Take your time when going on road trips

route 66

The destination and focus of a road trip may be a fish to catch or a wild turkey to chase but all too often cruise control and a rush to “get there” takes us by points of interest that offer great memories instead of another high-speed race to get there.

Here are some examples:

Wall Drug

Heading west through the Dakotas on the way to Wyoming or points west, one simply must stop at Wall Drug, perhaps the most well-known drug store in all the country. Along miles and miles of Interstate 90 pavement one sees the signs for Wall Drug.

Hunters are offered a free doughnut if they order coffee. That’s an invite that’s hard to pass up and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

Wall Drug was birthed in the early 1930s when thirsty travelers could indulge in a roadside cup of ice water. It’s a been-there-done-it delight.

Route 66

And don’t forget the older national highway, Route 66. Travelers will find a fun little Route 66 museum in Clinton, Oklahoma, just off Interstate 40.

The museum is relatively small, takes an hour or two enjoy, and if anything, it is a quick step back in time when traffic moved a lot slower.


Heading to the Outer Banks recently, we planned an extra night to visit one of the Carolina’s most significant historical treasures, the small, inviting town of Edenton, North Carolina.

For starters, we booked an overnight at the Granville Queen Inn, one of many magnificent private homes-turned bed and breakfast that crowd the quiet residential streets.

National history abounds in Edenton, extends from the nearby cotton fields to the docks on Albemarle Sound, on which commerce flowed in times before and after the states were established.

Our hosts and home for the evening were just as one would imagine, southern comfort and friendly hospitality all at a slower pace.

And why Edenton? For its charm of course but also for the history it presents. Oh, and the world class gumbo served daily with cornbread at the unassuming Nothing Fancy diner.

This extra night delayed surf fishing for just one day and was so delightful and educational that it will become a two-night stay next time we head that way.


Near the Outer Banks but on the southern tip of Roanoke Island lies Wanchese, a bustling little burg that is all about commercial fishing and boat building. Netters return daily to the docks with holds full of the same fresh seafood one sees on area menus, including the dockside eatery there.

Several ocean-going charter boats are crafted in Wanchese, most all of the graceful, wave-busting extended bow, Carolina design. These sleek boats are seen everywhere off-shore fishing happens.

A boat tour of the sound waters proved worthy of the small cost of head boat fishing but also showed evidence of just how popular duck hunting is in the area.

Countless blinds dot the shallow sound waters of the inland waterway and although the coveted “members only” hunting clubs of the past are mostly gone with the times, the off-season interest is still there.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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