Dalton Does America: Final 2 Days


June 16-17, 2017

Mostly travel days. Biggest thing to come out of the last two days was that we got to stop and eat at a Chick-Fil-A, a.k.a. God’s finest eating establishment. The CFA sauce is so damn good it is unreal, so obviously I kept asking different employees for more sauce so that way I had some to take home. Hey, CFA, please bottle your sauce and sell it for $1,000 a bottle, I’ll buy 20. Other than CFA, not a whole lot got done. Devon and I watched Hateful 8 for the 3rd and 4th time all the way through. I had a ton of fun on this vacation and got to see a lot of things I usually wouldn’t be able to, but it was time for it to end. A vacation where a family never really leaves a 25 foot radius of each other and, after a week, tensions start to run a little high.

Dalton Does America: Days 3,4, and 5


June 13-14, 2017

Nothing really note worthy. Did some touristy stuff around New Mexico. Went shopping and ate some good Mexican food. By far the most relaxing two days. Also, since Best Western redid their hotels, I’m a big Best Western guy. They have high quality rooms at an affordable price. WOW!


June 15, 2017


Only a few roadside stops but they were quality. We did a lot of driving too and in that driving we watched “The Hateful 8” for the second time in two days. A+ film and it may be my favorite Tarantino.


11:20 am CST: Bristow, Ok. Really set the tone for the day. A big auto sign and it was nowhere near the biggest thing we saw that day. It was pretty neat though to just see a huge advertisement in the middle of a residential area of the town.


1:37 pm CST: Catoosa, Ok. To be completely honest with the readers, this was one of the main reasons I wanted to go on this trip, The Blue Whale of Catoosa. I’m not sure what it is about a big plaster whale in the middle of a pond in Oklahoma that I’m so fascinated with, but hot damn it was sweet to see. I cannot recommend this stop high enough. I give it an 8/7 rating.


5:50 pm CST: Ross Township, Ks. Biggest surprise stop of the trip so far, Big Brutus. This was a place dad wanted to stop but in the end it was well worth driving 30 miles out of the way. I can’t describe how big this machine actually is, the only justice I can give it is reciting a few stats. 16 stories tall, 11 million pounds, and it cost $27,000 a month to operate it in 1974 dollars. To put it in perspective, that’s $113,000 in 2017 dollars. Absolutely unreal how massive this thing is.


Dalton Does America: Day 3

July 12th, 2017


9:00 am CST: Woke up and had a bowl of Special K. Not important now, but will play a role later on.


12:40 pm CST: Shamrock, Tx. The U-Drop Inn was an old gas station that was restored within the last 15 years. It was the inspiration for the architecture of the towns in Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. How the hell did they make 3 Cars movies?


3:10 pm CST: Amarillo, Tx. Stopped for lunch at the Big Texan restaurant. They have a 72 oz. steak dinner where if you eat it in an hour it’s free. Wanted to attempt it but that damn bowl of Special K that I had 6 hours ago really had me stuffed. Settled for a 9 oz. rib eye.


3:40 pm CST: Amarillo Tx. The Cadillac Ranch is these 8 old Cadillacs in the ground that people come and spray paint. Pretty neat art idea. There was this old guy there who was absolutely livid, but I wasn’t sure what he was mad at. He just said, “This is what happens when you give art to people, they ruin it. This is ‘American’ Art at its finest”. Absolutely heated at what the exhibit was intended for.


7:00ish pm MST: Got some pretty cool scenery in New Mexico. 10/10 would recommend people come visit.


8:55 pm MST: Gallup NM. Pulled in to the El Rancho Hotel, our only planned hotel of the trip. I can honestly say it is one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen/stayed in. It is where movie stars in the 40’s and 50’s would come stay and brother, they haven’t changed a thing on the inside. Truly like stepping into the past. They have added A/C, which honestly, is an essential.


9:15 pm MST: While watching Game 5 in the hotel room, a huge and heated debate about new school basketball vs. old school basketball breaks out. Devon and I vs. Dad. No side won and no opinions were changed. Look for this debate to be revisited several times in the future.

Dalton Does America: Day 2


June 11th, 2017


9:10 am CST: Mt. Olive, Ill. Soulsby Service station was constructed in the early 1900’s and was a Shell station the entire time. Haven’t seen that type of loyalty since Jesus and the apostles. Well, except for Judas, obviously.


9:15 am CST: Dad starts yelling at the entire car, Mom for driving too fast and Devon for eating sunflower seeds. Could be a long day


9:45 am CST: New Douglas, Ill. Pink Elephant antique store with some OUTRAGEOUSLY high priced antiques. El. Oh. El. No chance anyone buys anything. Ever. (Rare photo of the Potocki Boys together)


10:13 am CST: Dad and Mom bet if Route 66 runs through Kansas. Dad says it doesn’t, Mom says it does. Mom is right and Dad tries to argue his way that it doesn’t count because its only a little bit. Devon and I wont let it pass. Big W for Mom.


10:25 am CST: Collinsville, Ill. Brooks Ketchup plant is now closed. HOWEVA, it has the World’s largest ketchup bottle. If you read my Day 1 blog, you know why we stopped.


10:48 am CST: Just crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri. Just drove across the bridge, not sure what Lewis & Clarke found so difficult about that.


12:00 pm CST: St. Louis, Mo. Sitting by the river, looking at the Arch, and all I can think of is how great of an organization the Cardinals are. RIP Rams. Fun Fact: The Arch is as high as it is wide (630 feet)


2:24 pm CST: Fanning, Mo. World’s second largest rocking chair. Was World’s largest from 08-16. Some bastard in one of the Dakotas probably stole that title.


8:00 pm CST: CRAZYTOWN, Mo. This random gas station wanted $1.29 for an Oatmeal Cream Pie. WTF? Whatever Trump is up to in the White House, but he has to take care of this tragedy. NOW!

Crazy pills

8:24 pm CST: Joplin, Mo. The garage that Bonnie & Clyde got into a shoot out with. Pretty ridiculous that it happened right in the middle of a neighborhood. Closest thing I’ve ever been to a shoot out was the Monday before Mardi Gras, I probably took a billion shots that day.


8:48 pm CST: Missouri/Oklahoma Border. BY GAWD THAT’S JIM ROSS’S MUSIC!


11:31 pm CST: Edmund, Ok. Cant find a hotel off the expressway. Just get so frustrated we drive to the nearest Holiday Inn Express, 5 miles away. Day 2 completed.

Dalton Does America: Day 1

June 10th, 2017

2:00 pm EST: Pick up rental vehicle. It’s a Dodge Grand Caravan and Dad is absolutely elated that it’s not an import.


2:30 pm EST: Dad hasn’t stopped talking about what a beautiful vehicle the mini-van is.


5:45 pm EST: Stop for Dinner-ish. Eating sandwiches in a Tim Horton’s parking lot. Got Tim’s afterwards. Was managed by a guy named Tom Brady. Hmmmmm.


7:30 pm EST: Dad complains about how cocky semi drivers are and how U-Haul lets anyone drive their trucks. I promptly show him the Family Guy U-Haul clip.


7:34 pm EST: Devon and Dad have their first fight. It’s over the volume of the music. “Yea, its gets pretty loud back here. Have you ever sat in the back of your van?”-Devon said in a real sarcastic tone. Dad retorts, “If its too loud, you’re too old”. The music is Dean Martin.


7:06 pm CST: Traffic is backed up at a tollbooth just outside of Chicago. I take this time to bring up that tollbooth workers have the highest rate of suicide per worker. Pretty sure this isn’t a fact but I heard it once when I was younger so therefore, fact.


7:41 pm CST: Whole car starts bitching about how the roads in Michigan suck


7:44 pm CST: Wilmington, Ill. Stop to see the Gemini Giant, the first of the muffler men giants, and he is GLORIOUS


8:02 pm CST: Braidwood, Ill. Picture at the Polk-A-Dot Drive Inn. Elvis was rumored to die here.


8:25 pm CST: Gardner, Ill. Visited a 2-cell jail constructed in 1905. Per the recording, “No real dangerous desperados were held here”. No chance this little building could hold these guns (slaps biceps)!


8:44 pm CST: Dwight, Ill. Stopped at the Ambler Texaco station. Heard about how the wife would cook food for stranded motorists and the husband would give out candy to kids. Not in business to make money, in it to make a living.


9:38 pm CST: Dad makes the usual complaint that every product he loves gets discontinued. While it seems far-fetched, I have to kind of agree with him.


10:10 pm CST: Atlanta, Ill. “Dad, there’s another muffler man in Atlanta” “If he’s the same we’re not going to stop” “This one has a hot dog” “I’m putting it in the GPS now”


10:30 pm CST: Lincoln, Ill. World’s Largest Covered Wagon. Voted #1 roadside attraction by Reader’s Digest. I’m a sucker for World’s (adjective) anything.


11:14 pm CST: Springfield, Ill. Morale is running low. Devon is asleep. Dad asks if I really want to stop, I give an “absolutely” with great authority. I wasn’t going to miss the 3rd and final muffler man.


12:15 am CST: Litchfield, Ill. Mom finesses the lady at the front desk of the Hampton Inn to get us a room for $70. Thus concludes day one.