs that ruin the image. Just as well, lots of stuff to deal with back at work before I return to my Real Job (nothing to do with this roadside stuff).

Reflecting on the math of this six-week trip: we covered 16,304 miles and it cost about $5,000 — the bulk of that was gas (~ $3700) plus some “hidden fees”:

one speeding in school zone ticket in NM ($63)
one speeding ticket in Houston, TX ($200)
one seatbelt ticket in L.A. ($93)
one parking ticket in downtown L.A. ($70)
one parking ticket in Pasadena, CA ($37)
[these expenses were cheap and so worth it considering the number of stop signs I rolled through, the illegal U-turns I made, the speed limits I ignored, the stop & shoot double parking/hydant parking violations, etc.]

And considering the amount of photos (about 6,000), the memories, good times had by me and the dogs = priceless!

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Now to catch up on a few photos that I took on the way home. The weather was brutal and I was exhausted from the stress of driving in the snow and quite eager to get home. I understand it’s still snowing in Denver and raining in the Midwest. So I’m thrilled to be home in the sun and relative warmth. The dogs were positively gleeful to be back running in their familiar park this morning.

Going back in time… to the April 9th when my flash drive bit the dust (thanks Nik). Here’s a place in Duchesne, UT that was known as the Bottle Hollow Resort. Some interesting and sad ruins of a mid-century motel and gas station.

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Here’s proof of the awfulness that befell me during the last couple days of the trip:

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Sparkle was anything but sparkling. Some interesting hubcab formations:

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A dip in a hot spring (there were lots of them around) sure seemed like a good idea:

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My last sustaining bit of road junk food from a Safeway. There were fewer marshmallows than the label implied. It was pretty much all cream (can’t complain) with mostly bits of coconut & pineapple. I’m not sure about the pistachios — but the product was this lovely shade of green. Hey, it’s the small pleasures in life that get us through the hard stuff. Happy to be home & I hope you’ll join the dogs & I again this Summer when we will head off on another marathon trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Day 44: Julesberg, CO to La Salle, IL

Posted in Roadtrip on April 12, 2008 by roadsidenut

Not much to report — nothing but interstate today. 750 miles worth. Some rain and high winds but nothing terrible. Hopefully, with an anticipated early start and good weather, we’ll be home late tomorrow night. Just a mere 850 miles to go. Then I’ll post those remaining photos here on Sunday morning with the final posting for this trip. It’s COLD here near Chicago and we’re all eager to be home where I hear it’s in the 60s.

Day 43: Grand Junction to Julesberg

Posted in Roadtrip on April 11, 2008 by roadsidenut

We’ve hit some awful weather here in Colorado. It made yesterday’s ordeal look tame. We got a little break once we got over the Rockies and into Denver. So we went to Boulder for a little bit before darkness. Just long enough to shoot a couple things and get a romp in at the East Boulder Dog Park. After the stress of the snow, it was fun to just get out of the van, throw balls and get muddy. According to the Weather Channel on Sirius, the Midwest is getting hit hard with snow — not to mention tornados in Iowa. So I drove to Julesberg until it got scary again and called it a night. I only took a few photos for the website and the blog since I barely got off I-70. The rest of the trip will be all interstate. So I will probably just wait until I get home to post the rest of the photos here and at Flickr. I’d like to get us home a tad early (this weekend) with just stops for gas, coffee, peeing, and brief naps. But I won’t be stupid with this weather. Onward!

Day 42: Salt Lake City to Grand Junction, CO

Posted in Roadtrip on April 10, 2008 by roadsidenut

The day started out in a civilized fashion as I had the chance to get together with another Flickr buddy that I had never met. I had breakfast with arts_enthusiast at a great little place, Lamb’s Coffee Shop, in downtown Salt Lake City.

When I left SLC, the weather got really ugly: grey, rain, sleet, snow. Somehow, I covered a lot of ground and got decent photos for the most part. The early evening trek across some mountains in CO was truly scary. All for the love of dinosaurs! What looked like a straight line on the map was actually a big climb and tight turns. No cell phone service in that area and hardly any other cars on the road. I’m relieved that it’s time to scurry home as there will probably not be any more of this off the beaten path nonsense. When I planned this trip, I thought the bad weather would be over and it would be safe to hit this part of the country in April. Now I know better!

A cute sign in Salt Lake City. I saw another sign later with the same design for a Ute Car Wash. The design below the Indian’s head with the “A” indicates that this is a reworked Sofspra car wash chain sign:
http://www.roadsidepeek.com/roadusa/southwest/california/socal/sandiego/autosd/carwashsd/index.htm

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I’m a big Diet Coke drinker — but normally not THIS big. A gas station convenience store was having a special and the liter bottles were cheaper than the normal 20 oounce size. So I bought a couple of those instead. It was a comfort to know that if I were to break down in the boonies, at least I had an adequate supply of DC on hand.

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I went to check out the International Peace Gardens in SLC, having heard that there were mini landmarks. I love small-scale, identifiable buildings. There was a small metal Eiffel Tower but it wasn’t really enough for me. There were a couple neat things anyway — and the adjacent empty park made for some good running for the dogs.

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The Holiday Lanes in Heber City had a nice mid-century touch:

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Unfortunately, a mini disaster has struck. The rest of the blog photos that I had prepared for this post were on what was left of my flash drive (the one that Grem had chewed up previously). Nik in his boisterous persistence of trying to get my attention, has snapped it in two with his busy feet. So I will have to finish this up later. To be continued…

Day 41: Fallon, NV to Salt Lake City, UT

Posted in Roadtrip on April 9, 2008 by roadsidenut

A lot of long interstate stretches through Nevada today. Interrupted every hour or so with itty bitty towns with handfuls of neon signs. I seemed to be one of only a few cars on the interstate for awhile which seemed eerie. Then when I got near Imlay, it started snowing pretty hard and I figured that might be the reason why. For all I knew, the storm of the century was on its way. But luckily the snow passed and there were only flurries here and there. But it was a grey day. And dull. Thank goodness for satellite radio.

So not that many photos taken. Which means an early night for me. I could use one! Tomorrow, I’ll be busy snapping away again as I have some SLC stops and lots of other Utah stuff to get to.

This was my world for about 12 hours today. Makes you want to yawn now doesn’t it? Actually, there was some variation. As I got closer to UT, the mountains got bigger and the snow got thicker and lower.

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Entertainment must be hard to find in Lovelock. Here’s a modified Jaguar:

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This sad relic is in Winnemucca. I love saying that name.

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Another forlorn gas station. I don’t recall seeing such a nice gas station sign before. I imagine it was neon originally. This one in Elko:

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My evening was capped with a rendez-vous with a fellow Flickr-er. I met up with samwibatt for a brew here in SLC. When I can, I try to squeeze in visits with strangers that I have met on-line and seem to have simpatico with. I might get together with another internet pal tomorrow morning though I hate to give up shooting time during the day.

Day 40: Truckee, CA to Fallon, NV

Posted in Roadtrip on April 8, 2008 by roadsidenut

It was cold in Truckee (30s?) when we left and headed over some mountains into Lake Tahoe. I found this spot at a public park on the water to let the dogs run & sniff. The water obviously too cold for Nik to swim. The lake was emerald in color but it doesn’t show in this photo.

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After some picture-taking there, we headed over more mountains into the desert for stops in Minden and Carson City. Then it was on to Reno which is an incredible city if you’re into neon signs. Lots of other fun stuff as well. This casino pedestrian overpass is amusingly grandiose:

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This casino signage looks like it might have been designed by a 14-year-old girl:

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I’ve seen a couple other Jack LaLanne statues on this trip but I believe all the fitness centers have different names now:

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This water store/vend-o-mat has a modern but nice sign. I’ve never seen a whole row of water machines before. Is there something wrong with the water supply in Reno or is it just cheaper to buy from machines?

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A cute sign detail at a motel in Reno:

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Signature Landscapes in Reno has a couple nice sculptural pieces:

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A wedding chapel in Reno:

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Lots of classic motels still around in Reno:

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This one has a great wedding cake office entrance. The Farris Motel was built in 1949.

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I have never seen a Hamm’s sign before. This one was 3-D with the foam as the part with the highest relief.

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And lastly, a hand-painted sign at a mattress store:

Day 39: Sacramento to Truckee

Posted in Roadtrip on April 7, 2008 by roadsidenut

The stuff in Sacramento took up most of the day. Then we headed on to smaller cities northeast of there, starting the push towards home. It was a shocker heading over the Sierra Nevadas (Donner Pass, no less!) and seeing snow and having to wear a jacket. The weather forecast for the cross-country drive home this week is not good. Lots of rain, maybe some snow here and there. Granted, I’ll be on I-80 most of the time. Maybe I should’ve stayed in CA and done the Bay Area after all and then done a killer drive home. Or maybe I’ll just get back a couple days early if the weather’s not conducive for taking pictures. Not the end of the world since I have a lot to deal with back home.

Anyway — lots of blog photos from today. Let’s start with this neat beekeeping store in Sacramento:

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A cool spaceship sculpture at a space-themed children’s playground called “Universal Universe” in Sacramento:

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In the afternoon, we checked out another dog park in Sacramento. Here’s a photo of the one in Granite Park. Decently big and secure chain link fencing than so I felt comfortable with Grem off-leash. Also kiddie pools which Nik really appreciated with his manic ball-chasing.

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Fix and Nik spent most of the day in the front seat together while Grip and Grem alternated between my lap and the back of the van. I think everybody will be relieved with the long interstate hauling back home so they can get some solid rest.

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An adapted Pioneer Chicken sign — here’s what they normally look like:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmewuji/892511/

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I don’t recall ever seeing a Canada Dry sign before:

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An adapted hamburger drive-in sign. The place is now vacant again so chances are good that this burger will get painted over by the next business.

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Lots of these signs in Sacramento. I’ve never seen prices assigned like this in any other city:

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This produce stand was closed in Loomis or I definitely would’ve gotten some goodies. Honestly, I do eat more than junk food! The sign might have been neon originally — hard to tell. I’m sure this painting is recent — but still very nice.

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And lastly, a trailer dealer in Auburn was selling these cute little trailers. Available in white, yellow or camo, if you prefer. There was also this igloo-ish structure. I imagine it’s purchase-able — but for what, I’m not sure. There was no bottom.

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