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Kooky's Road Trip

Hitting the road in old cars, carrying old film cameras

Here is another project I’m doing, Kooky’s Road Trip.

The concept is simple: I hit the road in old cars, carrying old film cameras, driving down old roads through old towns, taking pictures of old things, and loving it all.

Armed with plenty of beef jerky and cigars, I go down whatever road calls my name just for the adventure.

On Kooky’s Road trip (also on Facebook and Instagram @kookysroadtrip) I’ve got photos from the road as well as stories about people, places, and things…just rumblings in my head as I go along.

Have a look if you get bored some afternoon. I hope. you like.

Kooky's
Road Trip

Hitting the road in old cars, carrying old film cameras

Here is another project I’m doing, Kooky’s Road Trip.

The concept is simple: I hit the road in old cars, carrying old film cameras, driving down old roads through old towns, taking pictures of old things, and loving it all.

Armed with plenty of beef jerky and cigars, I go down whatever road calls my name just for the adventure.

On Kooky’s Road trip (also on Facebook and Instagram @kookysroadtrip) I’ve got photos from the road as well as stories about people, places, and things…just rumblings in my head as I go along.

Have a look if you get bored some afternoon. I hope. you like.

Categories

June 18, 2020

Liberté

“Liberté” is how Josef described his life to me, distilling it down to a single word. As he said it a second time, he lifted his hands, palms up, toward the sky and faced the sun, smiling, “Liberté.”

June 3, 2020

Speeding Through Rural Kansas Has a Price

I knew I was speeding. I had been on this two-lane blacktop since New Mexico and rarely saw a car

June 2, 2020

Riding to Gallup With Wild Bill

I saw him up ahead, walking along the shoulder of the highway leaving Mesa, Arizona, backpack and trash bag full of clothes. As I zipped by with a list of reasons not to stop, I saw the small cardboard sign: “GALLUP, NM.”

May 29, 2020

A Photo Walk With Two of My Boys

Kurtahs Mikhael and Parker Viers joined Kooky's Road Trip today for a photowalk around Globe, Miami, and Superior in Arizona.

May 26, 2020

Hwy 54 South to Las Cruces

Yesterday, after a short stop at Allsup's in Santa Rosa, NM for, well, you know why I stop at Allsup's...I headed south on 54 to Las Cruces.

May 25, 2020

Getting Lost...or Found

It doesn’t take much to get me off the Interstate. I’ll take U.S. or State Highways any day. County roads are even better.

January 30, 2020

Dinner at Alpa Cino's

Anyone who’s a fan of the movie “Tropic Thunder” can understand why Turo Viers and I HAD to give APLA CINO BAR a shot (it's pronounced Alpa Chino). Maybe we could get big glass of Booty Sweat or some Bust-A-Nut bars.

January 29, 2020

More to it Than Flying Down a Mountain

There’s a lot more to bobsledding, I’ve learned, than the push, getting in quickly on an icy surface, holding on for dear life, and screaming at the top of your lungs while racing, as quickly as possible, to the finish line…and stopping.

January 28, 2020

Vote "NO" to Socialism

I want to take a minute and RANT against National Health Care, or “socialized medicine.”

January 24, 2020

'Turo Crashed Today

"The ice is wicked today," one of them said. "You're going to see some crashes."

January 21, 2020

The Previous Ten Minutes of My Life

I arrived at the hotel where I like to stay in Zumikon, Switzerland, just up to hill, outside of Zurich...

January 20, 2020

And They Say You Can’t Go Back

They say “you can’t go back.” Well, I just did it. I threw a few clothes in a bag, packed some cameras and film, put on my boots, my hat, and headed south toward Lamar, Missouri in my ‘96 Ford F-150 with Biggie in the back seat.

January 6, 2020

Buckhorn Baths Buddies

As we pull into the lot in front of the big sign, I realize just how right Kurtis was...this is fantastic!

January 6, 2020

Air Fryer Amor

This morning, awakened with a desire to air fry something, I remembered the hash browns I bought when I purchased the Ninja

December 31, 2019

Worth Every Cent

I was up the block a ways when I saw her, singing an old country tune. I dropped a dollar in her basket and asked if I could take her picture.

December 24, 2019

It Was All Over the News

I saw it from the interstate, the old, neglected, neon, motel sign sitting along old Route 66. I had to exit and go back. The old motel was as neglected as the sign. This place hasn’t had a patron in ages...

December 19, 2019

Hanging Out in Tombstone with Johnny One Dog

I pulled into Tombstone on a warm and sunny late Tuesday morning and was immediately underwhelmed. I’m not saying don’t go there, I’m just saying I’m not a big fan of things that smell too “touristy.”

December 18, 2019

Into the Great Wide Open

Day Three: I can't describe my trip yesterday from Twin Falls, ID to Tonopah, NV...I just can't. I'm a lucky man that I've seen many things in my life that words, photos, and even video just can't do justice.

December 18, 2019

Archie and His Cats

As I pulled up next to the old Kingman, Kansas train station, the one on the edge of town, not downtown, all these cats came running out to greet me. Not just a few, but around 12 at quick count.

December 14, 2019

Stopping to Fixing the Wobble

I’ve had a wobble when I get over 65 since I started, but I’ve not really worried about it as I’m generally going slower than that on the back roads. Well it got worse coming out of Brownfield, TX, so decided to find a place.

December 14, 2019

Dinner with Friends in Rural Oklahoma

“I’m hungry,” I said to myself after getting my tires fixed in Shamrock, TX. Hmmm...Wynoka is only a few hours away.So with German food and bier on my mind, I texted Dieter to see if he had room. He replied with some obscure text I didn’t understand so decided to call.

December 8, 2019

Road Trip Mindfulness Exercise #1

This practice is designed to help you learn to stay in the moment. Please feel free to share with anyone you know seeking enlightenment.

December 5, 2019

Another Wreck Up Ahead?

What is it with Kooky’s Road Trips and wrecks on the first night?I had JUST posted that this one is dedicated to an awareness of our mortality and there he was, lying in the middle of the highway that runs through Kingman, Kansas, his crumpled bike a few yards away.

November 25, 2019

My Friend Clarence

I went to see Clarence last Friday and he was in good spirits. He had been moved to a hospital type bed and was on oxygen and morphine, so, understandably, he was in a great mood. We joked about a lot of things as we passed the time, then he said to me "I really like your hat...can you order me one?"

October 31, 2019

The Risks of Take Pictures in Rural Missouri

As I was cruising through rural Missouri, from Appleton City to Golden City, with Cooky's Cafe on my mind, I saw a building off the road and wanted a photo. I liked the way the shadows were hitting the porch and loved it's pristine condition.

October 24, 2019

Jonathan Visits Kookyville, KS, population 1

A week ago Tuesday started out simply enough...we woke up early and hit the road north to Marceline, MO to tour the Walsworth Publishing plant, then lunch at Tall Paul's in Bucklin, MO with Meghan Viers Jolliffe, Joe Cupp, and Beverly Cupp. From there, Jonathan and I would wander rural Missouri so he could get a glimpse of life out here.

September 19, 2019

O Solo Mio

She rolled the windows up, cranked the volume up to eleven, laid her seat back, and closed her eyes, lost in the moment.

September 18, 2019

Humans Being Human

I saw what appeared to be a homeless man, on his knees curled over, forehead on the ground. He wasn’t moving....

August 24, 2019

Driving Through Prescott, KS

I stopped along the back roads I was taking home in a little ghost of a town named Prescott. I let Biggie stretch her legs while I had a cigar and enjoyed the quiet of the neglected baseball Diamond on the edge of town. As we sat there, I watched a young father giving his toddler a ride on his motorcycle. Around the block he went...then again....

August 24, 2019

Heading to Lamar With My Old Cameras

I'm planning a short, impromptu Kooky's Road Trip to the Lamar Free Fair, in Lamar. MO. I'll wander south this afternoon, drop by the fair tomorrow and blow through some film, then head back north at some point.

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the U.S.

The conversation I would like to hear happening at our southern border: Border Patrol Officer: “Welcome to the United States of America. How may I help you?” Asylum Seeker: “We would like to apply for asylum in this country.” BPO: “Oh, I’m sorry that you felt you had to leave your home and family to do this. Please, come with me and we’ll start the application...."

June 6, 2019

The Norwegian Wine Debacle of 2019

Every time I get a little cocky about my traveling prowess, something will happen that reminds me that I’m just a dope. Case in point, two nights ago I arrived in Oslo, Norway. Now this isn’t my first time here, and I’ve learned, after many trips, that Oslo is very expensive. But there are a few tricks to save a few Krone.

June 2, 2019

Stop and Smell the Cigar

As I walked along the sea in Reykjavik, Iceland on this perfect afternoon, taking shots of the rocks various people had stacked on the shore and enjoying a cigar, an older lady stopped her bike behind me and started talking to me in what I assume was Icelandic.“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,”

April 17, 2019

Cruising Colfax Avenue in a Taxi With My Cameras

I want you to drive me to Colfax Ave. so I can photograph old stuff....

April 8, 2019

The Prometheus Diet

I find I lack a certain discipline on the road. The brunt, of which, is paid for by my digestive system...well, and my liver.

April 7, 2019

Neon Lights and Cheap Motels

Motels are always iffy. One must keep the expectations low and hope for vacancy...

April 4, 2019

Flood Zone…Again!

It’s strange to drive on I-29 and be the only car, going either direction. Period. It’s like a scene from a movie.

April 4, 2019

Hanging Out With the Jims

I was wandering around Mound City, MO taking pics of anything of interest. I snapped an old movie theater with my Rolleiflex 2.8 and moved on. I was weaving through the residential areas when this strange little building, maybe it was once a salon, came into view. I turned the truck down the hill to get a shot.

March 26, 2019

The Price of Driving Old Cars

There was a moment on my trip to Amarillo on Friday where I didn't think I would make it in time for my speech...

March 24, 2019

Pulled Over in Mooreland, OK

I got pulled over today. After a fun morning teaching Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Bridge at he Panhandle Press Association convention in Amarillo,Texas I was home bound. Heading over to Oklahoma City on I-40 then north on I-35 was the quickest route, but who wants that when one can take the back roads and see abandoned airports and rural America?

March 21, 2019

Heading to Amarillo

How about another Kooky’s Road Trip? This time, a short one, to Amarillo, TX.

January 2, 2019

Reconnecting With Something From My Past

The first time I heard Navajo spoken as a natural course of conversation was in Holbrook, Arizona. I was in an art gallery that sold various Indian art. The owner, Nakai, spoke to one of the locals, who dropped by, in his native tongue. He sold me a ring in English.

December 23, 2018

That Final Leg is the Toughest

Day Eight: Yeah, I slept until noon. I got home last night, got to bed at a decent time, but my body yelled at me every time I tried to get up. So I slept.

December 22, 2018

Losing Her Allsup's Burrito Virginity

Day Eight: For the whole story here, I need to backtrack about seven years, maybe. Not sure, my life’s been a blur. I was driving home from Pampa, TX and staying off the main roads. I wanted to see what was going on behind the scenes...

December 21, 2018

Vernon Tags Along

Day Seven: It was 26 degrees in Gallup as I pulled out of the El Rancho Hotel parking lot, and I had the frost on my windows to prove it. After a couple of lousy cups of free lobby coffee I was off...next stop Tucumcari.

December 21, 2018

Where Does the Journey Really Start?

This journey didn’t start in Richland, WA. This journey started the day my daughter almost died giving birth. Maybe the journey ended for me in Richland and I’m just driving home.

December 21, 2018

All That For a Cup of Joe?

Day Seven: I needed a cup of Joe to keep me homeward bound. I stopped in this tiny town and am at the only place in town, having good coffee and talking with the old timers. I love this stuff.

December 21, 2018

The El Rancho Motel

Day Six: I’m stopped for the night at the famous El Rancho Hotel & Motel in Gallup, NM right on Route 66. That’s Leroy...he checked me in. Each room is named after a movie star...I’m in the William Bendix room. ... I’ve never heard of him either.

December 20, 2018

Waking Up in a Wigwam

Day Five: I finally made it to Route 66! Can anyone guess which motel I’m staying in tonight?

December 20, 2018

Opportunity Clock, my ass

Day Six: I love waking up without an alarm. There’s a reason it’s called “alarm” and I can’t think of any good ones.

December 20, 2018

A REAL Small World Story For You

Day Five: You are NOT going to believe this story. You’re NOT. NOT ... NOT ... NOT! I was filling up the Rambler with gas yesterday in Holbrook, shortly after leaving my Wigwam, when the guy filling up next to me says...

December 19, 2018

Small Delays

Day Four: When driving old cars it’s always a good idea to look under them for puddles and parts. I guess the same could be said for old people.

December 17, 2018

How Far to Vegas

Day Three: Another morning waking up in a cheap hotel along the way with bad coffee. I love this. Yesterday was NOT without event, although nothing worth raising the blood pressure...

December 16, 2018

Leaving Idaho with Free Potatoes

Day Two: I’m awake and chasing down a cup of coffee somewhere in Idaho, based on the box of free potatoes in the lobby of the Amber Inn Motel.

December 15, 2018

Every Moment I Get Along the Way

There was a wreck last night on I-84, just outside Nampa, ID. It was one of those bad ones where you can see flashing lights up ahead, and plenty of them.

December 15, 2018

She Wants to Run

Day One: I drove 400+ miles today from Richland to ... somewhere ... I honestly don’t know where I am, other than I’m in a motel by the highway just shy of Twin Falls, ID.

December 15, 2018

Off We Go

Day One: This car and I are the same age. It has 53,900 original miles on it. I think I have more miles on me than she has!