And the Award Goes to…

Movies have the Oscars, Broadway has the Tonys, music has the Grammys and now we are proud to present the first cross-country trip awards, in honor of Thelma and Louise, the “Thel-ises”.

As you know, Glenda is a member of SAG-AFTRA and that union is giving its awards on Sunday, January 27. We know you join us in hoping that Glenda walks away with the trophy for “Best Performance by an Elbow in a Television Series”. Fingers crossed!!!

We’d love to have you create awards for our blog! For example, “Funniest Line in the Blog” or “Most Clever Comment by a Reader”. Please feel free to post your award here on the blog or if you are technologically challenged (please see our post “Tortured by Technology”) you can email it to us and we’ll post it for you. We love your feedback!

And the Thel-ise goes to…


  • Scariest/Hardest Drive
    • Yosemite National Park, CA – Lots of switchbacks, perilous drops and limited visibility at night. Yikes!
    • Monarch Pass, CO – Not sure which was worse, climbing or descending…
    • the flooded desert of Las Vegas, NV – We decided they don’t know how to build roads for rain in the arid desert that is Vegas; one downpour and the place is treacherous!


  • Loneliest Road
    • Yep, you guessed it, Route 50 – also known as “The Loneliest Road in America”


  • Most Expensive Gas
    • Death Valley, CA Regular: $5.99 per gallon


  • Least Expensive Gas
    • Liberty Corner, NJ Regular: $3.95 per gallon Go Jersey!!


  • Most Perilous Empty Gas Tank Situation
    • Day 1 en route to Niagara Falls, NY – We were so enthralled with actually being on the road, starting our adventure, that we utterly forgot about the gas tank and got down to fumes. Good grief!!!


  • Best Vehicle Feature of our Subaru Tribeca
    • Our personal temperature controls (very handy for non-synchronized hot flashes)
    • Down-shifting (if we had ever learned how to use it)

Food and Drink

  • Best Meal (home-cooked excluded)
    • Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas City, KS – This eatery started as an adjunct to a gas station and still serves up fabulous ribs with a side of regular or premium gas.


  • Most Creative Use of a Fruit
    • National Lakeshore of Michigan’s everything cherry. Who knew there was such a thing as cherry salsa or cherry coffee? All at their own everything cherry store, Cherry Republic.


  • Most Surprisingly Tasty Local Delicacy
    • Fish sausage from Carlson’s of Leelanau, MI
    • Elk mignon
    • Bison burger
    • Burgoo in Lexington, KY


  • Best Use of a Vegetable
    • Corn Palace – Mitchell, SD – We were introduced to the glories of corn as a primary decorating tool by Doris Gerlach, local corn volunteer.



  • Best Local Beer
    • Elk Poop – Custer, WY
    • Colorado Red Ale – Paonia, CO



  • Best Sweet Stop


  • Best Car Snack
    • Fresh Cheese Curds – We also enjoyed the battered and deep-fried cheese curd version but, do note, they are not available as a car snack
    • Chocolate–Covered Nuts (provided by Lee, Sheron and Margie) – We ate way too many of these!


  • Most Raucous and Fun Meal
    • Joe’s Supper Club in Hotchkiss, CO – It was really Joe’s garage converted into a one-room bar/restaurant that serves homemade brick-oven pizza to one group per night. Our rowdy, happy friends alone would have made for a really fun meal but Joe’s stories and crazy antics definitely contributed to making this a raucous, memorable night!


  • Most Fun Fellow Inn-Mates
    • Hags on Nags from MN and WI at the Flying W Ranch for their friendliness and, frankly, their self-given group name
    • Pat and Jim of Denver, CO by way of TX at LeRoux Creek B&B. Pat, especially, was very friendly but insisted she really didn’t like people or talking to them.


  • Friendliest Bar Patrons
    • Charlie and Joe – dirt biker buddies we met at a bar in Death Valley. Not only did they buy us drinks but they introduced us to reader-glasses with built-in flashlights on the side. Available at your local Walgreens!


  • Cutest Couple
    • Salsa-dancing Jerseyans we met at Niagara Falls


  • Best Doctor
    • Dr. Firestone (aka Dr. Red) of Kansas City, MO – because he initiated a photo re-enactment of Glenda’s x-ray review for the blog


  • Best Waitress
    • Melissa – of Pufferbelly Restaurant in Erie, PA for her prompt service, tourist suggestions and educational tour of old fire equipment (especially the round target to jump into from a window)
    • Linda – nose-ringed breakfast waitress at Badlands National Park who was friendly even before we had coffee


  • Most Dedicated Park Ranger
    • Betty (not her real name) – at one of Yellowstone’s entrances who craned her neck to ensure the park pass photo matched the car passenger (Glenda) and interrogated her as to address information. Betty had zero tolerance for park pass fraud!!! This stood in stark contrast to Jason, a young dude Ranger, who waved us through without even a glimpse, apparently wildly unconcerned about park pass fraud.
    • Mike – a Ranger at Truman’s home was a study in contrasts. He vigorously protected the floors of the home by insisting that our feet not stray from the designated pathways yet graciously removed his hat for Glenda to have a photo opp. Surely, appearing in public without the Ranger headwear (and/or letting someone else wear said headwear) is an infraction of some section of the Ranger code!


  • Most helpful hotel/motel clerk
    • Tom (we think this was his name) – at Holiday Inn Express in Custer, SD who rang our room to let us know that a light was on inside the car we had parked in the lot. Definitely saved us a call to AAA. Thank you, Tom!!!
    • Martha (not her real name) – worked the front desk at the Hampton Inn in Fairmont, MN. She went above and beyond, giving us restaurant recommendations, menu suggestions, directions to walking paths. Just very nice.


  • Surliest hotel/motel clerk
    • Holly (n h r n) – at El Colorado in Manitou Springs, CO fit in with her surroundings – unfriendly, cold, creepy. We loved the town but the motel gets a definite 2 thumbs down.
    • Jim (n h r n) – in Jackson, WY was an aloof, uninterested, unhelpful front desk manager. Don’t think he should be in the hospitality industry!


  • Best performance in a service industry
    • Our wine hostess/retired flight attendant at Picchetti’s Winery in South Lake Tahoe, CA. She carried on even with a computer glitch and deftly conversed about politics without offending anyone. Very well done!
    • Our Jiffy Lube technician in Las Vegas, NV. He was knowledgeable about Subarus, gave great directions and was generally a pleasant guy.


  • Worst performance in a service industry
    • Our waiter, Kenneth, at the Old Faithful Inn. He was not only inefficient (we waited eons for our food and he totally forgot our wine) but was just flat-out strange.


  • Cutest Animal
    • Prairie dogs – in the Badlands – standing, jumping and squeaking


  • Location with the Best Animal Noises
    • Yellowstone – elk calls. The buck bugled away with his mating calls and the cows ignored him and talked amongst themselves.



  • Location with Best Animal Sightings
    • Grand Teton National Park – saw moose, bison, bear and evidence of beavers


  • Best All-Around Animal
    • Bison – What can we say? They were just spectacular.


  • Best Fishing Hole
    • Dan’s ranch in Hotchkiss, CO. It’s kind of hard to not catch a fish since there are ponds on the property that are fed by the neighboring trout hatchery.


  • Best Tour Experience
    • We took a tour with Monument Valley Safari and our Navajo guide was Brian. It’s a special place and Brian was fantastic! He was knowledgeable, interesting, funny and, on top of that, he drummed and sang.  Only downside was Glenda and Sue simply could not chime in and join the Navajo singing! Wow!
    • Maid of the Mist – in Niagara Falls was hokey but still the best way to get a sense of the power of the Falls. Amazing.


  • Best Accommodations
    • Our cabin at Badlands National Park, SD. It was new, designed well, fully-equipped, clean and in a beautiful place. What more could you ask for?


  • Worst Accommodations
    • El Colorado Motel in Manitou Springs, CO. It looked interesting from the outside but inside it was just skeevy. Dingy, print sheets (thread count? Maybe 5) that didn’t fit right. A scary bathroom. And even scarier fellow motel guests. We won’t go into details… Suffice it to say – avoid at all costs.


  • Best Bowling Lanes
    • The Corner Alley in Cleveland, OH. Glenda wore proper bowling attire but, regrettably, it did not help her score. Sue, sporting a dress, might have cracked 100. Who bowls in a dress?


  • Best Museum
    • Red Light Museum in Virginia City, NV. The “museum”, located in the basement of a Chinese restaurant, included displays of turn-of-the-century sex toys, condoms and brothel paraphernalia. Surprisingly entertaining and interesting!
    • Museum of Westward Expansion in St. Louis, MO located under the Arch. Anything and everything you’d want to know about Lewis & Clark’s expedition and the world events that prompted it. We didn’t have enough time here and would go back if we could!


  • Best Tourist Trap
    • Virginia City, NV. In some ways, this is an anti-Disney Disneyesque town. Home of the Bucket o’ Blood saloon, Red Light Museum, and annual Outhouse Races. It was a last minute addition to our route but well worth the stop.


  • Place Visited with the Smallest Population
    • Emblem, WY – population 10. How does a town with population 10 even get a government-provided sign on the road?


  • Place Visited with the Largest Population
    • Las Vegas, NV (city) – population 583, 756


  • Best Spa
    • Ceasar’s Palace (BTW, also the only spa!)


  • Kitschiest State
    • South Dakota – SD had so many kitschy aspects that it was an easy winner. Corn Palace, Wall Drug, many giant animal statues, billboards everywhere, bronze presidents, granite presidents, plastic dinosaurs, and more.
    • Minnesota – We loved seeing the Jolly Green Giant and Little Green Sprout and hated to miss one of the world’s largest balls of twine.


  • Best Stamportunity
    • The Badlands – Our first public stamping elicited howls of uncontrolled laughter. Who knew stamping could be so much fun?
    • Grand Canyon – We got 7, count’em 7, stamps at different locations throughout park. It was challenging but we were up to it!
    • The Bourbon Trail – Drinking and stamping are condoned and, in fact, encouraged. Yay!


  • Best Performance by a State Tourism Bureau
    • Nevada – The Welcome Center provided us with a CD with music and fun facts to amuse us as we drove through the stark Silver State. It so surpassed the typical tri-fold paper brochure. Just thinking about the jaunty music has us hitchin’ up our britches and callin’ for our ponies!


  • Best Tacky Outdoor Art
    • Steer Head – This giant head elicited gasps from both of us as we saw it in a tacky sculpture garden directly on Highway 90. Who is the artist? Why??? We figure it was for our driving pleasure. We were visually pleased.


  • Most Beautiful Outdoor Sculpture
    • The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO – The sun gleaming on this exquisitely simple structure is absolutely lovely. We were lucky enough to be there on a bright day. It’s mesmerizing.


  • Best Betting Results / Luckiest Venue
    • Keeneland, KY – We are happy to announce that we won enough from our betting on the horses to pay for our shots of bourbon.


  • Best Presidential Interaction
    • Glenda back-to-back with Harry S. Truman – This interaction beat out the bronze presidential statues of Rapid City, SD (2nd place), the carved faces on Mount Rushmore, the boyhood home of Abe Lincoln (which was closed), and Thomas Jefferson who was a footnote at the Museum of Westward Expansion.


  • Best Stranger Photo Shoot
    • Glenda’s portrait of “Fake Bono” at Las Vegas sushi bar over Sue’s left shoulder
    • Glenda’s portrait of “Mountain Man” at the Ritzy luncheonette over Sue’s left shoulder
    • Honorable Mention goes to the professional photographers (total strangers to us) at the Truman Presidential Library who approached and asked if they could photograph us for pictures to update their brochures and website. Of course we happily complied!


  • Best Giant Nose
    • Thomas Jefferson’s at Mount Rushmore – We both easily agreed that his were the best nostrils, too.


This was a very close race and the winner eked past the others by a giant nose.


  • Most Unusual Sign
    • The Urine Palette – A picture is worth a thousand words. See photo from Death Valley below.
Urine Palette

Urine Palette


Where does a woman check her firearm upon entering the rest room?



4 thoughts on “And the Award Goes to…

    1. Glenda Post author

      Not sure! I believe it was the left as the right was out on disability for part of 2012.

  1. Lee

    The continental divide has to do with the waterways and whether the water goes west into the Pacific or east into the Atlantic. I mean waters east of the CD go into the Atlantic and those west of it go in to the Pacific. I think.

    I am exhausted reading the addendum. I hope I did not miss anything. But did you award the best Jersey Connection story?
    How about the award for the latest dinner in the most southern state with the most charming daughter of a New Jerseyite?

    Just suggesting…

    1. Glenda Post author

      You can only imagine our exhaustion writing it! We definitely encourage our reader(s) to savor the material in small bites. Thanks so much for the CD definition. And we love your new award suggestion. We are on it!!!

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