Saturday, October 13, 2012

Its all the little things...

My goal on this trip was to see all the "little things" in this country, as well as the big attractions.  America is made up of billions of fun sights, scenic byways, locally known places and surprises.  All to often we "get going" and miss some of them along the way, but for the most part, we try our best to take the time to seek out those special treasures and enjoy them.  Lots of times its something we spot along the road and a quick shout out "oh my, take a look at that!" or "did you see that?" gives us our chuckle for the day.  Some, I manage to capture with my camera, some, I'm not so lucky.

Sometimes its just enjoying nature, seeing & feeling the changing of the seasons.  Living so long in southern California, its easy to forget what a true season is like.  Autumn colors are beginning to paint the landscapes along our route these days.  Cool breezes whisk the leaves hither and yon and the rain beats it's music on our rooftop fairly frequently.

One of the latest little things we've enjoyed lately was when we took a quick trip around the Cave Hill Cemetery in Lexington.  The famous Col Sanders is buried there and I thought it was only fitting that I pay homage to my favorite "chicken chef".  As we drove around this huge place, we were aw struck at some of the incredibly beautiful headstones.  People used to really invest in having something special created in honor of their loved ones, making them a thing of beauty for all (the rest of) us to enjoy.  We did find the good ol' Colonel, only to also find a nice lady standing guard.  It turned out that KFC Corporate was hosting a team building experience for some of their employees and one of their stops was his grave site!  As we chatted with her, we commented on her cute red t shirt with a screen print of a person asking a chicken with an egg next to it, "So, what does come first?"  She shared that we were the first (public) to see it, that it, as well as several other (cute) screen prints were going to be part of the new uniform for 2013!  We approved.

Speaking of chickens, it doesn't get any funnier than the one coming out of the front of a restaurant!  Its one of those you have to see it to believe it places.  For that, we pulled over and I was able to snap a couple of shots of it.  It's a well known, or maybe I should say, its a well advertised restaurant in Branson.  We chuckled and shook our heads every time we passed by it. 

Barns capture my attention a lot of the time - and there's been plenty to see this year!  Usually we are driving to fast for me to take a good picture of, but occasionally I can get a snap in.  The ones I've missed I'm sad about because they are usually the ones with the quilt painted on, or old advertisements (called "ghost ads" I found out) painted on their sides.  When we drove by the St Louis Arch, I got off a quick snap because we were stuck in traffic!  We really didn't want to drive through the city, so we passed on stopping to visit it.

One thing we try and do upon entering each new state is stop at their Visitor Center.  These people are great resources for all kinds of things.  They have helped us with maps, scenic routes, routes to avoid, regional music and food and just all kinds of wonderful ideas and advise.  Sometimes their center is a "destination" itself, like the one in Missouri.  Their "theme" was Route 66.  They had all kinds of fun stuff built round it, including each picnic table's shade structure designed to look like a place along the route!  Their floor showed the whole map, including the iconic US66 logo. 

As I am writing this, I'm enjoying the beautiful scenery and solitude of the state park we are staying at for a few days.  The only sounds are the leaves rustling from the breeze and the birds chirping nearby.  Many times we have found that there are only a few of us in a great big park.  I'm sure too, that as the temperatures continue to cool, we will see even fewer fellow campers.  It's rejuvenating to just settle in, surrounded by nature, and not "go see" this or just to sit back and enjoy being here, reminding me, that's why we are doing this...

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

...on the road,  Marie

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