Woohoo! One year of Quirky Travel Guy

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QuirkyTravelGuy.com is officially one year old today! Feel free to send balloons. As long as they’re filled with helium so I can make funny voices.

Some people will tell you when they reach a blog anniversary that the time has flown by. Not me. It feels like I’ve been operating this site forever. That’s not a bad thing. I think it’s more of a reflection of all the time I’ve spent over the past year writing content, taking photos, traveling to new places, interacting on social media, and so forth.

It’s been a lot of work, but it’s so much fun.

It’s also a reflection of the online relationships I’ve built with many of you who read and comment here, as well as the other bloggers I’ve connected with. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been interacting with some of you for a few months – it really does feel like it’s been longer than that.

I brainstormed a bunch of crazy ideas for the requisite anniversary post but decided to go with a straightforward look back at some of the sights I’ve covered in the past year, with an emphasis on the quirky. Consider this a “greatest hits” post, with a few underappreciated B-sides tossed in. As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing!

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Lost Springs, Wyoming: Town with 1 resident

A report on my visit to one of the few towns in the United States with an official population of 1. After I visited, the new census results were published and the population rose to 4, so it’s not quite as unique anymore.

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Five things to see and do at Death Valley National Park

Whenever people ask me about my favorite national parks, I always mention two: Yellowstone and Death Valley. DV surprised me, because I wasn’t expecting much, but I got to camp under the stars while listening to howling coyotes, observe brilliant-colored rock formations, and see snow at the top of a nearby mountain peak.

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Hang with (wax) celebs at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood

Visiting the world-famous wax museum was way more fun than I thought it would be. I got up close and personal with Will Smith, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and dozens more.

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July 4 memory: A redneck holiday at the Greeley Stampede

I like moving out of my comfort zone whenever possible. Spending the 4th of July at a country music festival and rodeo is about as far out of my comfort zone as I can go! And it was a great time. The fried Snickers was good. I should’ve tried the fried bull testicles, though.

All about Cleatus, the lone American crocodile who lived at Dry Tortugas for 14 years

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Reliving history through Boston’s Granary Cemetery

Cemeteries fascinate me, even if I don’t know anyone buried there. Granary Cemetery in Boston is cool because it’s downtown, right across the street from skyscrapers. And it contains the graves of all the Revolutionary War figures you studied in middle school, like Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams.

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Quirky Attraction: The Wieners Circle

If you enjoy being viciously berated while you order food, check out the Wieners Circle, a Chicago hot dog stand where late at night on the weekends, drunken patrons show up to engage in a back and forth verbal assault with the employees.

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Crazy Horse: The monument that may never be finished

If you’re gonna build a monument, you might as well go big. That’s what the creators of Crazy Horse decided to do. This giant South Dakota rock sculpture honoring a Native American hero has been in progress for 73 years, and it’s not even close to being finished.

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White Sands, New Mexico: The beach without water

This national monument contains dunes made of fine white sand. There’s absolutely no water and almost no trees. It’s the closest thing to the Sahara Desert that you’d find in America.

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I went to the Mormon Church grounds and they didn’t try to recruit me

As I walked cautiously into Temple Square on the Mormon Church grounds in Salt Lake City, Utah, I began looking suspiciously at the other folks on the premises, wondering which ones were the “undercover” Mormon recruiters I’d heard so much about…

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Awesome weirdness: The bridge bats of Austin

Every night in Austin, Texas, millions of bats emerge from underneath a bridge where they rest during the day, creating a spectacular scene as they fill the night sky, and lots of gawkers stop by to watch. Some even join “bat cruises” on the river. I stopped by one evening to witness the madness for myself.

I can’t wait to share more cool places with you during year #2!

About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Looking for a hotel? I always recommend Booking.com where you can easily compare hotel rooms, prices, and availability. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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  1. Congratulations on one year of blogging! You’re right — it’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun. What a great excuse to travel!

    My favorite location you mention is Death Valley. We really want to go there. I would like to ride my bike across it. That’s seriously one of the top three things I must do before I die.

    Here’s to another year of great travel and fun writing and connecting! Take care.

  2. Congratulations on the anniversary – very exciting! 🙂 I almost made it to the White Sands in New Mexico too, yet instead visited the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado – they were beautiful, and the sunset was absolutely stunning. Wishing you many more years of fun!!

  3. Congratulations on your one year anniversary. I’ve enjoyed following your blog. It was probably your previous post that raised awareness of Lost Springs and brought the population up. You’ve got influence! I like to visit cemeteries, too. I think Mother Goose (Mary Goose) is buried at the Granary, too.

  4. It’s been a fun year! I think I found you last spring and have enjoyed the quirky. I have always wondered – do you have a “normal” job as well as this blog?

    1. Thanks Mary! My main job is freelance writing for various music & news sites, so it’s pretty much all writing, all the time. Working from home in my pajamas is nice!

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