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August-September 2020 Trip. The dogs and I took a five-week trip to Florida. COVID-19 be damned! There were grand plans to cover all of Florida and a good amount of Alabama and Georgia. However, we hit a lot of rain which limited shooting. Nevertheless, the dogs and I covered just under 15,000 miles. I posted about a dozen photos to Instagram every day. Now that I'm home, I'm hard at work on the photos. I'm uploading photos to Flickr, writing blog posts, and adding thousands of photos and descriptions to my website. I've finished Arizona, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I'm still working on Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma. For these big trips, this entire process usually takes about nine months. Then, I start planning for the next trip.

June 2021 Trip. Since I hit so much bad weather during the rainy season in FL, GA, and AL, we'll be heading back to those states to get all the stuff we missed in 2020.

January to June 2021. As soon as I finish getting all of August's photos up (end of January?), I'll start getting my maps and lists ready for June's Trip. Then, I'll move on to my winter project (see 2019 Website Updating & Cleanup below). I'll also finish the link project (see 2020 Staying at Home directly below). I'm going to sneak in some other local trips (California, Las Vegas, etc.).

2020 Staying At Home. Since I was pretty much stuck in my apartment during this COVID-19 crisis, I took on another huge project that I hadn't tackled for a few years. I went through my personal lists for each state and added new links throughtout my website. I skipped Florida, Georgia, and parts of Oklahoma and Texas since I hoped to be adding those things to my site this summer. Since I got rained out of half of Florida and Georgia, I'll be adding links for those things soon. I added thousands of links to blue boxes at my webpages. Signs, mid-century buildings, gas stations, you name it! So, you might want to use that search box (upper left) to look for your favorite cities, categories, etc. to find things that you might want to add to your own personal "to see" list.

September & October 2020: Neon Speaks Festival & Symposium (San Francisco, CA). I was one of the speakers at these mind-blowing events in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2020, the event took place over two weekends. It was on-line due to COVID-19. Whether it's on-line or in person in 2021, you don't want to miss out! Keep an eye out on this website for details.

October 2020: Interviews. Suddenly, I'm a mini celebrity, I guess. Backroadtripster at Instagram Live reached out to me for an interview. Then, Mondo Neon had me on a podcast.

2019 Summer Trip. In June, I traveled with the dogs to the South and took more than 4,000 photos for my website. I covered Louisiana, Mississippi, Memphis, Arkansas, and some Oklahoma. I posted to Instagram every day during the trip. All of the photos are now up at the website. I also uploaded about a dozen photos to Flickr and a different dozen photos to my blog (links in the yellow bar above) for each day of shooting.

2019 Website Updating & Cleanup. I completed my big annual winter project: checking for dead external links and clicking on all the maps in the descriptions throughout my website to see what changed and updated the text (indicating things that are gone, remodeled, repainted, restored). Some of that "news" was then posted to my blog.

Vintage Signs Book. I wrote a book in 2018 about vintage signs entitled "Vintage Signs of America". It's a paperback and just under 100 pages. There are about 175 photos, each showing a different sign with histories about each one. It is available online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.), at some bookstores, and at the big three sign museums (American Sign Museum, Museum of Neon Art, and The Neon Museum). I think the best price is through the publisher. It's going for about $20 with no shipping or tax. Well worth it!

SCA Journal Articles. I have been writing the articles about signs for the Society for Commercial Archeology continuously since 2007. You can order back issues and digital downloads of the Journal and Road Notes at the SCA website. I also have companion pages with other examples of the sign themes/types at my website for most of the Journal articles. Here are a few of the most recent ones:

  • December 2020: Flame Signs
  • July 2020: Reddy Kilowatt & Willie Wiredhand Signs
  • December 2019: Scaffold Signs
  • July 2019: Diving Women Signs
  • December 2018: Working Men Signs
  • July 2018: Norge Village Signs
  • December 2017: Happy Bear Signs
  • July 2017: Car Signs
  • full list of SCA companion pages: here

    Many of you have asked me the locations of various places or suggested that I add addresses. Instead of adding addresses, I've added what I hope is even better for all of us. These "[map]" hyperlinks at the end of descriptions lead to Google Street View maps of the building, sign, or statue being described. Maybe you're like me and enjoy traveling virtually on-line and seeing these places in the context of nearby buildings or scrolling around the place in different directions or even in satellite view.

    Since a good percentage of the Google cars have taken photos within the past year or two, these maps make it easy for me (and you) to verify if something is still there or if it's been altered. If the map doesn't jive with the photo, please let me know that something has happened to the place or thing. These maps may help you put together your own lists and maps of places to see and shoot. Google is constantly tweaking their maps so sometimes the "target" is off a little and you might have to spin the map around a little. There's nothing I can do about that but update the links when I notice things have shifted.


    You can show your appreciation for my advertising-free, comprehensive website and blog by making a donation. You can click on the button below or you log into and make a donation to my email address: Paypal will notify me of your generosity and I'll email you back with my profuse thanks! Or, if you'd rather just send me a check, let me know. Your money will go straight to Gator's gas tank and repairs fund.  
    Copyright. All photos at this website are copyrighted and may only be used with my consent. This includes posting them at Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, other websites, personal use, etc.

    Tips & Updates. If you have suggestions about places that I haven't covered, historical info, or updates about places/things that have been remodeled or removed, I'd love to hear from you: