Here We Go!

I hope you all brought a lot of snacks and comfortable clothes.  This is gonna be one long roadtrip.  I think 39 days straight is a record for me.  Although the focus of this trip will be on New Mexico and Arizona, it’s gonna be awhile before we get there.  I have a lot of stops in other states on the way.  Starting with this first mission which is to finish up the West Virginia stuff that I didn’t get to last month.

So, today was lots of PA & a bit of WV & MD.  Hopefully, tomorrow I can bang through the remainder of the WV stuff and some Pittsburgh area stuff.  Today was frustrating weatherwise.  Although, the rain didn’t start until 6:30 (which cut the shooting off an hour early), it was 99.9% grey from start to finish.  Grey variations — from annoying to horrible.  But if forecasters are right — there’ll be sun tomorrow.

Before moving on to the photos, I should give the yadda-yadda to the newcomers.  Yes, it’s just me on these trips — with my rambunctious pack of four little dogs.  I only post here at the blog & Flickr as “agilitynut” when I’m on the road (different photos both places).  So you are getting as near to virtual as I can make it.   And the writing is done late, late at night when I’m exhausted — so you have to pardon some bad grammar and babbling.  Fixing when I get home would be cheating!  The idea of this blog is a documentation of what goes into the gathering of photos (trials & tribulations, joys & disappointments) for my website (  What goes to Flickr & this blog is just a smidgen of what you’ll find there — all organized, researched, etc.

The photos here at the blog are all clickable (you click on them and you get a larger size).  These blog photos also appear at Flickr under the roadsidenut account — for folks that don’t like to read (ha!) or for searching by key words, sets by state and all that.

OK then — that’s out of the way.  Enough chatter!  On to today’s offerings.

Let’s start in Harrisburg, PA.  This one’s been a “reshoot in sun” on my list for a long time.  Maybe sun next time.  This one spins & says M&Z on the other side.

The Subway Cafe opened in 1948 and this sign appears to be from then.  I don’t think there is or was ever a subway in Harrisburg so I can’t explain the origin of the name.  Their website shows sequentially lit lettering but I don’t know if that’s really still the case.  There is one night photo at Flickr from 2010 which shows the sign fully lit.


Here’s another brown porcelain enamel sign — and also from 1948.  Hmm, same sign company?  Same owner?  This one is at the Pep Grill.  There’s an article about the place being put up for auction last summer — but the bar was definitely open today:


This one’s been on my to-see list for a while.  Tinyworld  in Shippensburg, PA.   Very sweet, adorable, small-scale, handmade buildings.  Maybe a couple dozen.  Here’s more about the place:

While the article mentions the cats — it doesn’t mention the peacocks strolling about — which make my dogs bonkers.  On a scale of 1 to 10 — they’re an 11.   Screaming, jumping, pandemonium in the van.   And very careful exit / entry by me.  If Nik or Grem got out, there would be peacock bloodshed I’m sure of it.   What is it?  Do they think birds should not BE that big?

That’s a little Texaco station on the right:

No sign of a train at this mini depot but there must’ve been one at one time:


Moving on to Chambersburg, PA.  A sweet (okay, I overuse the word) painted wood sign.  Maybe six feet tall:


Sun for this one in Fannettsburg, PA.   No sign of the motel that I could see:


I’m always hoping for a miracle with this place in Chambersburg, PA.   The Snak Shak drive-in from 1951, long closed.   I fantasize that there will be car hops hopping and obnoxious 1950s music blaring when I come round the bend.  But no.  It just looks grimmer and grimmer.   Paging Lincoln Highway Association before it’s too late.  Right now, a used car dealer seems to be operating on the lot.


Some good news.  The Muffler Man at the Scottyland Campground in Rockwood, PA has gotten some TLC and paint since I shot him eight years ago:

He’s also got a very deep tan now:


From Cumberland, MD.  That red vitrolite on top might indicate that this was a Newberry’s or Kresge or some other five and dime.  There’s actually a lot of vitrolite downtown here.   I really liked the curved corner entrance on this one:


Last one for the night.  Also Cumberland.  I’m a sucker for those metal awnings.


So, there you have it for Day #1.  Don’t forget to check out the other photos over at Flickr if you haven’t already:

Normal order of things if you’re interested:
8 pm-ish: answer emails & comments; crop & tweak a couple dozen photos
11 pm-ish:  upload to Flickr; more emails & comments
1 am-ish:  publish blog post (as it gets late in the trip and I get more exhausted, I finish & publish blog post in the morning)

Photos of dogs & pie later in the trip.  Any other special requests?

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