Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quest for Quirky Americana Pop Culture Landmarks

Day 1

We left Newtown Square, PA Thursday Night 7/11 at 9:31 PM. Doc got out of school at 9:30 PM so we had to wait for him. 2311 miles on the car.

We entered Ohio at 3:00 am and our first stop was TYRRELL Ohio and the Tyrrell Fire Dept. Got lost and found our way. We got better at both of these as the trip went on.

Next stop was the ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME in Cleveland. It was still early and they were not open yet. Out of shear boredom we started to climb the glass pyramid. Spacoli broke some type of structure cable using it as hand hold.

We went to Toledo Ohio to see TONY PACKO'S CAFE (the one Klinger talk about in M*A*S*H. We also saw the home of the Toledo Mudhens.

Went though Michigan and did not stop. Arrived at NOTRE DAME in South Bend IN. What a let down.

Next stop SMITH IN we were looking for the Smith Fire Company (yes we did stop at almost all fire company's we came across). As it turns out, What we were led to believe was a town, in reality was just a power substation. So Mike made a sign to welcome people to the town of Smith.

Off to THE LEANING TOWERS OF PISA in Niles IL. It is 1/2 scale replica of the original and it is located out side the YMCA of Niles IL. They don't let you climb in it.

The next two stops were at two towns we went to help during the Midwest flood a few years ago. Kiethsburg IL and Oquaqua IL.

The last stop of day one was in Riverside IA at the Future Birth place of Capt. James T. Kirk. Spent the night in Iowa City IA. pulled in at 9:15 PM. If you think about it, He has yet to be born. They have this little trailer that they put in the local parade each year.

Yes we did a lot of miles, our average speed was 109 mph, the car was governed at 110 mph. We drove trough the night only the first night. Our most miles in a day was 900 the least was 250. (We spent two nights in Yellowstone and did no driving).

Day 2

Went to Preston IA and Andrew IA (if have not figured out yet we are stopping at towns named after us) and visited their fire company's. Next stop was The FIELD OF DREAMS in Dyersville IA where they filmed the movie. The field is there and you can play baseball and walk in the corn. I struck out and was unable to hit the %?@* ball.

Went to the worlds LARGEST STRAWBERRY in Strawberry Point IA. It was a big plastic thing sitting on a pole. I felt like and idiot, I though it was a real one that they kept. I have heard of strawberry perseveres and thought that they kept it under glass or something.

Next stop was DOUGHERTY IA and you guessed it the Dougherty Fire Company. Right friendly folks their in Dougherty, The General Store was closed, but the door was open. Take what you need and just leave your money on the counter. Ah, Small town America, You got to love it.

The last stop and first camp out was at Clear Lake State Park. We set up camp and went on our next objective To find the site of Buddy Holly's plane crash.

We went to the Surf Ballroom, the last placed he played, and they would not tell us, but had some gift shop if we wanted to but something. So we went to the MASION CITY airport where the plane took off from and they where no help. So we drove around heading west from the runway the plane took off from. Saw two cars at a stop sign and asked the first lady and she did not know. The second guy said we were right around the corner from it and told us where to go. We parked and headed in to a field and after about 1/2 mile walk we found the site. It was dark out so we went back to camp and the next morning went back and took pictures of it.

By the way, pot grows in the wild in Clear Lake IA. The army grew it to make rope in WW2 and it is still there.

Day 3

Stops included: the Corn Places in MITCHELL SD, A Building that is made out of corn. Well actually it is just covered with corn.

Not to much future down the road we can to Wall Drug in WALL SD. The worlds largest drug store. This was as promised. If you are traveling across South Dakota you will should see signs for this road side haven.

We finished up the night at the BADLANDS National Park. Our first National Park of the trip. Went butte climbing and hiked 1/2 mile or so and camped out at Morning Wood Ridge under the stars, and over the buffalo shit.


Day 4

Went to MT RUSHMORE which was pretty cool, Spacoli was chasing after the wild mountain goats that roam the area.

Right around the corner is the CRAZY HORSE Monument. It was still unfinished and for the most part sucked. What a waist of $15.00. I guess when it is done it will be nice.

Their is a lot to do in this area of South Dakota. Just down the street is FLINTSTONE CITY in Bedrock SD. Its is a Flitstone Themed park. We had some brontoburgers. It was a fun place. Here we are at the Bedrock FD.

Off to DEAD WOOD SD and I won $100.00 (gas money). Went to bike week in STURGES SD one week early and ate at the ROAD KILL CAFE and the BROKEN SPOKE SALON. Had great time and Spacoli had an even better time.

The last stop was DEVILS TOWER National Monument in Devils Tower WY, and we camped out. The National Park did not have showers, luckily by this time in the trip, we had mastered the art of stealing showers from KOA's that are littered across this Country.

Day 5,6

Drove to Yellowstone National Park by way of the BIG HORN National Forest and had a snow ball fight. We had about 6 inches of snow at the peak of the mountain. The park was site of our first and only road kill.

We arrived at YELLOWSTONE National Park, Camped out in YELLOWSTONE the first night in a camp site. They let us have this camp site, but warned us that it had been flooded out the last two night due to rain. Their was no forecasted rain for this evening, se we took our chances and set up camp.

This was also our first trip over the Continental Divide. In true Amuck Fashion, we took a group piss so half of it ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, and the other half ended up in the Pacific Ocean.

The next night, at Spacollies insistence, we went on a SIX MILE back county hike to a remote camp site to see some bears, and other wild animals. We had a camp site next to stream. It was a really nice place, However due to the long hike, shortly after we arrived, Preston fell asleep and Mike and Mike soon followed after a short trek to top of the ridge near our camp site. They sat down for a break on a nest of Fire Ants.


It rained and we never saw any animals, We walked back wet and starving for food. I'LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. During our time at Yellowstone we went and toured most of it. (The good stuff) Arrived at OLD FAITHFUL about two minutes before it erupted.

At Mike request, we did clean out hte car at The Yellowstone Lodge. You would not belive how much stuff was in that car. Bags, camping gear and trash just on coming. We had all our stuff spread out at the front entrance of the up scale lodge. They were happy to see us leave.

Day 7

Left Yellowstone and went to Promitoiry UT to the site of the last golden spike driven in, for the first transcontinental rail road. It was a pretty neat place. As it turns out, The last last spike was "Driven In" but kind of placed in a pre drilled hole. To top it off, the Golden Spike isn't even here. It is at Stanford University in CA.

Next stop was the WORLDS LARGEST GAS STATION in Laramie WY. It was not what we where expecting. It was a mall with a gas pump in front of it. We were to camp out at SCOTT"S BLUFF but where behind schedule and spent the nigh in some roach infested hotel.

Day 8

Went to Julesburg CO because Doc had never been to CO. Drove in turned around and drove out. Went to Dannebrog NE for THE CENTER OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION. This night we camped out at a rest area in NE. We slept on the picnic tables. They where really nice rest areas!

Day 9

Milford NE for the would largest covered wagon (its now a gas station). The termites are having a field day with road side attraction I don't think there will be much more of this attraction left in a few years.

Next stop the HOME OFFICE OF DAVID LETTERMAN Wahoo NE. They had great big sign, but that was about it. We could not find the Phone Both that acts as his office, and for the most part could not find any signs of life in this sleepy town.

Our last stop of the trip was Coon Rapids for the LARGEST EAR OF CORN. We Drove past it and by the time we figured it out, we where well past it. We sent the night in Indianapolis ID.

Day 10

Drove home. Arrived in at about 9:00 PM and we had put a total of 5723 miles on our car and been to 13 states (plus PA makes 14).

All the driving that we did at speeds in excess of 100 mph and we only got pulled over once in WY and talked our way out of it.

No comments: