Thursday, September 8, 2011

South Dakota: A Very Cool Ride!

Should one ever make it to the northern plains states of the U.S., do yourself a favor and go check out South Dakota. Much more than merely farmland, South Dakota has some really cool sites that can not be seen anywhere else. Should you be able, be sure to check out the very cool and unique sites of Bad Lands National Park, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and Deadwood as well – to name a few. What’s more, the locals seem genuine and warm. Oh yea…, and if you should happen to see Wild Bill or Calamity Jane, be sure to tell them I said hello, will ya’? Either way, South Dakota was a very fun ride for me as I’m sure it will be for you also! I can nearly guarantee that you will enjoy the sights!!

Adam Trotter / AVT

PS. The photos are from the late spring/early June time frame.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Check it Out: Wyoming!

Another great ride/drive in the U.S. is driving through the State of Wyoming. The highways appear in very good condition and the scenery is spectacular. Jackson seems as a really fun place to spend some time – and this is probably one of the better locations in which to stay and then to take the relatively short ride to enjoy Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Also, in addition to taking in the scenic views throughout the state, if you get a chance, stop in one of the Wyoming towns and try to catch a high school/local rodeo. Wyoming is a fun, peaceful, and memorable ride, no doubt.

Adam Trotter / AVT

PS. The photos are from the late spring/early June time of year.

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, August 25, 2011

North Texas

August 25th, 2011

North Texas has always struck me as an interesting place. As I have stated in previous blog entries, I thoroughly enjoy my drives in Texas and North Texas proves no different in this regard. For some additional enjoyment, get off the interstate and take a look around at the inviting countryside, take a ride on Old Route 66, and maybe even drive along a North Texas farm road. The region seems as though it would be a place I would enjoy spending more time. The people in the Amarillo/North Texas area present themselves as friendly and forthright. I think one would be lucky to live, grow up, and/or spend time with the good people of the North Texas region.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Outer Banks of North Carolina

August, 2011

On the list of the many great coastal beach locations and vacation destinations in the United States, the Outer Banks of North Carolina is surely near the top of the list. The Outer Banks barrier islands offer many great beaches and scenic viewpoints in a laid-back, family-oriented and friendly style. The Outer Banks also make for a very cool ride/drive as they stretch for a couple hours of driving from north to south - there are even off-road spots to drive if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle

Foremost, the Outer Banks (OBX) are known for the nice and clean beaches, hot sun, and warm waters that typically last well into the fall. Another really cool OBX destination is the dunes of Jockey's Ridge State Park. However, when in the Outer Banks, be sure to visit the wildlife regions of the Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore and the really cool wildlife refuges on Pea Island. When here in OBX, among many other things, one can also visit the memorial in Kitty Hawk to the first flight of the Wright Brothers (who were from Ohio but made their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk), tour the OBX lighthouses, or take a short ride over to Roanoke Island to visit the famous location of the lost English colony. Wherever one may travel on the Outer Banks, they will surely enjoy themselves.

Adam Trotter / AVT

The Outer Banks, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Are Ghosts of Lost Civilizations Calling to Me?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

August, 2011

If one finds themselves in the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach/Norfolk area or the eastern shore of Virginia, be sure to travel one of the most fun and interesting rides in the eastern portion of the United States: The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The bridge-tunnel is a twenty-three (23) mile long combination of bridges, tunnels, causeways, and man-made islands. While claiming absolutely no tax dollars for support of its construction, the bridge-tunnel was also considered an engineering marvel for its time (mid-1960’s). A second span was completed in the late 1990’s. Anyway, it’s a pretty cool ride and can save considerable grief, time, and gas money when traveling from many of the northeastern states to the Hampton Roads area and beyond. As the bridge is located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, it offers many scenic and relaxing views of landscapes, waterscapes, and waterfowl as well. While the ride involves a toll, it is worth taking, in my opinion. As they say, “Follow the gulls to the east coast scenic shortcut."

Adam Trotter / AVT

chesapeake bay bridge-tunnel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Go Antiquing: Adamstown, Pennsylvania.

June, 2011

If one is looking for antiques or merely wants to look at antiques, there is no better place for such than Adamstown, Pennsylvania. Adamstown probably has more antique stores and antiques malls per square mile than anywhere else. What’s more, just one of the antiques malls in Adamstown could consume an entire day of roaming around and looking at the items for sale. However, depending on the time of year and the economy, it’s best to go on the weekend as all of the mall/stores are not always open everyday. Nevertheless, Adamstown is a great place to look for antiques.

Just so that you are aware, most of the antiques dealers know the value of what they are selling so the items are not always cheap – as you might find in garage sales and such. However, if you are seeking any antique items in particular and can’t make it to Adamstown, contact me: Adam, and let me know what you are seeking. I’m always willing to go to Adamstown and rummage through the wares in the stores.


Sight-see and Explore: Northwestern New York State.

June, 2011

When in the northeastern portion of the United States and one is seeking unique topography and interesting scenery, I suggest visiting and staying in the Rochester, New York area and setting-out on day/road trips from there. Be sure to take a ride down the easy-to-drive and interesting Lake Ontario State Parkway and definitely stop at one of the many state park areas which feature beaches on the massive Lake Ontario. From there, follow New York State Route 18 to Niagara Falls – which we all know is always worth a visit. Also from Rochester, it is an easy drive down Interstate 390 to New York’s Letchworth State Park – the “Grand Canyon of the East,” of which I have previously blogged. Northwestern New York State is always a fun trip regardless of the season of the year.


(The first two photos are of a state park along Lake Ontario. The next two photos are of Letchworth State Park. The final photo is of Taughannock Falls.)

See also:
Lake Ontario State Parkway - New York

New York State Route 18

Taughannock Falls State Park

Letchworth State Park, NY: “The Grand Canyon of the East,” and The Southern Tier Region of New York State.

Get Away, Sight-see, and Relax in Southern New Hampshire.

June, 2011 (Photos from Early Spring)

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, I suggest you take a trip and stay a while in Southern (/Southwestern) New Hampshire. In this region there is plenty of inspiring scenery and interesting villages, hamlets, cities and towns to explore. Also, there are plenty of enjoyable day trips over fun-to-drive scenic routes in the area - check out some of the wineries, farm stores, and water-ways along the way. I also suggest you have lunch and go for a walk in downtown Manchester and/or Keene. Reasonable rates for lodging accommodations are often to be had during off-season at several of the many ski resorts. The people in this region are friendly, open, and appear to welcome tourists. If you have time, you can also make an excursion to Northern Massachusetts or across the Connecticut River to Vermont. Again, Southern New Hampshire is an enjoyable place to spend some time in a serene and low-hassle environment.


(The first photo is from the Sunapee Mountains region. The second photo is Lake Sunapee. The last photo is the Merrimack River in Manchester.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Letchworth State Park, NY: “The Grand Canyon of the East,” and The Southern Tier Region of New York State.

February 21st, 2011

If one ever finds themselves in the area of Corning, New York or anywhere along the Southern Tier of New York State or western New York State, a trip to Letchworth State Park is a must! Letchworth State Park is called the ‘Grand Canyon of the East.’ While it is not as vast as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Letchworth State Park is an impressive sight and worth the drive to see it! Letchworth is probably worth giving up a day at Niagara Falls as well. However, if one is to drive to the park during the winter months, make sure you enter through a gate that is open year-round – as some gates are closed due to snow (unless you have snowmobiles with you). The park looks like it would be a great ride during agreeable weather as the main road traverses the length of the park! (The main road is also subject to closure due to snow during the winter months, unfortunately for me.) What’s more, the park is surrounded by many interesting towns and villages which feature interesting architecture, shops, and wineries and appear to be home to warm and welcoming folks as well – at least if my experience is any typical example. Go check it out, I recommend it!

The Southern Tier Expressway is a nice alternative to the New York State Thruway, upon heading east or west. For starters, there are no tolls on The Southern Tier Expressway. Furthermore, this expressway is a fun and easy ride on an apparently/generally well-maintained roadway. This expressway is surrounded by rolling hills, mountains, farms, and waterways. This ride is also privy to a variety of good radio stations for listening pleasure as well, btw.

If one has the opportunity during any time spent in New York State’s Southern Tier, check out Corning’s inviting Gaffer District as well as the interesting glass museum (The Corning Museum of Glass). Also, Elmira is worth a visit to see the final resting place of the famous American wordsmith and storyteller Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens. As the banner on the building read: “Mark Twain: Elmira is proud to be where Twain remains.” :)

Adam Trotter / AVT

PS. The photos above may not do much justice for the beauty of the park, however. Also, my apologies if the photos appear as somewhat dark, as it was near the end of the day when I arrived in the park.

See also:

Follow-on related blog:
Sight-see and Explore: Northwestern New York State.

Delaware Water Gap, Where Northern New Jersey Meets Northeastern Pennsylvania.

February 21, 2011

When looking for an enjoyable drive through the country without having to go very far, take a ride west from New York City through Northern New Jersey towards Pennsylvania. This is a nice ride through the North Jersey countryside. In New Jersey, take Interstate 80 and head west towards East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. As I said, once past the suburban areas, this is a really enjoyable ride in the country with interesting scenery. The Delaware Water Gap is also a scenic place with fresh air and plenty of hiking in the region. The Appalachian Trail is traversed along this ride shortly before reaching the Water Gap as well. The Water Gap is near the Pocono Mountains on the Pennsylvania side which offer skiing during the winter months and scenery throughout the year.

Adam Trotter / AVT

PS. The photo is along the ride approaching the Water Gap in Northern New Jersey. The Water Gap is located at the gap between the mountains which are seen in the distance.

See also:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I’ve Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway….. (Rearranged Lines: “Miami 2017,” B. Joel)



Our City Streets Are In Horrific Condition!!! To the Government Entities of our Nation: Please Rebuild Our Streets and Our Infrastructure!

February 13th, 2011

The City Streets Throughout Much of Our Nation Are In Horrific Condition - at least in most of the nation where I have visited during the recent past and particularly in the majority of the northeastern portion of our American Nation!!! (This subject is a recurring theme in this and many of my blogs, btw.)

And, please don't get me wrong, it's certainly not just the city streets that are in horrific condition either. Rebuild them all!! That's what I have to say about it!

To the Government Entities of our Nation: Please Rebuild Our Streets and Our Infrastructure! Must WE the populace beg for you to act and actually rebuild the roads (and not merely fill the potholes and/or lay a minimal amount of asphalt to cover the horrific road-scapes - which, of course is better than nothing, but...)?

Or, would it be better for the populace to play 'hardball' and demand that the Eleventh (11th) Amendment to the U.S. Federal Constitution be repealed so that we may hold government entities responsible and liable for the continued damage to our vehicles as a result of traversing the horrific roads throughout our Nation?

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

PS. More may be added to this post in the near future.

See also:

This blog is also posted at:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mucho Snow: Massachusetts! 4x4 Kinda’ Fun! Or, Be Careful What You Wish For?

February 1, 2011

If you think you have alot of snow….come see the Boston area and then let’s talk. There is so much snow here that no one has anyplace remaining to pile it. Homeowners can be seen shoveling the snow from their driveways and sidewalks into the street – which is usually not desired by any town. Most of the existing residential piles of snow are already chest to head high and the piles can not go any higher.

It has snowed all day (8 to 10 inches) and much of the area is currently getting a break as the snow has been replaced with a ‘freezing drizzle.’ Up to an additional foot of snow is expected/forecasted to arrive this evening/early tomorrow morning – unless the precipitation turns to ice.

Though all this snow fun is not coming without a price, at least for some, as one school district [in Conn.] reportedly has already canceled the upcoming spring break for students. Soon, I may have to rethink my ‘wish’ about snow, I recall my wall post saying, ‘the more the merrier.’ But, I am still diggin’ it tho. 4x4 Kinda’ Fun! :)


PS. The top of the wood portion of the fence in the foreground of the attached photo is probably 4-1/2 feet high, or so. The snow next to the fence does not really reflect any additional snow shoveled upon any fallen snow.

PSS. On the down side, roofs are falling down all around town - due to the weight of snow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Assateague Island National Seashore and Wildlife Reserve

January 23rd, 2011

If one ever finds themselves anywhere near the DelMarVa peninsula (of Maryland’s or Virginia’s Eastern Shore, or Delaware), a trip to Assateague is a must! Take a ride down the Blue Crab Scenic Byway and cross the ‘other’ (and smaller) Verrazanno Bridge to Assateague Island. Here you will find wild horses and assorted wildlife, interesting wetlands, and vast beaches. As Assateague is part of the National Park system, fees are involved when entering the island but often there are weekends/periods when no fee is charged. Camping is available as is driving on the vast beach (for additional fees, I believe). The sand here is deep and loose, so you will likely need a four wheel drive vehicle to make it anywhere driving on this beach – or at least, at a minimum, a vehicle with significant ground clearance if you are accustomed to/accomplished at driving in loose sand. If it’s summertime and you are on Assateague and anywhere other than on the beach, I recommend having insect repellent with you, btw. Regardless, Assateague is a cool place unlike any other place you likely ever will visit. Where else can you get up close with wild horses that don’t mind humans gawking at them? But as the signs state: “Respect the space of the wild horses, because they won’t respect your space,” – meaning they will likely bite or kick anyone at anytime if they are so inclined; and: “Keep a distance of at least one bus length between you and the wild horses.” But to look at them, they seem very cute and tolerant of humans. But we all know looks can be deceiving.

Check it out, though! Assateague is a cool place! See:

Adam Trotter / AVT

State of Delaware Sea Shore

January 23rd, 2011

The State of Delaware’s sea shore – also on the DelMarVa peninsula - is a very nice place. Here you will find vast beaches with deep sand, occasional boardwalks, and assorted tourist attractions. This coastal area is somewhat less popular and typically less crowded than neighboring beach areas to the south and to the north. Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Fenwick Island are all nice places and somewhat low-key while also being, in general, family oriented. My latest trip to the Delaware Coast/Shore was during the winter so the water and air temperatures were too cold for body surfing or lounging and sunning on the beach. Nevertheless, the place makes for a really nice drive. No crowds, plenty of open space, and interesting World War II bunkers / towers to see as well. As one drives by one of the towers, they may notice the sign which says something to the extent of “Support WWII Veterans, Save the Tower. Visit:”

Adam Trotter / AVT

Ocean City, Maryland, During the Winter

January 23rd, 2011

Ocean City (OC), Maryland – on the DelMarVa peninsula - is a fun place with lots of interesting things to do to pass the time. This place has a nice vast beach with deep sand, an impressive boardwalk, lots of nightlife, and alot of tourist attractions. OC is a place in which I spent much time during my younger years. In the summertime, however, this place can become quite popular and crowded, particularly on the weekends. So, such is one of several reasons why I have always enjoyed visiting OC during the wintertime. While the water and air temperatures are typically too cold for body surfing or lounging and sunning on the beach, OC is a great place to get way during the winter. No crowds and plenty of space to wander.

From D.C. or Baltimore, merely drive across the Chesapeake Bay and follow the main road east till you can’t go any further.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Monday, January 3, 2011

From Where I was in New Jersey, The Recent Blizzard Snow Removal Efforts Looked Entirely Adequate and Acceptable – Contrary to News Reports.

January 3, 2011

As a result of the recent and somewhat massive snow blizzard which occurred on Christmas weekend, it has been widely reported that the public works departments of the State of New Jersey responded poorly with inadequate street plowing/snow removal efforts on NJ’s streets/roads/highways. Additionally, the governor continues to defend himself against assaults that blame him for not returning from his family holiday vacation to personally oversee the snow emergency efforts.

Contrary to all the blame that is being placed on New Jersey’s conservative and popular/reformist governor Chris Christie, from what I saw of the state highways and various city streets after the recent massive blizzard of about a week ago (or so), the snow removal efforts appeared entirely acceptable and adequate. Certainly, overall, New Jersey’s snow removal efforts looked better than the snow removal efforts in much of the populated urban and suburban areas in the neighboring states – from what I saw during recent roadtrips throughout the region over the last week.

I don’t believe Gov. Christie should have left his family and returned from his holiday family vacation in Florida, either. I mean…, what could he have done anyhow – expend political heat to make the snow melt faster? The NJ state roads looked fine to me and these adequate road conditions materialized within a reasonable timeframe - at least from my experiences on the many NJ highways that I traversed during and subsequent to the snowstorm.

Adam Trotter / AVT