Spring drives, gross wonders, ancient sites in America

View on hiking trail in Colorado.  Photo by Cassidy Ritter

View on hiking trail in Colorado. Photo by Cassidy Ritter

With the arrival of spring, what better way to travel than with an American road trip?  CNN mapped out 10 of the best spring drives from Maine to California and everywhere in between.  The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado provides great views, the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland and Virginia provides 591 different flower species and the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway in South California provides waterfalls, bridges and creeks.

7 gross wonders across America” highlights some unexpected and gross places to visit.  One of which is in Colma, Calif., where the dead outnumber the living by 899 at Necropolis by the Bay.  Another gross wonder is in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Morbid Anatomy Library.  Here dead animals are dressed in outfits and pose doing human like activities.

Illinois and Texas are among CNN’s list on “8 very old sites in the New World.”  Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Ill., is the oldest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico.  The Rock Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands in Texas is a collection of cave paintings and carvings created by prehistoric hunters and gatherers.


Work done year round at Kansas winery

Off the beaten path in McLouth, Kan., is Jefferson Hill Farm and Winery.  Year round, owner, Don Bryant, is constantly working on the vineyard.


Cassidy Ritter: Jefferson Hill Farm and Winery is located in McLouth, Kan.  Onsite is a bed and breakfast.  They sell an assortment of jellies along with five different wines.  The most famous wines are the “Jefferson Red” and “Indian Summer.”

Don Bryant: Right now is the time that we like to prune our grapes.  You know, adjust the trellis if required.  We’re probably almost halfway though with the process.  And then once growth occurs, there will be a requirement for the spring.

Ritter: In the wine cellar, the grapes are placed in the crusher and stemmer.  The juices are then placed in sealed wine tanks.  Wine yeast is added and tested for quality and taste.  This process is called fermentation.

Bryant: In fermentation, the majority of it occurs within about a week’s time.

Kris Johnson: I thought it was awesome.  It was very quaint and cozy, yet it’s very scientific- the whole process of making wine.  And it was fascinating.

Ritter: Said Kris Johnson, who recently visited Jefferson Hill Farm and Winery.  This is Cassidy Ritter with Kwirky Kansas.

Travel powered by the kindness of others

Photo by Matt Long

Photo by Matt Long

Leon Logothetis combined his passion for traveling and connecting with others into the Kindness Cab and Kindness One.  The Kindness Cab is a London taxi Logothetis used to drive from New York to Los Angeles helping those in need along the way.  The Kindness One is a yellow motorcycle with a sidecar Logothetis will use to travel around the world.

North Beach, Calif., is home to an all-American, hip bookstore and has been for 60 years.  City Lights Bookstore is not like any other bookstore.  City Lights Bookstore is home to many books not found outside of university libraries.  The store is split into sections such as Stolen Continents, Banned Books and Muckraking.

The Los Angeles Times has been doing series of 14 things to do or places to visit in 2014.  An article titled “14 offbeat destinations for 2014,” there are four offbeat destinations within the U.S.  The destinations range from Washboard Music Festivals in Ohio to the John M. Studebaker International Wheelbarrow Races in California.

Travel expected to increase in 2014

Cloud Gate in Chicago by Matt Long

Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) in Chicago by Matt Long


An increase in business travel, hotel construction and airline travel has travelers making more time for vacations.  International travel was up five percent in 2013 and predicted to increase to nine percent in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.  American road trips have also increased by four percent from 2013, according to an American Express Spending and Saving Tracker report.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) announced the release of the 2014 U.S. Travel Agency Regulatory Compliance Handbook.  This handbook explains the major federal statutes and regulations.  New assistance on the pending Hazardous Materials Rule is also in the handbook.

Supporting local business is one of the top seven ways to give back while traveling, according to a Huffington Post article.  Aside from supporting local businesses, travelers can give back by using public transportation, volunteering and being an ambassador of the place you visited.

Historic drive-in diner

Transcript for audio above:

[Background noise: burgers cooking on the grill, waitress saying, “I need a chocolate shake to go, no whip. Okay?”]

Cassidy Ritter:  Bobo’s Drive In has been serving customers in Topeka since 1948.

Lewis Spring: I started coming here, there were two Bobo’s when I started coming to Bobo’s.  The other one was a Huntoon and Lincoln and it was right next to the church that we went to. So after church my father would take us there and we would eat lunch there.

Ritter:  Since 2007, Richard Marsh has been the owner of Bobo’s.  To this day the recipes remain the same.

Richard Marsh: It honestly is a flashback to the 1950s, 1940s. And we’ve tried as much as we can, even in the modern day with credit cards, and Facebook, and Twitter and the Internet to preserve as much as possible that same handmade and delivered food process.

Ritter:  Along with the recipes, the history of Bobo’s brings customers through the door time and time again.

Marsh:  In this part of town, and in this market you know we stand out as something that has been successful for a long time.  And we do stand on the history that has made Bobo’s stand out in the mind of its patrons.

Spring: The reason I keep coming back to Bobo’s- I like the nostalgia.  I like the fact that it’s an old school drive-in diner and you just don’t see them anymore. And I like Americana. I like things that are very American and it’s a dying breed.


This old sign is in front of Bobo's Drive In attracting drivers from 10th Avenue in Topeka.

This old sign is in front of Bobo’s Drive In attracting drivers from 10th Avenue in Topeka.

On the wall, is a collection of photos showing the history of Bobo's.

On the wall, is a collection of photos showing the history of Bobo’s.

Inside Bobo's is a half-circle bar.  Behind the bar is the kitchen.

Inside Bobo’s is a half-circle bar. Behind the bar is the kitchen.

Travelers be aware of airline changes and winter storms

Delta Air Lines changed its frequent- flier program to reward customers on the fares they pay as compared to the miles they travel.  Delta is “the first of the so-called network carriers- large, hub-oriented airlines with international service-in the U.S.” to base their rewards on the cost of the ticket instead of the miles customers travel.

British Airways recently added Austin to their list of stops making “Austin one of the smallest U.S. markets able to boast of trans-Atlantic airline service.”  The first flight will be flown on the Boeing Dreamliner, the world’s first passenger jet made of carbon mixtures instead of aluminum and steel.

Winter storm captured by Dale L Puckett

Winter storm captured by Dale L Puckett

Winter Storm Titan is creating major travel problems across large areas like Washington D.C.  More than 2,100 flights have been canceled across the U.S. Monday with more than 3,000 delays, according to FlightAware.