American Roads and Global Highways




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Welcome to the 2017 Winter issue of American Roads and Global Highways. It's a fully packed issue as usual with lots of fun places brought to you by some of the best travel writers around.

Our favorite guest columnist, Kathy Barnett, is back with a trip along the famed Bridges of Madison County and more in her Iowa by Trail.

You might notice we have a brand new look. Hope you like it and find it easier to navigate. Another change I am sorry to announce is that, due to uncompatable computor systems, MAC vs PC, Renee has resigned as co-publisher. We gave it a good try but the two systems just will not cooperate when it comes to web publishing software. Naturally her articles will continue.

You will always find interesting lodging here at American Roads and Global Highways . Remember when planning a vacation or business trip, it's always a good idea to research the available lodging. The last thing you want is an unpleasant surprise when you arrive at your destination. My favorite way to check with a reliable service that gives me ratings, reviews, lots of photos and the ability to book through whichever booking agency is currently offering the lowest price. All through the same website. You can do the same.  Click here for the best way to find a hotel worldwide.

Adirondack Trail Mix

March Maple Days


By Persis Granger

Red cardinal on left and maple with tapping pan on right with Marvh Maple days headerWhen folks in the southern Adirondacks awake these winter mornings, it can be rough to peel back the blankets and plant bare feet on the night-chilled floor. But you plod to the wood stove anyway. Embers in the bottom flush bright red as you swing open the firebox door, letting in a gust of air as you insert logs to warm up the house. Your flannel-clad elbow scrapes away a little circle of frost from the kitchen window so you read the 6 a.m. temperature--five degrees. You’re grateful that’s above zero instead of below.

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Agri Lanes

 

Don't Let Them Get Your Goat: Visit Harley Farms

 

by Kathleen Walls

Header photo of Agri Lanes showing herd of goats at Harley FarmBack in the day, it was believed that a goat had a calming effect on high-strung racehorses so owners would put a goat in the stall with their horse before a race. Unscrupulous opponents would sometimes steal the completion’s goat in the hopes of making that horse lose the race. Harley Farms in Pescadero, California is one place you can test the calming effect of goats for yourself. The goats at Harley Farm are not only calming, they are downright fun as well as producing a lot of delicious cheeses. Their story is a testament to American’s growing interest in understanding where their food comes from.

 

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Art Trails

The State of Sculpture 

by Anne Jenkins

Mt Rushmore used as header for State of SculptureMount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse work in progress inevitably springs to mind at the mention of sculpture and South Dakota in a sentence. Both of these monumental works are certainly famous, everyone knows 'the faces on the mountain.' It is definitely worth a trip to see them. And while at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, don't miss the opportunity to spend time in the artist, Gutzon Borglum's, studio to see his study for the sculpture. It is quite different from the sculpture seen today and one wonders at the change of direction.  

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Chuckwagon Roundup -- Food

One Idea Two Ways

 by Kathleen Walls

kitchen in Kitchentown and Smallman Galley used as Header photoWhat a coincidence to discover two fascinating places that are similar but different in the course of two weeks. Kitchentown in San Mateo, California and Smallman Galley in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are both culinary incubators.  They offer chefs the opportunity to launch a successful business but each takes a unique direction in doing so.

read Chuckwagon Roundup Food Click Here

Chuckwagon Roundup -- Drink

Bourbon, It's Not Just From Kentucky

by Kathleen Walls

George Wahiington leanding troups against the Whiskey RebellionKentucky makes some mighty fine bourbon. I’ve visited the Bardstown Kentucky Bourbon Trail and loved what I saw and tasted. But distilleries in other states have discovered the appeal of bourbon. Arguably, bourbon has surpassed scotch as the drink of choice in the U.S.  

                                                                         

 Read Chuckwagon Roundup Drink Click Here 

Elite Street Eats

 

Monterey Bay Fish Grotto: Dining in a Fish Bowl

By Kathleen Walls

Pittsburgh nigh skylight view from Montery Bay Fish GrottoMonterey Bay Fish Grotto is one of those rare places that is more than the sum of its parts. Sure, it’s serves great seafood. It has a chef that is not afraid to blend his Eastern European traditions with modern recipes. It sits high on top of Mount Washington overlooking Pittsburgh and offers spectacular views of the city. All wonderful but combined, it creates a dining experience that transcends each of the parts.

 

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Fork in The Road

A Trip on The Strip

By Kathleen Walls

Strip district in Pittsburgh used as Header photoPittsburgh was named #1 Food City in the US in 2015 by Zagot. One section of the ‘Burgh stands out as the heart of its foodie movement, The Strip. Sounds like a naughty adult club but it’s PG rated, mostly. It a mile and a half long section of Pittsburg filled with every type of ethnic restaurant and some drinking that will take you back in history.

 

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Guest Column

Iowa by Trail

By Kathy Barnett

 

Idaho Byway used as Header photoWith over 3,000 miles of trails for all ages, skill levels and seasons, it only seems appropriate for Iowa to claim the title of “World Capital of Trails.” Currently cyclists, hikers, walkers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy miles and miles of multi-use land trails across the state. During the winter, snowmobilers and cross country skiers can find as many as 1,000 miles of trails in the parks and along Iowa’s county road grid system to glide along the newly fallen snow.  

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Happy Trails

Starved Rock: Illinois History and Legend

By Tom Straka

Photographs by Pat Straka

Native American in a painting at Starved Rock State Park used as Header photoSome of the most interesting roadside history involves the lesser-known sites that don’t make the American history books or History Channel. Illinois has lots of those, and Starved Rock State Park is one of its most popular ones. It’s located very close to the intersection of Interstates 39 and 80, about halfway between Rockford and Bloomington. In 1673 it was also located at one of the earliest traffic routes across Illinois, the Illinois River. That is when King Louis XIV of France sent Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette to explore the unknown midlands of the continent, with a mission to locate the river called by the Native Americans “Messipi,” or the “Great Water.”

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History's Highway

Nash Farm: Grapevine's Window into Yesterday

By Kathleen Walls

Docent at gate of Nash Farms in Grapevine, Texas used as Header photoMy favorite Grapevine historic/agri adventure is Nash Farm, the oldest operating farmstead in Tarrant County. It all began in 1843 when General Sam Houston negotiated a treaty of peace between the Republic of Texas and 10 American Indian nations with claims on the area. The following year, the first settlers started arrived in  covered wagons. In 1859 Thomas Jefferson Nash came from Kentucky to the Grape Vine Prairie to create a better life for his family. He found a piece of farmland he loved and bought the farm for $500. It proved a good investment.  Thomas, his family, and his brother, William, ran the farm for many years.

Read History's Highway- Click Here

 

 Information Highway ( a different way to promote travel)

Take a Tour

Want to visit fun places but you are not sure what to see there? How about taking a tour that is like having a friend who knows that city well along to take you to the coolest places. You can do that for under $5 now.

Read Information Highway - Click Here

 

Inn Roads

Everything is Bigger at Gaylord Texan

By Kathleen Walls

Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas used as Header photoThe Gaylord Texan Resort is six miles from DFW Airport and light years away from average. The Gaylord Texan is a total resort with dining, shops, multiple indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a fitness center, and pretty much everything you need to have a wonderful time all within the resort.  

 

 

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Museum Row

Frontier Texas--It's for Real

By Kathleen Walls

Exhibit in Frontier Texas in Abilene used as Header photoSome museums pack a punch. You walk away feeling “been there, done that” in real time. Frontier Texas is one of those. You feel as if you are listening to real people talking just to you when you experience an encounter with one of Frontier Texas’s nine spirit guides. Spirit guides are not supernatural phenomena although they create an almost perfect likeness of a living, breathing person. They are three-dimensional hologram images of several  Native Americans, a former slave, a frontier soldier, a buffalo hunter, a cattle driver, a frontier woman running her boarding house, and Cynthia Ann Parker, the white mother of the last Comanche chief, Quanah Parker, that Frontier Texas uses to bring the era when Abilene was the frontier (1780-1880) vividly to life. It’s also the official visitor center for Abilene and the Texas Forts Trail Region.

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Off The Beaten Path

Filoli: Not your Average Country Home

By Kathleen Walls

Exterior of Filoli in San Mateo County CalifoniaFiloli Mansion and Gardens is a bit off the beaten path and way out of the ordinary. It’s near Woodside about 25 miles south of San Francisco. Many visitors might miss it. Big mistake! This is one of California’s real treasures with the emphasis on real. Filoli is a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

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On the Road with Grandma

Treasures and Pleasures in Tarpon Springs

by Roberta Sandler

Resturant in Tarpon Springs, FL used as Header photoWhether you're a grandparent or a grandchild, the first thing about Tarpon Springs, Florida that will grab your attention is the proliferation of sponges. All sizes and shapes. Soft. Squeezable. They sit on sponge-fishing boats. They nestle in "for sale" baskets in front of shops along the downtown historic district's  Dodecanese Boulevard. They're represented on signs advertising Tarpon Springs. Everywhere, sponges.

Read On the Road with Grandma- Click Here

 

Photos from the Roadside

Shooting the Antelope

byJim DeLillo

Slot Canyon image in Page Arizonia used as Header photoThe slot canyons of Page, Arizona are on Navajo lands. By law, only native Navajo can conduct business on the property. This has resulted in several resident outfitters running operations to visit the twisty, narrow, photogenic canyons. It is strictly controlled by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department, which serves to protect the area from overuse and preserve its history. 

 Read Photos from the Roadside- Click Here

Product Review

Keysocks

By Kathleen Walls

Keysocks on several feet used as Header photoYou’re headed for the airport. Big question, what to wear? Casual with tennies and socks? Not this time. You’re meeting someone important at the destination airport so you want to look your best but if you wear heels, you can’t wear socks. If you don’t wear socks, it means trotting around on that nasty airport terminal floor barefoot.  Who knows if the person just in front of you has a fungus or infection in his feet?  You’ve got to walk barefooted right where he stepped. Ugggh!

 

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Renee's Route

Where Texas Gets Real! Grapevine, Waco and Granbury

by Renée S. Gordon

sculpture of coboys and cows in Waco Texas used as Header photoGrapevine is one of the oldest settlements in Texas and as such it’s sites and attractions chronicle the state’s history in a unique way. Simultaneously the city manages to be thoroughly modern with more than 200 restaurants and 20 hotels designed to fit every taste and budget. Grapevine is located a few miles from Dallas Forth Worth Airport (DFW) entrance and is a great destination, hub for travel throughout the state or day trip from the airport. Organized tours are available from DFW that are a perfect adventure during a layover.

read Renee's Route- Click Here

Renee's International Route

Harmony of the Seas, Cruising in a BIG Way!

by Renée S. Gordon

Harmony of the Seas at dock used as header photoIf there were ever a time to getaway this is it and if there were ever a place to have a total vacation experience it has to be a Royal Caribbean cruise aboard their newest ship, the Harmony of the Seas. Amazing, is a perfect word to describe this state-of-the-art marvel because the ship does indeed astonish and surprise you at every turn.

 

 

Read Renee's International Route- Click Here  

 

See the USA with Warren

 

Georgia's Golden Isles

 

by Warren Resen

Oaks draped with moss in Jekyll Island  used as header photo

Most travelers on I-95 in southeastern Georgia probably zip by the Brunswick interchange (EXIT 36) barely pausing to give thought to the signs announcing Georgia’s Golden Isles.    

 

 

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Scenic Road

San Angelo’s Eye Candy

 

By Kathleen Walls

San Angelo's Lily Gardens  used as header photoHave you ever wondered where one of the world’s most prestigious collections of waterliles in the US can be found? Probably the last place you would guess is San Angelo, Texas but you would be wrong.

 

 

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Smooth Traveler

 

Way up North in Wisconsin

 

by Renée S. Gordon

driveway int Little Bohemia  used as header photoThe first nonindigenous people to visit what is now Wisconsin was a 1634 group, led by Jean Nicolet, in search of the Northwest Passage. A small group of priests, fur traders and hunters followed. French control gave way to British control until the 1783 Treaty of Paris ceded control to the United States and the largest group of settlers began entering the region. They established the dairy, lumber and mining industries. Dairy farming was their first major industry and the state continues to be the country’s leading dairy producer. The area prospered and in 1848 Wisconsin was granted statehood.

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Tasting Trail

Grown Up Fun in San Mateo County

 

By Kathleen Walls

Winery in San Mateo County with wine barrels in background and tables with snacks in front  used as header photoSophisticated adults traveling in San Mateo County, California will have a lot of opportunities to taste test some of California’s finest wines and craft beers right at the source. I visited there recently and found some fun tasting opportunities. Here are just a few I found on a recent IFWTWA trip.

 

 

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Tibbs Trails and Tastes

Thoroughbred Country S.C. means more than horses

by Christine Tibbets Little Redd Barn in North Carolina  used as header photo

Superb lodging with fine dining in arm’s reach could be reason enough for choosing a travel destination, but what about bookending a dozen art and culture experiences with that lodging?  

 

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Travel Without Borders

Munich: Beer, Bikes, Bratwurst and Bavarian Beauty

 

By Roberta Sandler

Downtown Munich  used as header photoIf you're old enough to remember the popular  '50s TV show, "Your Show of Shows," you probably remember a classic comedy skit in which regular cast-members Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howie Morris are mechanical revolving Bavarian figures on a huge clock (Glockenspiel). Suddenly, there's a glitch, and the figures turn in wrong directions, repeatedly bump into each other and smack each other with hammers.

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Wet Roads

Slow Trip in Time on the Tule Princess

By Kathleen Walls

Tule Princess at dock in San Angelo, TX  used as header photoSteamboats were at their heights as the world entered the industrial age. It was an age of glamour and leisurely travel way before the time of jets and high speed interstates.  You can catch a glimpse of that time on the Tule Princess, the last operational, full size walking beam steam engine, powering a side wheel paddle steamboat anywhere in the world. The Tule Princess is navigating on Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo, Texas.

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                          Public Disclosure-- Please Read
I recently learned of a law requiring web sites to let their readers know if any of the articles are "sponsored" or compensated. We also are to let readers know if any of our links are ads. Most are not. They are just a way to direct you  to more information about the article where the link is placed. The hotel link on this page is a paid link, however it  is one I feel is very helpful in booking a hotel. I think readers are smart enough to know an ad when they see one but to obey the letter of the law, I am putting this statement here to make sure everyone understands. American Roads and Global Highways may contain affiliate links. Further, as their bios show, most of the feature writers are professional travel writers. As such we are frequently invited on press trips, also called fam trips. On these trips most of our lodging, dining, admissions fees and often plane fare are covered by the city or firm hosting the trip. It is an opportunity to visit places we might not otherwise be able to visit. However, no one tells us what to write about those places. All opinions are 100% those of the author of that feature column.