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Coast to Coast: A Pictorial Travelodge

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by Erin Pipes, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2005
The bathrooms in Tennessee are a goldmine for freaks like me who will stay in a stall longer than necessary.

And so it continues - our Dear Girl columnist, Erin Pipes' travelogue. You remember, the one from her cross-country trip from Orange County, California to the east coast - Washington DC or something like that (I'm pretty she doesn't want anyone knowing the specifics). So if you recall her aforementioned travelogue, it lacked photos - the one that we used was a stock image courtesy Google Image Search. So after a few days of pestering her, I got her to send me a few digital snaps she took during the roadtrip. Here they are with her captions.

(Mojave on the way out) Why didn't I ever drive up here before, damnit? I feel gypped. Looking at these pictures make me miss the desert, bigtime.

(Passenger view of clouds) I woke the boyfriend up and forced him to take this picture of clouds in the desert that turned out pretty in a basic postcard kinda way. So much for my artist's eye.

(Last stop, Needles, CA) This is the last chance gas station you'll find on the Eastward way out of dodge. The gas was sky-high and the bathrooms had dreadful movie theater floor-stick. Goodbye, California!

(Old Smoky's) Home of infamously gigantic pancakes that are quite delicious, but hang off the plate - - touching the table and sparking my barely-under-the-surface OCD. Yum all the same.

(Grand Canyon) One of your stereotyically awesome Grand Canyon views. I took about ten pictures of this glory hole, all while in tears.

(Crow) The daredevil crow, flaunting his best side. He stayed here and posed for pictures like a Hollywood pro.

(Elk in the hood) We took a side street specifically to catch a closer look at these gorgeous specimens and didn't leave for nearly two hours, and even then pretty much had to drag ourselves away. Come party with us sometime!

(Petrified forest) Another one of those "Stop, stop so I can take this picture!" moments. It's pretty, right? However, the well-traveled amongst you will note there's not even one piece of petrified wood (to which the entire forest owes its name) in the shot. Oh well - - look! Pretty!

(Bathroom, Tennessee) The bathrooms in Tennessee are a goldmine for freaks like me who will stay in a stall longer than necessary, just to read everything written on the walls. In the south, scripture seemed to be the norm (ie: totally a fucking bizarre way to worship your lord, but whatever) until I told the boyfriend, who gave me the heebie-jeebies when he told of the racist and murderous writings in the men's loo. "I'm a nigger who fucks little girls"? "Nigger, go home!" ?! Dang!

(Truckstop, Western Virginia) On the way into Virginia I was famished and demanded a stop for grub ASAP. I became sort of a truck stop connoisseur - - cheap and surprisingly delicious food, showers, video games, incredibly strange trinkets - - you name it! This one had a convenience store attached to the front with probably the most suggestive advertisement for a hotdog slapped right in the window, mocking the poor, lonely truckers. I'm home!

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