Tom and Patti Burkett

Patti & Tom Burkett spend months of the year wandering the back roads and parks of North America between stints at their home in central Ohio. No fair weather travelers, they'll go north in the winter and south any time of year. She's the photographer, he writes, and together they sing, bake, explore, and start conversations.

Off the Beaten Path: A Little R&R and Guitar in AR

It p[ays to ask the locals when you're looking for interesting off the beaten path attractons. Take the time I stopped after dark at the city park in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. There were all-night bathrooms with showers and electrical hookups, but no signage at all about rules or fees.  It took most of an hour […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Piper Aviation Museum

One of the reasons we love our Roadtrek RV is that it’s useful for so many things beyond traveling. We’ve used it to haul lumber home for a project, and the big rear bed to transport wedding dresses to a church.  We like to think of it as our RUV, recreational utility vehicle. So we were […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: New Vrindinban, West Virginia

In 1959, a young pharmacist in India gave up his family, his business, and his professional life for the sake of a religious vision. Over the next decade he studied scriptures and began writing commentaries. His work became the foundation for the international Society for Krishna Consciousness, known in the U.S. as the Hare Krishna […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Symmes Chapel

We’d like to clue you in to one of our favorite mountain sights that you’re unlikely to find on a map.  Near Cleveland, South Carolina (see interactive map below) you’ll find YMCA Camp Greenville within the bounds of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.  The camp occupies 1,600 mountain acres at 3,200 feet, and has hiking […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path in The Smokies

Having been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park any number of times, and given that it's the most visited of all our parks, we didn't expect it to generate any off the beaten path reports during a recent visit. I'm happy to report we were wrong. Did you know it was possible to enter […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Shelburne Falls, Mass.

Boston and Cape Cod certainly have their attractions–think lobster, beaches, history—but Massachusetts doesn’t end at the shore. Head west into the mountains, and there’s a completely different landscape to explore.  Aside from the transportation hubs and the occasional college town, the villages are tiny, picturesque, and sometimes, fading away.  Not so in the berg of […]Read More

Off The Beaten Path: Mounds Abound in Ohio

As Europeans moved westward across the North American continent they found a variety of artifacts left behind by earlier cultures.  Even more have been discovered in recent times.  Think petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, cave art, and totem poles.  Throughout the Midwest and stretching south to northern Alabama and Mississippi can be found a variety of earthen […]Read More

Off The Beaten Path: East Coast Elephant Fun

Once in a while, exploring out-of-the-way places puts us on the path of a much greater adventure – checking out Cincinnati’s painted pigs, Lexington’s painted horses, and Fort Wayne’s painted frogs. Recently, we took a stab at finding some of the 47 unique Mr. Potato Head statues adopted by communities in Rhode Island. One of […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Big South Fork

We’ve often spent time at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee. The Green River, which runs through the park (see interactive map below), is great for swimming, fishing, and paddling.  There’s a restored mining settlement, an excellent interactive historical display, and an annual festival that […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Green River, Utah

As you drive along Interstate-70 in Utah, it’s easy to put on a music playlist and blow through without looking left or right.  If you do, you’ll lose out.  For example, the little town of Green River has several things we recommend (see interactive map at bottom of story).  If you happen to be there in […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Ghost Towns of Texas

Big Bend in Texas is not one of our most visited national parks but it’s certainly not off the beaten path. Even though this area of the southwest is extraordinarily dry and rocky, it’s not without its rewards for the sharp-eyed and patient traveler.  Half an hour west of the park you’ll find a ghost […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Capitol Reef National Park

Utah is legend for the sights you can see there—arches, hoodoos, swirling stone landscapes, cliffs and canyons. Visit in season and you’ll definitely be on the beaten path. But there are places even here that most people never see. Far from the interstate you’ll find Capitol Reef National Park (see interactive map below). This park is, at […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Giant Leg Sundial

We were on our trip with our 20-something niece headed for Madison, WI, and after 325 hard, fast mils we needed a break. “Hey!” I said, “Here’s a 16-foot high sundial that really tells time.” Everyone seemed ready for a break and to check it out. “There’s only one problem,” I said.  “It’s at a […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Junkyard Art in Michigan

A  trip took us to the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s upper peninsula. Our way home took us along M-28, on the southern shore of Lake Superior, where we passed a colorful metal sign advertising “Junkyard Art.”  Pulling off into a surprisingly large parking area, we chuckled at a sign that said, ‘Donations welcome but not […]Read More

Off the Beaten Path: Leominster, Mass.

By Anna Burkett New England towns have plenty of vestigial British references. One of these is the suffix minster, as in Westminster, which designates a town with a monastic center or a cathedral. Leominster, Massachusetts (see map below) cedes that distinction to its namesake in the old country, but does have an interesting history. It's the […]Read More