On our way into St. Augustine a few days ago, we exited I-95 at an interchange that contains what I like to call “Floridiana.” It’s the oversize signs advertising all kinds of goodies to take back home and rot in the cupboard – Tropical Fruit Wine? Probably not. Gator Jerky? Don’t think so. Boiled peanuts? Tried ’em – pass. Also lots of things to tempt the kids and make them sick 20 miles up the road. I thought I would like to know what “Honey Toasted Chocolate Covered Praline Pecans” taste like until Kathy assured me that it is three different kinds and not just one. Oh, well.
The story is that we didn’t stop there on the way in to town, and as often happens I kicked myself for not taking the time (it was late, we were tired and thirsty, etc.). So today we went into town to the fort to get a stamp on Kathy’s National Park Passport, and on the way back took the scenic route by way of this exit. Pretty interesting signage, although it didn’t tempt us enough to go inside.
Oh, and in case you wondered about all those oranges and grapefruits out roasting in the sun? They’re little concrete spheres. Wouldn’t make very good juice. 😉
One of the stops on our drive along the Columbia River from eastern Washington was Stonehenge. No, not the one in England, but the one in Washington. 😉
The Washington Stonehenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge located in Maryhill, Washington. It was commissioned in the early 20th century by the wealthy entrepreneur Sam Hill, and dedicated on 4 July 1918 as a memorial to the people who had died in World War I. The memorial is constructed of concrete, and construction was commenced in 1918 and completed in 1929.
The dedication plaque on this Washington Stonehenge is inscribed:
“In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench.”
Kathy & I had just left our motel in Hayes, Kansas and were speeding down the highway when I spotted this barn alongside the road. It had a very interesting character to it, the light was beautiful and I knew immediately it would make a nice photograph. But I didn’t stop.
I don’t know how it did it, but soon after I passed the barn I started hearing this voice. It said, “hey dumba$$, come back here and take my picture.” It took nearly 2 miles, but eventually I started slowing down and told Kathy, “I’m going back.”
As I was walking back to the car the farmer drove by in his pickup. I waved at him and he waved back. Maybe he had heard the voice, too. 😉
A few days earlier I had passed another barn in Colorado where there was no safe place to pull off the road, and I stewed about it for a long time. So I didn’t really want to pass this one by. But I was already in “Get There Mode” and almost let it go. I’m glad I didn’t!
Driving through Nebraska and Kansas we kept seeing these interesting plants but didn’t know what they were. The bottoms look like corn stalks but the tops were definitely not corn – more like big bushy cattails. Finally Kathy consulted the interwebs and discovered that the plant in question was sorghum. I’ve eaten sorghum but didn’t know what the plant looked like. News you can use!
Shortly after we stopped to take the photo of the sailboat in the previous post, we stopped at a roadside park to take a photo of a covered bridge. The covered bridge paled in comparison to what was across the road!
I don’t even know what to call this. It was definitely a facade of some kind, but I’m not sure what it was hiding – the Google satellite view is inconclusive, and we didn’t cross the road to investigate. It was a little creepy, actually. But made for some interesting photographs! 😉
Someone appears to have a lot of time on their hands and a very active imagination!
You never know what you will come across while exploring some random back road. No idea what the story behind this boat is, but it was sitting alongside a gravel driveway a quarter mile or so from a really nice lake.
Our first overnight stop on the return home from Wisconsin took us to the town of Jasper, Indiana. We chose Jasper primarily because it was just about the right distance for the day, but also because it looked like it had an interesting downtown area for us to check out.
I was initially attracted by the fact that Jasper has a train station, but we noted that the train station was an anchor for a new mixed-use development called River Centre. A brand new Fairfield Inn sits along the Patoka River and is connected to the Jasper Riverwalk, a 4.5 mile multi-purpose trail that connects several businesses and restaurants, and winds through a scenic section along the river.
Across the river from River Centre and connected by a very nice steel bridge is the historic Jasper City Mill. The current mill building is a replica of a mill that was established on the site in 1817 and was in operation until 1933. Among the customers of the mill is said to have been Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham Lincoln, who bartered goods for corn meal in 1828.
We got into town late and left early, and it was a Sunday so not too many businesses were open. But we got a good look at the town – enough to determine that it would be worth a re-visit. It is “on the way” to a lot of places we hope to visit, so we will be sure to add Jasper to the itinerary on a future road trip!