Travel Log: Photo Day!

Route 66 - Pink Elephant Antique Mall

(Niceville, Florida.  11 April 2018) – Going to take y’all on a visual journey through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  As always, you can see my entire photo library on my Flickr page (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparks_photography/) or m Instagram (@sparks1524).

But, once in a while it’s fun to just do a visual journey, and this starts along the famous Route 66, a road I will be exploring more as I continue Grand Tour USA.  Route 66, the “mother road” is famous for the roadside attractions that were designed to encourage motorists to pull off and, well, spend money.  These oddities created a very unique type of Americana that blends with the more traditional sights like landscapes and historical locations in a very odd harmony that’s uniquely American.  An example of a modern attraction is the Pink Elephant Antique Shop (shown above in the title slide), which is only about ten years old and about an hour outside of Springfield, Illinois.

But, let’s a take a wander down Route 66 through Illinois into Missouri, and then get off and hook back through the South!

 

Springfield Oddities
Springfield has its share of odd sights along the road, such as a pink elephant with a giant martin. Springfield, Illinois. (Nathanael Miller, 31 March 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springfield Oddities
Another of Springfield’s oddities is a 30-foot tall statue of young Abe Lincoln at the state fair grounds.  Telephone poles were used to construct young Abe’s long legs . Springfield, Illinois. (Nathanael Miller, 31 March 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World's Largest Catsup Bottle
The world’s largest catsup bottle is a 70-foot tall rivted steel bottle built in 1949. Not directly off Route 66 itself, it was intended to both advertise Brooks catsup and draw people into the town of Collinsville as they passed through on Route 66. Although officially it used to be used as a water tower (today it is simply a nationally registered historic landmark), local lore maintains it is actually filled with catsup.  Collinsville, Illinois. (Nathanael Miller, 2 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World's Largest Fork
Me with the world’s largest fork. Standing 35 feet tall and weighing 11 tons, the world’s largest fork is a bit hard to find. It is located at the entrance to an advertising company, and not in a public park, but it’s well worth taking a stab at seeking out! We’re moving away from Route 66 now, but this 2011 sculpture proves the roadside oddity is still alive and well!  Springfield, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 1 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branson Scenic Railway
The Branson Scenic Railway operates out of the historic 1905 depot in Branson, using engines and rolling stock built during the 1940s and 1950s. The line’s southern route takes it to the Barren Fork Valley in Arkansas. Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Branson is Missouri’s answer to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The main strip in Branson is full of architecture that is all classic American roadside oddity…just on a massive scale!  The town is a hoot to visit and worth taking some time to explore!

Branson, Missouri
The Titanic Museum recreates the forward half of the famous ship…and even the iceberg that sank it!  It’s a bit out of scale–survivors from the ship said the iceberg actually towered above the upper deck.  But the museum inside is a very well-done telling of the stories that sailed and died on the ship.  Every story from First Class to Third Class to the crew is treated with equal respect.  Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branson, Missouri
Ripley’s Believe It or Not, or Ripley’s Odditorium, is a museum of curiosities that is part of the Ripley’s chain around the world. This particular building is built to look like it was fractured by an earthquake along the nearby New Madrid fault line–like the quakes that hit the area back in 1811 and 1812.  The quakes were so powerful they made the Mississippi River run backwards for three days. Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)
Branson, Missouri
Even the ferris wheel becomes a roadside attraction at night!  Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollywood Wax Museum, Branson, Missouri
Hollywood Wax Museum, Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollywood Wax Museum, Branson, Missouri
Young visitors join the crew of the starship Enterprise at the Hollywood Wax Museum, Branson, Missouri. (Nathanael Miller, 4 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northwest Arkansas
Northwest Arkansas is some of most lovely countryside you will ever see. (Nathanael Miller, 5 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherokee National Heritage Center
John Ross was the principle Cherokee chief from 1828–1866, serving longer than any other person. He led the nation through the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma and then led the effort to rebuild and reclaim their society. The Cherokee National Heritage Center is built on the site of the Cherokee Female Seminary (three columns of which are still standing at the center’s entrance). The seminary building was opened in 1851 and burnt down in 1887. The modern heritage center tells the story of the Cherokee Nation, with an emphasis on the Trail of Tears’ impact on the Cherokee and other nations. Park Hill, Oklahoma. (Nathanael Miller, 6 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vicksburg National Military Park
Looking out from Battery De Golyer, commanded by Capt. Samuel De Golyer of the 8th Michigan Artillery. The capture of Vicksburg by Union forces July 4, 1863, opened the Mississippi River back up to Union navigation. The capture of the city split the Confederacy in half, and, coming at the same time as the Union victory at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, marked the strategic turning point of the war and the beginning of the fall of the South. Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Nathanael Miller, 7 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tallulah, Louisiana
 Locomotives still roar through Tallulah, Louisiana. (Nathanael Miller, 7 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Drum, Battleship Memorial Park
The Gato-class submarine USS Drum (SS 228), in commission from 1940 – 1946, and won 12 battle stars over 13 war patrols during World War II. Battleship Memorial Park is home to the World War II battleship USS Alabama (BB 60), submarine USS Drum (SS 228), and numerous aircraft and equipment displays. Mobile, Alabama. (Nathanael Miller, 8 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Drum, Battleship Memorial Park
A visitor contemplates the cramped life aboard the Gato-class submarine USS Drum (SS 228).  Drum was in commission from 1940 – 1946, and won 12 battle stars over 13 war patrols during World War II. Battleship Memorial Park is home to the World War II battleship USS Alabama (BB 60), submarine USS Drum (SS 228), and numerous aircraft and equipment displays. Mobile, Alabama. (Nathanael Miller, 8 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Alabama, Battleship Memorial Park
Today the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama (BB 60) is “crewed” by children and visitors. Alabama was in commission from 1942 – 1947 and won 9 battle stars in World War II. Battleship Memorial Park is home to the World War II battleship USS Alabama (BB 60), submarine USS Drum (SS 228), and numerous aircraft and equipment displays. Mobile, Alabama. (Nathanael Miller, 8 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Alabama, Battleship Memorial Park
The South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama (BB 60). Alabama was in commission from 1942 – 1947 and won 9 battle stars in World War II. Battleship Memorial Park is home to the World War II battleship USS Alabama (BB 60), submarine USS Drum (SS 228), and numerous aircraft and equipment displays. Mobile, Alabama. (Nathanael Miller, 8 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, how was that for a five state tour?  From roadside oddities along Route 66 to major military museums, there is so much you can find on the road.  But, the adventure was not quite over yet even as I turned my sites and my car towards home in Florida.  I discovered one more roadside oddity in the small town of Spanish Fort, Alabama:

Giant Dental Tools
Giant dental tools.  Spanish Fort, Alabama.  (Nathanael Miller, 8 April 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

** ** **

Nathanael Miller’s Photojournalism Archives:

Instagram: @sparks1524

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparks_photography/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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