On the Back Roads: Discovering Small Towns of America

On the Back Roads: Discovering Small Towns of America

Bill Graves

Language: English

Pages: 287

ISBN: 1886039364

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Do you like small towns, places off the beaten path, trips down memory lane? Ever wonder if old-fashioned values are still alive in America? Then kick back, unwind, and hop onboard with travel writer Bill Graves as he takes you On the Back Roads. Graves has a knack for finding the quirky, the offbeat in some of the most obscure, yet fascinating, small towns on the map. Among the places and faces he discovers: a town where it's against the law not to own a gun, a town famous for its split pea soup, the wise 83-year-old Emmy who camps alone in the dessert, and a man who hunts live ants for a living. The list goes on! Retired and free to roam in his motorhome, the “RV Author,” Bill Graves, logs 40,000 miles through the western states of California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.

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went to dealer’s school at night. Don saved his money and two years later bought a bar and restaurant. He sold that after ten years, moved here, and made a boomtown that never closes. Don is probably many times a millionaire. What’s important, he’s doing what he wants to do with his life and very much on his terms. He flies his own airplane and keeps a helicopter tied down just outside the back door of his casino. He works all the time but relaxes by walking through his spacious calino, usually

say now they can’t make it at five bucks. That’s too much for seniors. We’ve got less hair for one thing.” “You know that new guy on Kern has a deal for seniors? He gives you the first and last haircuts free.” Silence. Some thoughtful swallows, too. The same man continued, “I guess you just have to tell him it’s your first time in there to get a free one.” Just then, a senior lady-customer walked by with a coffeepot, but my attention was on the silent drama unfolding around me. One man

lived all her forty-something years in Encampment, Wyoming. Candy is a fine journalist and a true Wyoming historian. She was here alone, taking pictures. Candy knows more about the Oregon Trail than most of us know about the streets we live on. She has written books about it and has crossed much of it over the past five years on vintage wagon trains. “I don’t do it as the pioneers did,” Candy said. “For the most part, I ride in the wagon. They walked. I wear Wranglers and occasionally a skirt.

years, his family has told him what they see. The popular county attorney here for thirty-six years, John now has a private practice at age sixty-nine. He was pecking at his typewriter when I walked into his one-man office. John asked me to sit while he finished typing. Those brief moments, watching him type, brought a jarring revelation. For a person who does not see what he types, to interrupt John in the process could disrupt his continuity. You and I can stop at any point and pick up where

and knees. In the kitchen, Dorothy and a helper were busy cleaning up, putting dishes away and food in the refrigerator. I asked about the wild-truck attacks while nibbling on leftovers from a lady’s luncheon that had just finished. Dorothy had ordered it from next door, an obvious advantage of living on the same block as Wagon Wheel Pizza. “They leave the engines running in those big trucks, even when they are not in them,” Dorothy said. “Don’t you suppose things vibrate? Something gets them

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