Day 1: Back on the Road

And so begins the summer trip.  37 days ahead.  The focus will be Colorado and Wyoming.  But before we get there — there will be about a week of other states.  A couple of days in Indiana & Illinois, a couple in Iowa, a couple in Nebraska, etc.   The rough sketch of the route is here:

Before we get to today’s photos — a few notes for the newbies on the bus:
Each night on these trips, I post about a dozen photos to Flickr ( and then about a dozen other photos here at this blog.  These photos are clickable — clicking on them with your cursor will open them to a larger size.  For more info about how I plan these trips, manage traveling with four dogs, all that — see the special blog pages — links over there in the right column.  Also, info about the website in general at the “About” page:

OK — since I left you on the last trip, I’ve been trying to squeeze in overtime at work and planning for this trip.  I also managed to get about a week’s worth of photos (four more weeks to go) from that spring trip up at the site — you can always follow my progress & see where/when I’m heading next at this page:


Alright then — enough links & information — I’m working on two hours sleep so it’s time to get to the photos.

The trip began as they always do — immediately after work.  Since I work nights, that means I leave home at 3am.  Drive til about 5am and find a quite place to park for a couple of hours then get back on the road.  With jumbo coffee.  Construction on the Brooklyn Bridge meant I had to detour through the Lower East Side of Manhattan to get to the FDR.  I grabbed a few shots on the way:



Some “sanity stops” off the interstate for a bit in Pennsylvania.  This is from Benton.  The angle was not my doing — the sign is really leaning like that:


On the roof of the Creekside Family Restaurant in Orangeville, PA.    There is a little ice cream stand round back:



How about some storefronts in Williamsport, PA.  Sadly, this camera shop (established 1935) is closed now:




Franco’s (probably not the original name) next door — still open.  Unfortunately, the hanging sign was apparently updated — pretty hideously:



Really neat stationers — still open (established 1899).  The place has a great interior that wouldn’t shoot well through the glass (too early for them to be open):



And on to Ohio.  This one from Lansing — the used car lot still open.  However, the neon cars on this sign seems to be stuck on Car #1.  The cars are protected behind plastic.  This sign has probably been reworked numerous times — still crazy fun like it is:



A couple of signs from Dillonvale:



And lastly for the night — the Neil Armstrong Memorial Park centerpiece in Warren, OH.  I was actually quite into the whole Apollo space program as a kid.  Glued to the TV set for the moon landings and walkies.  So, seeing this mini replica of the lunar lander was kind of a thrill for me:



The dogs were in their usual fine start-of-trip form today.  Deliriously happy and barking like mad.  It takes about 3 days for them to settle into a groove, start napping, and stop thinking that every time I put the van in park that they’re getting out for some big party.  Although the forecast was for “mostly sunny” — the sun didn’t come out at all until 4:30pm.  I don’t know why I even bother to look at the weather predictions at this point.  Although there were lots of grey crappy photos, it was quiet a pleasant relief (70s?) from the heat wave we’ve been having back in NYC for weeks (90s).

Alright — I hope this post was somewhat coherent.  It’s midnight and I’m toast.  Ambitiously hoping to finish up Ohio tomorrow. Stay tuned….

dj & the dogs

12 thoughts on “Day 1: Back on the Road

  1. omg! I’m sooooo excited!

    It takes about 3 days for them to settle into a groove, start napping, and stop thinking that every time I put the van in park that they’re getting out for some big party

    Only three days!? Those are smart dogs! lol

    Love the photos already!

    • I indulge them badly at the beginnings of trips trying to wear them down with lots and lots of stops & exercise. Then I try to scale back to only 3 or 4 big romps per day. I do have to squeeze some shooting in after all! Loads of ticks out here — I’ve pulled 4 off me — none so far off them. FREAKS me out!!! They’ve got their flea & tick drops on them — but I’ve got nothin!

  2. love that you took some snaps of Katz’ and the Parkside. some NYC to start your trip.

    don’t know why but didn’t realize you were going to be going through Nebraska. it’s H-O-T there so will send good mechanical vibes for you.

    love the stationery shop sign. so gorgeous. so glad it’s still in business.

    looking forward to the trip and following along with you and the doggies! yay!

    • Yes — I really need to finally get the NYC shots at my website fixed up. Will be doing some local stuff in the fall.

      Yes, Denver was 100 yesterday. So my AC will really be put to the test on this trip. We’ll deal!

      I’m afraid on-line shoppers like ourselves are part of the problem with all these Mom & Pops closing. Really sad. Gotta shop local when you can.

  3. Hooray! I’ve got my first coffee and I’m all settled in the back seat, relishing the beginning of another Debra Jane road trip! Ohio can really suck you in for days. So much visual treasure. Little towns in that state always made me a day late getting to Chicago.

    This time, no stops in Fort Wayne for you. I think you covered that town more than you wanted to during the summer before last!

    Blue skies ahead, my friend.

    • Glad to have you along. I’m staying focused — only gave Ohio less than two days on this trip. Yeah, no plans for Fort Wayne (that was quite some adventure last year) — in fact only a few stops in Indiana. Hoping to do some Chicago stuff on the way home if I can stay on track.

  4. Yahoo! Just catching up with you DJ! Glad to see you’re back on the road. LOVE the old rusty ice cream cone sign! Put that show off for a year, but that one would make a great painting! Love following your journey!

    • Glad you’re enjoying the photos — only getting a handful the past couple days what with idiot mechanics. Hopefully, back at it in a serious way soon!

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