Tag Archives: travel

Roadside: Berdoll Pecan Farm, Cedar Creek, Texas

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Pecans are awesome. You know what is more awesome than pecans? A giant squirrel hawking pecans! My entire motivation for going to Berdoll Pecan Farm in Cedar Creek, TX was to take a picture with Pearl. She was a sweetie, and their pecans were delicious (their bathroom also has collages of squirrel pictures – winwinwin). I bought a bag of Texas Trail Mix, which consisted of four different types/flavors of pecans. I also tried their tasty pecan coffee. I wish I’d bought a bag of beans to go instead of just the cup of coffee.

Roadside dinos seem to be a little more traditional as far as giant fake roadside creatures go,  but give me a squirrel over a dino any day.

Roadside: Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota

High kitsch. There is something about a tacky roadside attraction in the middle of nowhere that is part of what makes America great. You drive out on a road trip to see what beautiful natural formations Earth cooked up and then you take in the constructed dives and palaces of humanity.

I enjoy visiting iconic locations like Mount Rushmore or the Eiffel Tower, but there is nothing quite like a dusty or colorfully gaudy roadside attraction held together by remanents of memory and local gumption.

I’m gonna do a week of roadside attractions and history exploitation, starting with:

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Wall Drug is probably the king of campy tacky tourist delights. Not my favorite, but fun to visit for a “ride” on a jackalope. When you drive west through South Dakota on I-90 you can’t miss the dozens and dozens of billboards that count down your arrival to this giant strip of tourist-oriented stores. I think the exciting anticipation the billboards ramp up is more exciting than the place itself, which is a statement that can probably be applied to most general things in life.

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Existence through Time and Space.

Cheerful kitsch in a bulldozed lot in historic downtown Hanford, CA, April 23, 2013

Cheerful kitsch in a bulldozed lot in historic downtown Hanford, CA, April 23, 2013

In the very near future I’ll be heading out on a trip that traverses states and features city and country locales. As I research ideas and plot out plans I’ve realized that there is a very strong link between what I do as part of the daily grind and what I do when I travel. When I’m at work I preserve the paper echos of places that no longer exist, and then when I travel I search for spiritual traces on temporal planes that have moved on to new instances of reality.  I never expect to find what was there before, but I respect the residues of the past and embrace the present energy of a place.

Though I often think of what’s lost to time, I also think of how these spaces are conduits of memory, sending letters in a bottle to the present.  Often the bottles are broken and the letters shredded by time, but fragments remain.  The fragments still tell stories and demonstrate that memory and place are important partners that weave together a human fabric.  How will we wear the fabric woven by past human action and metamorphosed land?  Thinking about the potential fashion of the future gets me jazzed.