Tag Archives: american pickers

This hidden Two Lane mountain town of less than 500 celebrates traditional Appalachian music inside their century-old country store every Friday night.

Park your car on S. Locust Street and start walking towards the glowing banjo perched above the green and white striped awning. Like a neon navigational light, you move closer to it until you begin to hear the sounds of banjos and fiddles. The sweet smells of something delicious spill into the streets and wrap around the crowds waiting to get inside the Floyd Country Store tonight.

Standing as a piece of historic significance in Floyd, Virginia for more than 100 years, generations of all ages make the pilgrimage to the store to hear and play the bluegrass and old-time music that’s rooted here. Pay your $8 cover at the door, order a pinto platter with all the fixins, and take a seat. The Friday Night Jamboree is about to start.

For 35 years, the folks of Floyd have been hosting these “pickin’ parties” inside the country store amongst the peanut brittle and penny candy as a way to remain connected to their community through fellowship and music. The past four years, store owners Heather and Dylan Locke have been running the shows are ready to celebrate!

 The past four years, store owners Heather and Dylan Locke have been running the shows are ready to celebrate!

“The music and dance around Southwest Virginia is as important as anything else,” explains Dylan. “It brings people together and has been doing so for centuries. Our Friday Night Jamboree has  become an important part of the legacy of traditional music and dance and will continue to provide a gathering space for years to come.”

And it has!

The Floyd Country Store hosts visitors and musicians from all the world for a weekend-long celebration in this one-stoplight town. Beyond the Jamboree, they host concerts/dances on Saturdays, old time/bluegrass jams on Sunday. They also offer a workshop to teach traditional music and dance styles.  

So what makes this Jamboree so special that people travel from all over to experience it?

 

“I think the chaos and saturation of media and hashtags make us all crave the places, sounds, and dishes that remind us of our youth and hometown,” says Dylan. “It’s nice to unplug and find some of thesoul revival Floyd provides.

We recommend showing up early and having a home-cooked meal (Heather’s own recipes!) prepared by the team. Her Brunswick stew and key lime pie are not to be missed! Be mindful where you sit because people have been attending the jamboree for so long that they have reserved seating near the stage! Just as you’re scooping up your last delicious bite, the music will begin.

“This is a unique celebration that takes place in our small community every week and provides an opportunity for us to join together in fellowship,” explain Dylan. “There are not many places left in the world where there’s such simplicity and authenticity around music, dance, and storytelling. The ties to the traditions of the mountains are so deep and natural here.  The Jamboree offers a sincere representation of how life has been here in the mountains of Virginia for generations.”

 

The best part is, similarly to a Texas Dance Hall, The Friday Night Jamboree is a family-friendly event!

“You will see 2-year-olds, 90-year-olds and college students on the dance floor together,” explains Dylan. “The environment of the Floyd Country Store with the history of the old building and all of the throw-back items on the shelves all combines to provide an atmosphere like no other. When folks visit on a Friday night, they can feel and see the community’s love for its traditions and are welcomed with open arms.

Dylan is preserving more than just town traditions — He is preserving a small business across the street too! He rescued County Sales, the local record store across the street from the country store. When the general store reaches its 250 person capacity, the music spills out into the street in front of it! (Fact: The detailed, handpainted sign out front was done by Greg Locke — a local who has painted all the windows and business signs on Floyd’s Main Street.)

There are many fun moments during the event, but a favorite Jamboree tradition for Dylan is the kids dance.

“The band clears the dance floor of everyone older than 12-years-old for a dance tune. At the end, the adults throw their pocket change out on the floor for the kids to scoop up so they can go buy some more penny candy and ice cream. I love how young people understand the importance of this culture and that the elders are so happy to encourage them to love it even more.” 

Places like Floyd, Virginia and their Friday Night Jamboree are the authentic experiences we all hope to discover when we travel the back roads. They make us appreciate those simple things in this world.

“Life on Two Lanes for us is about pulling people away from the digital world and getting back to simplicity. We promote that lifestyle in Floyd and it provides experiences for people that are meaningful and potentially transformative. We are encouraged by all of the young people in our community who are and will be carrying on our traditions and continuing to keep the music playing for generations to come.”

FOLLOW Two Lanes for more back road destinations 
 
Learn more about Floyd, Virginia and the Friday Night Jamboree HERE
 
Floyd General Store reminds us of the ones in Mike’s TN neck of the woods. (Check out his favorites on the back road general tour Mike created last summer!)
 
 
 
 
 

 

1 Comment

In our Two Lane travels, we have discovered a handful of small towns each with their own unique history and charm. (Some with fewer than 1,000 people!) We’ve gone through our travel log and compiled a list of our favorites to share with you for your next back road drive.

Don’t forget to tag #ontwolanes so we can follow and share your adventure!

Main Street Galena, Illinois. Photo courtesy of www.platomadison.org

GALENA, ILLNOIS

Ask any local why they live in Galena, Illinois and chances are they’ll respond much like store owner Joe (a.k.a. Buzz the Drifter) Sprengelmeyer did on a recent trip we took to this picturesque town. We’re not lying when we say picturesque….this place really does look like a POSTCARD.  A postcard that hasn’t changed much since its lead ore boomtown days over 150 years ago.  

Galena is one of the few places left in America that’s literally been untouched, with over 85 percent of its buildings landing on the National Historic Register. You’ll find a 118-year-old blacksmith shop, authentic Italian pizza, and the longest running antique store in town,  La Belle Epoque (the “beautiful days” in French, or put simply “the good ol’ days”).  Mike Wolfe has been picking in this store for almost 20 years!

EXPLORE MORE GALENA

 

LEFT: Downtown Oatman, Arizona via @patx1 RIGHT: Oatman Hotel Resturant via @maria_runesson

OATMAN, ARIZONA

Fun Fact: Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon here in 1939. The 135 citizens of the town make their living selling handmade goods to travelers on Route 66. A must-see is the Oatman Hotel. Built in 1902, it’s the only two-story adobe structure in Mohave County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Write your name on a dollar bill and tape it to the hotel’s restaurant wall while you wait for your homemade chili and fried bread to be served. Take in the magnificent sights of the Black Mountains and feel the freedom of the open range.

Watch out for the wild burros! They run free ’round this Old West town. These friendly little donkeys, once used for mining labor, were set free back in the 1920s after a fire shut down the mines for good.  But they weren’t unemployed for long – they’re now the official Oatman Welcome Committee.

EXPLORE MORE SMALL TOWNS UNDER 1K LIKE OATMAN

 

Downtown Lanesboro. Photo via Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce

LANESBORO, MINNESOTA

Located in the heart of Bluff Country, this quiet, artsy town of fewer than 800 people is one of the best-kept secrets in the Midwest. Lanesboro is ideal for couples looking to unplug and be in the moment without the fast and flashy distractions of modern day life. We say that upfront because upon arrival you’ll most likely find yourself sharing the road with a horse and buggy on your way to breakfast.

The charm of this place comes from the fact that the entire town seems to be frozen in time. No buzzing neon signs, traffic lights, or fast food chain here! Every inch of Lanesboro is photogenic from its position along the historic Root River to its quaint town square filled with local goods.

If small town solitude is what you and your shotgun rider crave, consider Lanesboro your lovers getaway!

EXPLORE MORE LANESBORO

 

LEFT TO RIGHT: Former “The Wheel” owner AC Howell, building owner Mike Wolfe, current “Trek Bicycle Shop” owner Timothy Wakefield

COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE

This town, just about an hour south of Nashville has become one of Mike’s favorites.

You can often find him here wrenching on an old car in Columbia Motor Alley, grabbing a drink at Muletown Coffee on the historic square or a new pair of tires at Trek Bicycle Shop. The Columbia community is proud to be known as the “Mule Capital of the World” since 1817. The locals have been hosting the Mule Day parade and events annually since the 1840s and is one of the largest livestock events in the world.

Other attractions include the former home of President Polk, the century-old courthouse and the Chickasaw Trace County Park. It is a great small town destination if you are headed toward Tennessee to visit Antique Archaeology.

EXPLORE MORE COLUMBIA

 

Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez

 

NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI

In 1716, the French named this place after the American Indian tribe in the area called the “Natchez”. Being the oldest city along the Mississippi River, it was recognized as the hub of the steamboat era. (As you explore the city you’ll notice the steamboat anthem throughout.) 

With more than 100 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, wine tastings, browsing Antique Row, and catching mighty Mississippi River sunset at Bluff Park it’s not difficult to find something interesting while in town. Don’t leave without a bottle of muscadine hot sauce and Charboneau Rum — the first legally distilled rum produced in Mississippi.

EXPLORE MORE NATCHEZ

 

Follow Two Lanes on Instagram for more small town travel inspiration

 

 

 Antique Archaeology shirt is for the ultimate picker and motor oil fan. Includes zip codes for both Nashville and LeClaire stores.

 

 

 

1 Comment
A child holds on tightly as they weave their way between the cones towards the donkey jump on Lincoln Avenue. Photo Credit: Rory Clow
It’s fun and games in the street when the citizens of Steamboat Springs come out of hibernation.

Have you ever seen a marching band ski down the Main Street of your town? We’re gonna venture to say NEVER…

For the citizens of Steamboat Springs, a northern Colorado town bordering Medince Bow-Routt National Forest, it’s a sign that it’s time to come out and play. What first began as a way to help the locals combat cabin fever during the long mountain winters, has since developed into a series of snow-themed events to both entertain and energize the community. 

For four days in February, (6th-10th 2019) neighbors bundle up and head to Lincoln Avenue for what is considered the oldest continuous winter celebration west of the Mississippi, the Steamboat Winter Carnival. 

It’s a celebration on the Main Street of America’s winter playground and we won’t let you miss it! Here’s what you’ll experience.

Locals ride their horses down Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Photo Credit: Rory Clow

WHAT TO EXPECT

Snow. Lot’s of it.

The snow that falls in Steamboat Springs is referred to as “champagne snow” — a phrase that was coined in the early 1950s by a local rancher who said the snow tickled his nose like champagne. (The powder is so good that Olympians from across the country come here to train!) For the citizens here, snow is no burden, but the best way to play!

“Skijoring”, a local sport of a skier being pulled up and down Lincoln Avenue by a horse. Photo Credit: Rory Clow

Witness unusual events like skijoring, the donkey jump, and adult show-shovel races.

You’ll quickly realize that many of the events are fueled by actual horsepower — because even they deserve to stretch their legs in the winter! These mighty steeds get in on events like “skijoring”, a local sport of a skier being pulled up and down Lincoln Avenue by a horse. There are also adults seated on snow shovels which are tied to the back of, you guessed it, horses, for snow-shovel races. Trust us — the sight of this will make you forget about your numb face and fingers!

If you’ve got some little snow bunnies that you travel with there are a few events for kiddos too! The donkey jump (a crowd favorite) is a small ramp that can reach a distance of 40 feet! Local kids are eligible for the dog sled race where they’re pulled by their family dog down Lincoln Avenue.

Dogs and dads pull the little ones during the winter carnival celebration. Photo Credit: Rory Clow

Illuminated mountains and watch for the famous Lighted Man.

When the sun sets, everyone heads to the slopes for the Night Extravaganza on Howelsen Hill where you can expect to see daredevils jump through flaming hoops, skiers with flares parade down the mountain. Finally, the last one down the slope is the Lighted Man, a person of local lore. This skier descends the mountain wearing a 70-pound battery powered LED light suit, sizzling sparklers and a backpack with Roman candles shooting off his back just as the closing ceremony (a bright fireworks show) begins. 

LEFT: LED skiers make their way down the hill RIGHT: The famous Lighted Man descends wearing a 70-pound LED suit with Roman candles. Photo Credit: Rory Clow

Community camaraderie

We can all benefit from local events whether we live there or not. Joining others in celebrating their traditions and history helps us learn how we can be better in our own community. Because being neighborly is more than just a wave between shoveling snow or washing the car — it’s actively participating and celebrating everything that makes our towns unique.

Pack a bag of our cold weather gear and we’ll see you on you in Steamboat Springs, Colorado February 6-10, 2019!

Click HERE for more Winter Carnival details

 
Winter Carnival closing ceremonies always include fireworks signaled by the Lighted Man. Photo Credit: Rory Clow
 

Steamboat Springs isn’t the only place with cool traditions and unique Main Streets! Here are a few more of our other favorite towns we’ve explored on Two Lanes:

 
 
 
1 Comment

In 1871, taking advantage of the Homestead Act, Mary Rickman Anderson and her husband David paid the $10 fee and headed out across Kansas to claim their 160 acres. The family’s first home was a sod house, so poor that their children slept in beds suspended from the cellar rafters – the only way to protect them from snakes and insects. After David’s death the following April, Mary, and her eight children had to work extra hard to keep their land but they did, and eventually, they built a new home from limestone found on their property. And 18 years later, in 1889, Mary finally had full ownership of the farm after she made the final $8 payment on the land.

LEFT: Francesca Catalini outside an abandoned building. RIGHT: The 1889 home of Mary Rickman Anderson and her children
LEFT: Francesca Catalini outside an abandoned building. RIGHT: The 1889 home of Mary Rickman Anderson and her children

This is just one of the many stories that Francesca Catalini, 32, uncovers every day as she documents the histories of the disintegrating structures across the Kansas prairies.

abandoned-kansas-6
LEFT: This mill produced flour from 1875 to 1941 along the Cottenwood River. RIGHT: Church of Lost Springs from 1821.

“I moved from Colorado three years ago to a small town just outside Wichita,” explains Francesca. “Out west, I was accustomed to shooting mountains and old abandoned mining towns. My first week in town I began exploring the Two Lane backroads. I’d drive for miles with stretches of nothing then suddenly happen upon a crumbling building in the middle of nowhere. Like a moth to a light, I’d find myself outside my car, knee deep in prairie grass, with my camera clicking away.”

The only problem: When she was ready to post her photos on Instagram, Francesca had no idea how to caption the images. Rather than resorting to a worn out cliché about “the road less traveled,” she took prints of her photos and began knocking on the doors of the neighbors and farmers nearby to see what they knew about these ruined buildings, information she could use to caption her art. What began as a hobby has now evolved into a full-blown preservation project as Francesca works to save the stories of the small towns and settlements that dot the Kansas prairie.

“I’ve come to find that farmers know everything. If you consider generations of the same family cultivating the same soil for all those years, you can bet stories have been handed down about the area.”

abandoned-kansas-4
At its peak in 1910, this Kansas ghost town had 21 residents. It was just a small stop along the railroad, but the town couldn’t have been more alive. Above city hall, there was a dance floor. On the weekends a band would play up there, the music spilling out into the streets. All that remains is this farmhouse.

On top that, Francesca uses “old school” research tools like the library, microfilm, genealogy books, newspapers, and the local historical society to help identify the subjects of her photos. Her favorite method is simply approaching the locals in town and starting a conversation — a concept that to some may seem as archaic as the structures in question.

“Strangers don’t talk anymore. I feel like we look down at our phones more than we look into the eyes of the people on the streets. I can’t tell you how many times these chance encounters have led to introductions with relatives, teachers, and community members who’ve helped me understand the impact of these places when they were in their prime. Sometimes simply asking about them brings back an appreciation for the soul of the town”

abandoned-kansas-3
Silos and ghost signs RIGHT: Lawrenz Feed Co. in Wellsville, Kansas dates back to 1884

The clock is ticking on the race to save these stories because many of the storytellers Francesca interviews are nearing the end of their lives. They hold the keys to the area’s history, and she feels keenly the responsibility to gather and preserve their memories about the places that shaped them.ve their first-hand experiences about the places that shaped them.

“Many of these places have little to no documentation and sometimes they’re 100-years-old. The unstable state of the structures with their sunken roofs, creaky floors, and remote locations can be intimidating. The current rundown state of general stores, churches, post offices, and mills should not dictate or lessen their significance. Their stories are radically important to the thread of the town. I never want people to walk past an old building, not knowing its role in the community.”

abandoned-kansas-5
LEFT: Fetrow General Store was a popular place to buy penny candy in 1927. RIGHT: an eerie mill rests in rust on the back roads of Kansas

Francesca hopes that her photos and their stories will inspire others to get curious about old buildings in their own state and beyond.

“Your personal experiences in your hometown give you roots there. What’s even more incredible to me is how a place that holds no ties to you, can latch on and make you feel part of it. It’s the emotional connection to the story that leaves a lasting impression. With each picture, every conversation, it’s my hope that I can take these memories and preserve them as an inclusive piece of local history through my lens.”

ABANDONED-KANSAS-2
In 1917, the Santa Fe Railroad laid its tracks right through the middle of this farm. At one time there was a lumber yard, two grocery stores, several houses, two elevators, and a depot. Today the land is still farmed, but the town is a ghost.

 Classic Antique Archaeology Target Logo embroidered on the front

 

 

36 Comments

scary-road-3

When Mike and the crew are in the van and on their way to the next pick, their favorite thing to do is get quiet and cue up a ghost story. They adjust the volume and tune in as Aaron Mahnke, creator of the popular podcast Lore, spins tales from small-town folklore. His way of telling the darker side of history reminds you of nights huddled up close to the fire with a flashlight on your face hoping to scare your buddies into a sleepless night.

Similar to the way the American Pickers rescue relics that tell the forgotten stories of our past, with his podcast Aaron preserves historic tales that have slipped through the cracks.

“Using the ancient tradition of storytelling to inspire and educate is one of the real joys of Lore,” explains Aaron. “I view the stories I tell the same way Mike views old motorcycles and gas station signs. These legends and his antiques originated decades, sometimes centuries ago and were significant enough to be handed down from generation to generation. I think it’s incredible how we both preserve history in our own unique ways for others to keep the stories alive.”

Both Mike and Aaron dust off the past, giving it new life by digging into local history.

“There are many incredible resources to tap into when researching a story (or pick) such as newspapers, archives, and photos. But the best resource is the testimony of the people,” explains Aaron. “Their details help make the stories I tell more relatable and in the end — more powerful. That’s how folklore works. It travels through the lens of time and is edited by the social climate of the day. The stories we inherit, tales that we pick up and share with each other over the years aren’t shiny and new. They’re antiques tarnished by time.”

Here’s your chance to hear one of those alluring tales told by Aaron in an exclusive Lore story that’s never been featured on the podcast.

Listen below (if you dare..) 

LORE-banner

 

Aaron Mahnke is the creator, producer, and host of the hit podcast Lore (Best of iTunes 2015 & 2016), Executive Producer of the Lore television show on Amazon (from the producers of The Walking Dead), and author of The World of Lore book series (Penguin Random House / Del Rey).

Order Aaron’s new book, Dreadful Places

Subscribe to Lore

For more spooky adventures on Two Lanes check out

5 of The Most Haunted Backroads In America

5 Haunted Historical Places That You Never Knew About

 
 
Take this Antique Archaeology hand thrown mug to your backyard fire, weekend camping trip!
 

4 Comments

canyon

Lonnie Isam Jr.’s legacy is an antique motorcycle endurance run that tests the true craftsmanship of century-old bikes

Mike Wolfe and Lonnie Jr. were friends who shared the belief that antique motorcycles shouldn’t be hidden away in barns and sheds for safekeeping but that they belonged on Two Lanes, burning oil and logging country miles as they were built to do. Both men grew up in the Midwest and spent their weekends at swap meets and chasing leads on bikes. They met and bonded over their love of ancient iron.

lonnie-jr
Lonnie Jr. doing some repairs on a motorcycle

“Lonnie was a knowledgeable antique motorcycle rider and restorer who believed these bikes were more than just something to put on display,” explains Mike. “I’d often call him from the road and ask him to help identify motorcycles and parts. He knew the ins and outs of a pre-1915 ride better than anyone I knew. He appreciated that the moment you fire one up and feel the heat from that engine hit your leg, you are experiencing generations of ingenuity and craftsmanship at work. He wanted people to understand that these bikes were built to take a beating and be run hard.”

In 2017, after battling cancer, Lonnie Jr. passed away, leaving a huge hole in the community of riders he belonged to. However, what he left behind shifted the way we view old motorcycles.

As a child, Lonnie Jr. grew up exploring his dad’s bike shop and going to Harley races. Growing up in motorcycle culture, Lonnie’s dad would take him to swap meets with $20 and he’d end up leaving with $100 worth of parts — a family tradition that made his dad proud but that the public education system didn’t much approve of.

lonnie-jr.-young-cannonball
Lonnie Jr. with his first Indian and nine-years-old

“Lonnie always said he wanted to build bikes that could cross the country,” explains his father, Lonnie Sr. “To do that, he needed to be as present in the antique motorcycle crowd as possible. His mother and I let him attend the meets until junior high. When they wouldn’t excuse him anymore, we put him in a private school so he could continue to pursue his passion. He still graduated with honors by the way!”

Lonnie later relocated to Sturgis, South Dakota where he opened his own shop, Jurassic Racing. Spending a large amount of time in a town that was famously known in the motorcycle community for its long-running rally and hall of fame, he was surrounded by antique machinery and motorcycle culture. At an early age, he became familiar with the story of legendary long-distance motorcycle pioneer, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. A man who fearlessly off-roaded his way across the country in the early 1900s on a two-speed Indian covering 14,000 miles in three months.

Cannonball-Baker-Motorcycle-Cannonball-1916-Indian-Powerplus-Antique-Motorcycle
Erwin “Cannonball” Baker

Fascinated by that level of endurance, Lonnie wondered if motorcycle legends like Erwin could make those miles without roads, why couldn’t riders today do so on the pavement with the same bikes.

Fascinated by that level of endurance, Lonnie wondered why, if motorcycle legends like Baker could make those miles without even a road, riders today couldn’t do it with the same bikes, on actual pavement. So in 2010, he created the Motorcycle Cannonball. Named after the motopioneer who inspired it and stretching 3,300 miles coast to coast, the endurance run, joined by his friends and other collectors on their pre-1916 rides, was designed to prove that antique motorcycles are still road-ready despite being welded and wired more than 100 years ago. They came, and the word spread. What started as a once-in-a-lifetime gathering is now a biennial event bringing together the antique motorcycle community for the trek across the Two Lane back roads of America.

threeamigos
Cannonballers riding their antique bikes

Since that first year, riders from all over the world have shown up religiously to put their bikes up for the challenge. In the six years between his first Cannonball and his untimely passing, Lonnie led more than 400 riders coast to coast. Routes have covered ground from Kitty Hawk to Santa Monica, New York to California, Florida to Washington, and New Jersey to California.  Cannonball’s fifth run was in September. More than 100 riders, this year on pre-1929 bikes, caught the crosswinds on 3750 miles of back roads from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon.

“As a collector myself, I sympathize with people’s fear about taking these motorcycles out of the garage, fretting about chipped paint, bugs on the headlights, or gas caps popping off.” explains Lonnie Sr. “You have to remember though, these motorcycles aren’t baseball cards meant for safekeeping. In reality, they were built to be run hard.”

Harley man making his way down the road/ Mike's friend Vinny ready to ride
Harley man making his way down the road/ Mike’s friend Vinny ready to ride

It’s for this reason, Lonnie made Cannonball not a race, but an endurance run. He established a point system for miles traveled without breaking for maintenance and for making it to the checkpoint on time. Every mile is worth a point with the total points equaling the total number of miles for that year’s race. (Yes, there are perfect scores each year!)

Lonnie organized hosted stops in small towns along the designated route to give the rider’s stiff backs and windburned faces temporary relief. This tradition allows participants to park, talk to the kids, and swap stories with other riders in the community before the kickstands go up and continuing on the run.

sidecar
Cannonballers arrive for a traditional community meetup

“The community stops remind me of the old days when people would come out to see traveling performers,” explains veteran rider and Cannonball’s official photographer, Felicia Morgan. “These meetups offer a glimpse back to a time when life was lived at a much slower pace. The motorcycles are traveling, functioning time capsules. A rolling museum if you will that appeals to people of all ages.”

Having all these riders together brings much-deserved attention to these incredible machines, but it also sparks new friendships in the motorcycle community. Though they may start out as strangers, the Cannonballers look out for each other, determined to see every rider complete the run no matter what comes down the road.

garage
Antique motorcycle riders repairing their bikes

“Lonnie was always worrying about the safety and satisfaction of the riders,” says his father. “He kept a close eye on the daily scores, and would frett over weather conditions or tricky terrain ahead, but he never trembled. He was able to ride 71 miles of the 2016 race on the 1915 Harley he originally sold (and bought back for 2016) in order to be able to fund the first Cannonball in 2010 — a pretty remarkable feat, since doctors had told him he’d not even live to see the year 2016. Even up until his last riding days, Lonnie was on the road with the other riders, Lonnie was in the lines with the other riders in triple-degree heat, holding umbrellas over them on the side of the road repairing their bikes. A true man of passion and endurance.”

old-motorcycles-cannonball-run
Sidecar leads a pack of Cannonballers safely across the bridge

The 2018 Cannonball was the first run without its founding father. To keep his memory alive, Lonnie’s parents gave urns to distinguished riders to carry with them as a way to honor the man who started it all. Riders were welcome to do what they chose — some opting to scatter his ashes along the route where riders broke down, knowing that’s where Lonnie would choose to be  –  wrench in hand, working to get the rider and bike back between the lines.

Mike's friend Frank who won Cannonball that year/ Hand-painted Harley
Mike’s friend Frank who won Cannonball that year/ Hand-painted Harley

Lonnie’s driving motivation was to get ancient iron back onto the road and his legacy continues, allowing collectors to show off the ingenuity, appeal, and craftsmanship of these incredible machines that still have many miles left on their tires.

“I consider it an honor to have had Lonnie as a mentor and friend,” says Mike. “It’s people like him and John Parham, who inspire me to continue with my own motorcycle preservation work. But their influence extends much further than bikes. It’s about creating something that lasts beyond yourself because those we touch during our lifetime will continue to carry out our passions. When we have the courage to build something bigger, to move the needle and make a mark…even when we are gone we are never forgotten.”

lonnie and john cannonball
John Parham/ Lonnie Jr. National Motorcycle Museum

Learn more about how to participate in the Cannonball Run

Follow Cannonball Run on Instagram and Facebook

Follow Two Lanes on Instagram for more back road travel inspiration

Photos provided by Motorcycle Cannonball

CLICK TO SHOP NOW
CLICK TO SHOP NOW

 

 

20 Comments

preserve-route-66-banner

Leading Preservation Group Invites Public to Get Its Kicks on Route 66 with Campaign to Secure Federal Historic Designation

Iconic highway named a ‘National Treasure’

WASHINGTON (July 2, 2018) – Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Route 66 to its National Treasures portfolio and announced plans to pursue National Historic Trail status for one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” The centerpiece of the campaign will be a month-long road trip to help preserve the “Main Street of America.” During the road trip, the organization will share the stories of historic sites along Route 66 and build support for the National Historic Trail designation.

“Driving Route 66 is the quintessential American road trip,” said Amy Webb, senior field director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “It is the most iconic, culturally-celebrated, and internationally-recognized stretch of highway in America. By promoting this authentic experience, we can help preserve a beloved icon and at the same time, revive local economies in rural communities.”

From July 2 to August 3, the National Trust, with support from presenting sponsor State Farm®, will hit the road for a month-long road trip that will travel the full length of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Through interactive storytelling and a full slate of roadside engagement events, supported by Airstream, Polaroid and Two Lanes by Mike Wolfe, this trip across the country will build support for the historic trail designation and offer a passenger-side view of the people, places, and stories that make it an icon of the American landscape. To see the road trip’s itinerary and support Route 66, visit  www.preserveroute66.org.

In tandem with the road trip, the National Trust will work with the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership to reach out to organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals across Route 66 to provide more information about National Historic Trails and what the designation could offer. National Historic Trails are nationally significant historical travel routes that are designated by Congress.  There are currently 19 National Historic Trails including the Santa Fe and Lewis & Clark Trails.  This designation offers opportunities for federal assistance.

###

Suggested tweet: @savingplaces names Route 66 a National Treasure and announces summer road trip with presenting sponsor @statefarm www.preserveroute66.org

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.savingplaces.org

About State Farm®
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and approximately 65,000 employees serve more than 84 million policies and accounts – more than 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies, and more than 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

About Antique Archeology
Antique Archeology is the home base of Mike Wolfe, creator and star of History’s “American Pickers” and inspirer-in-chief of Two Lanes, a USA-made brand for explorers of America’s back roads. In addition to the road trip, the National Trust is launching a unique crowdfunding effort with the company that will allow Route 66 enthusiasts everywhere a chance to support the campaign. Donations at a variety of levels will be rewarded with exclusive Route 66 merchandise from Two Lanes.

About Polaroid
Polaroid is one of the world’s most trusted, respected and recognizable brands, with a rich 80-year history built primarily on Polaroid instant cameras and film.  The company’s complete range of products was designed to deliver the fun, instant gratification and creative freedom for which the brand has long stood. Today, the Polaroid Classic Border Logo, rooted in the instant photo sharing that Polaroid pioneered, is the mark of genuine Polaroid branded products.  For more information, visit Polaroid.com.

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum, Polaroid Snap Touch and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.

About Route 66
Route 66 provided a vital transportation corridor connecting the Midwest with southern California. Commissioned from 1926-1985, it was the shortest, best-weather highway across the nation. A cross section of urban areas, panoramic scenery, tribal lands, and small rural towns, Route 66 travels more than 2,400 miles through 300 communities that more than 5.5 million Americans call home.

The hundreds of communities along Route 66 contain historic places, idiosyncratic character and cultural relevance. The independent businesses, roadside architecture and kitschy roadside attractions that originally flourished along Route 66 have gradually diminished as travelers bypassed Route 66 for the Interstate, and continue to be threatened. A permanent National Historic Trail designation will bring greater public interest and investment to these communities, support the preservation of authentic Route 66 icons and encourage the economic revitalization of this living, evolving corridor of Americana.

Media Contact: Andy Grabel, Associate Director, Public Affairs
202.588.6025 or 828.450.0507, agrabel@savingplaces.org

Fuel the campaign to designate Route 66 as America’s newest National Historic Trail by purchasing these American-Made gifts from Two Lanes produced in support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

route-66-tshirt

route 66 water bottle

journal and keychain 2

 

Shop Mike Wolfe’s All American-Made adventure brand, Two Lanes, inspired by 25 years of exploring the back roads.

slide-on-two-lanes-raglan

 

23 Comments

063018-LeClaire-KS-004

On June 30, 2018, Antique Archaeology hosted their 2nd ever Kid Picker Flea Market in downtown LeClaire, Iowa where the roles were flipped and the kids were the vendors and the adults were the customers. A total of 31 kids between the ages of 6 and 17 traveled with their families from all over the country to sell their antique/vintage/handmade treasures to the public—despite the sweltering heat index of 106 degrees! That didn’t stop the crowds of locals, tourists, Mike Wolfe, and his family, from coming out to support these young entrepreneurs.

Below are moments captured during Kid Picker Flea Market 2018 by LeClaire photographer, Kevin E. Schmidt/Maquoketa Studios.

063018-LeClaire-KS-059

The event kicked off with a motivational speech from the American Picker himself. Holding his 6-year-old daughter, Charlie, in his arms, Mike spoke to the crowd about celebrating a child’s mind and why it’s important to encourage a kid’s interest in collecting treasures, especially in the disposable/tech-saturated generation they’re growing up in. He also spoke directly to the kids urging them to follow their picking passions because they’re the ones who will be responsible for telling the stories of American industry and history for the next generation.

063018-LeClaire-KS-051Mike declared the Flea Market open with a loud yell as the kids ran down to the levee along the Mississippi River. They assumed their positions at their booths which they had decorated themselves with homemade signs, business cards, and displays.

063018-LeClaire-KS-054Picks ranged from traditional rusty gold and vintage advertising to toys and furniture.

063018-LeClaire-NS-010During market hours, local businesses hosted events, bike races (provided by the River Valley Optimist Club), food and drinks (provided by Big Dave & Holly’s), a history exhibit of the telephone (presented by the Buffalo Bill Museum) and an upcycled craft with old keys (presented by Unique Creations and Fancy Pants Boutique) made possible by the donation of the members of Picker Nation. Even the LeClaire Fire Department fire truck came by to deliver some sweet relief from the heat with a bit of water.

063018-LeClaire-KS-041

Mike stayed for the entire event walking around visiting each booth, asking questions, and buying picks.

063018-LeClaire-KS-063

Flea market goers enjoyed LIVE music from Finding Home — a kids only family band.

063018-LeClaire-KS-032Even Mike’s daughter Charlie had a booth set up with a little help from her Grandma Rheta, (Mike’s mom!)

063018-LeClaire-NS-002

The weather was hot, but the crowds were out in full force searching for their new favorite treasures.

063018-LeClaire-KS-050Mike added this foam gator head to his collection of oddities like Wolfe Boy, Gypsy Gramma, Oddfellows skeletal bust.

063018-LeClaire-KS-025

The Twilight, a lavish Victorian riverboat and LeClaire gem, chauffered Kid Pickers and their families on cruises up and down the Mississippi River all afternoon.

063018-LeClaire-KS-060

The Kid Picker class of 2018 group photo!

For details of the event and inspiration on how to host one in your town visit Antique Archeology’s Kid Picker Flea Market Page 

 

Take this Antique Archaeology hand thrown mug to your backyard fire or on your weekend camping trip!

 

 

 

38 Comments