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Archive for the ‘road trip!’ Category

birthplaces of the quasi-famous

If you’re not in a hurry to get to Point B, avoid the mega freeways. That’s the best way to spy a sign that reads “Welcome to [Podunk]: Home of [Vague Celebrity]”.

Many “home of” towns have legitimate claims to fame, like Winterset, Iowa and Millville, Indiana. Other towns are so sweet to champion their minor native sons.

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santa barbara auto camp

Love the allure of Airstreams but don’t have one yourself? Well, what’s the matter with you. Get one. Join us. Resistance is futile. Want to spend the night in one first? No problem. That’s a thing.

There are several “Airstream hotel” options out West.

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jo’s gum gallery

“Oh my god,” I said, when Joanne unlocked the door. “This is amazing.”

“It IS amazing!” she chirped. (I love people who love their things.) “My sister actually started it, back in the 1940s, then she grew up and got married and went oversees and I inherited it. We’ve been here 20 years now.” 

“Here” is a little pink shed at the end of a gravel driveway out behind her house on a residential side street.

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lake siskiyou

If you’re not into getting blind drunk on a Lake Shasta party barge (no shame in that), Lake Siskiyou Beach & Camp is the better alternative, only five miles from the town of Mount Shasta. At Lake Sis I feel like a kid camping with family during the summer of 1951.

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wisteria

Wisteria is hard to describe. The website explains it as “a special place” in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio. What’s special is not necessarily the 200-plus acres of land, but the people who congregate there. I visited three of my favorite folks in the world—Summer, Eric, and Michael—at Wisteria during a recent work weekend on the property.

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graceland

Full disclosure: I couldn’t care less about Elvis Presley. But as a dutiful Amurrican tourist, I went to visit Memphis to pay my respects to the King. Staying at the Graceland RV Park in the shadow of Heartbreak Hotel is convenient, and everyone seems to be having fun. Graceland is a happy place—like Pisa in Italy, clogged with souvenirs—where everything is all Elvis all the time.

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amarillo

Texas is a great place. I say that because Texans have talked me into it. Who else has so much state pride? I’ve never been to Amarillo, so I went out of my way to cruise through on my way to Alumapalooza 7.

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dinosaur national monument

Dinosaur National Monument is a fun and colorful Airstream destination—the famed dinosaur bones are in the “quarry building”, constructed around the remains of more than 500 huge dinosaurs that perished there 149 million years ago. Go ahead, touch the bones!

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craters of the moon

You gotta love huckster-slash-enthusiast Robert W. Limbert. Originally a taxidermist from Boise, Limbert saw great potential (and fame and fortune for himself) when he first explored desolate Craters of the Moon in Idaho. He was tireless in his belief that ‘Craters would be the premier tourist attraction in the country. As you can see from the many available campsites, that dream did not come to pass.

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idaho wine

Native Idahoans, feel free to disagree. Like much of the Lower 48, Idaho is a place that one begrudgingly passes through on the way to someplace else. But thanks to the Harvest Hosts program, I’m warming up to Idaho. There’s a nice little wine region northwest of Boise by the Snake River.

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