Category: Off the Beaten Path

Alien forestSaguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ

Saguaro National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I visited Saguaro National Park for the first time last year, and between being a veteran national parks tourist and seeing a zillion photos of the place over the years, I thought I knew what to expect. Aaaand of course, I was way wrong. (No surprise there.) For one thing, Mary-Alice and I arrived in… More

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Purple hazeSan Juan Island, WA

Pelindaba Lavender Farm sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here in the Northwest, we’re in the thick of my favorite season right now. I don’t mean summer, per se, but lavender season. Our climate is pretty much perfectly suited to growing lavender, so other than maybe the south of France, there’s no better place to stand on a purple hillside, awash in scent.

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A flash of intuitionJust west of Amarillo, TX

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here. There are few Route 66 landmarks more iconic than the art installation known as Cadillac… More

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Hitching posts for HarleysDeadwood, SD

Deadwood sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’ve mentioned before that I always seem to end up in the Black Hills right in the middle of the Sturgis Rally. Well, last summer I didn’t just sneak by on the highway—I jumped right into the fray. My destination wasn’t Sturgis proper, but rather nearby Deadwood, that infamously lawless frontier town of yore. I… More

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Fill ‘er upVarious locations along Route 66

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here. Polly want a pit stop? If you’re going to take a road trip, at some… More

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Prehistoric pit stopVantage, WA

Gingko Gem Shop dinosaurs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Remember when I posted that sketch of the Ginkgo sign in central Washington a couple of years ago? Well, I was so excited about the typography on that sign that I neglected to talk about what the sign advertised: the Ginkgo Gem Shop. On our way to Spokane that year, Mary-Alice and I stopped in… More

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Roadside rhymesPontiac, IL and Seligman, AZ

Route 66 Burma Shave sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here. Some years back I lamented missing the era of the Burma Shave ad, but on… More

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Fiberglass fräuleinEl Paso, TX

Uniroyal Gal sketch by Chandler O'Leary

As I’ve already written before, one of my ongoing road trip checklists includes the various Muffler Men scattered around the country. But one thing I hadn’t yet been able to add to the list is the Muffler Man’s sister, the Uniroyal Gal. Another early-1960s creation of the International Fiberglass Company in California, rumor has it… More

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