November 2013

10 articles in November 2013
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Not long after leaving the flat nothingness that is Texas on Route 66, the land began to rise and fall and gather color as I entered New Mexico. No trees appeared, but scrubby junipers grew more numerous, and the air took on a woodier fragrance. Eventually, Route 66 turned into little more than a dirt track, and I had to join Interstate 40, which out here means plenty of room for both me and Lola and the trucks. “Tucumcari Tonight” is the slogan of the little town just over the New Mexico border where I did, in fact, stay the night. The mountain that shadows the town has a big, white T painted on it, and you …

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I walked two miles to get to Waffle House yesterday while my car was getting worked on. It was worth it. Okay, so maybe not everybody sees Waffle House quite the way I do. I imagine you can substitute your own ideal travel restaurant, be it Cracker Barrel or the Golden Arches, or whatever. Thing is, growing up my family took me on a lot of road trips. My mother almost always cooked at home. She even made lunch. So going out to eat AT ALL was always a treat for me as a kid. While traveling, we ALWAYS stopped at Waffle House. It was imperative, not only because it was quick and cheap, but because we …

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As an addendum to my “Amarillo is kind of a nice play to stay a few days, if you’re into weird Texas culture and 72oz steaks” I will add my trip to Palo Duro Canyon, which is 30 miles south from here. This is what Texas looks like, okay? It’s big, extremely flat, brown, with almost no trees and you can see for miles in every direction. You can bet then, that I was surprised to find this: Seriously, you just drive for a long time through the flat-nothingness and then suddenly a gorgeous, desert canyon happens. Monty and Niko and I hiked all day here. Unlike the Oklahoma version, this canyon is the REAL DEAL. They …

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Amarillo, Texas is a city in the middle of nowhere. It is a necessary city, one that cuts the grueling interstate drive across the nothingness into halves. I’ve been through before, but I’ve never stayed for more than an hour, because, why would I? There are far more interesting places west and even east of here. Plus, it’s Texas. In my mind it’s the home of cowboy-republicans who drink too much, talk too much and carry a gun, right? Believe it or not, Amarillo has been kinda fun. Okay, I was FORCED to stay because I was having work done on Sacajewea, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had a nice time and found Texas …

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Why did no one tell me that clicking on gallery images sent you to a horrible attachment page?! Now, when you click the pretty little square images in their neat columns, a pleasant lightbox gallery will greet you instead! O.o


Route 66, known as the Main Street of America, was once a bustling highway full of classic cars, drive ins, and motels with kitchy furnishings. Now, to be honest, it’s full of potholes and, in places, difficult to recognize as a road, let alone a highway. I’m headed west on Historic Route 66, which parallels Interstate 40 across Missouri, Oklahoma, the top of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It’s been some time since I’ve posted, and I apologize, but there simply is no internet here. The internet lives and breathes in the 21st century, but it is solidly 20th century in these parts. In fact, I’m pretty sure I entered a live-action version of the movie Footloose …

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When I was growing up, my family always spent Thanksgiving with my “grandmother” Gladys. She wasn’t actually my grandmother, but that’s not the point. The point was that she lived in Murphesboro, Tennessee (pronounced MUR-fis-burrrr-ah, Tin-EH-see) and I got to spend a day or three wandering 200 acres of farm land complete with cows, goats and hedge apples. I have vivid memories of my father and I using hedge apples for lawn bowling when we were bored and waiting for the turkey to cook. I have no other memories of the use of this strange plant. What is a hedge apple you say? Why let me tell you all about them! Traveling through the Ozarks I was …

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I haven’t been cliff diving, but I did find pie! I’m in Hermitage, MO at Pomme de Terre Lake State Park. In French, Pomme de Terre means literally “apple of the Earth” which in English, means potato. I’m at Potato Lake. The Hermitage side campground definitely rivals Thompson Causeway (IL) and Indian Lake (MI) for most beautiful campground I’ve stayed in. It may be possible I’m biased because there are more deer than people at this campground, as in, I have it all to myself. There is a ton of wildlife here, and I’ve even seen ANOTHER bald eagle. I swear, I’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild in my life and now I’ve seen …

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The Ozarks (from the French ‘aux Arcs’ short for ‘out of Arkansas’) is a hilly plateau that stretches through southern Missouri and into Arkansas. It is known for its rolling forested hills, rocky plateaus, caves and ‘hillbilly’ culture (as depicted in the show The Beverly-Hillbillies, who were supposed to have come from the Ozarks). I am staying in a campground on the Lake of the Ozarks, which is a fingery lake surrounded by hills. Fall is nearly at a close, and the leaves are shades of golden brown. Most of them are oaks. It rained for several days, cold, with large drops hitting the trailer roof over and over, making me nearly insane. After the rain, however, …

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