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Over the river, through the states

Over the river, through the states
Start the journey in Turkey, Texas, famed as the birthplace of Texas swing musician, Bob Wills.

With Thanksgiving Day quickly approaching, it was suggested that we consider a Thanksgiving article for our “Everyday Journeys” column. Pondering this, we asked ourselves, “What would we get if we combined our love of travel writing with Thanksgiving dinner?” A nationwide virtual road trip, of course!

Using a typical Thanksgiving menu, here is what our itinerary would look like: We would start in Turkey, Texas, best known as the birthplace of American swing musician, Bob Wills. It is a small town, population of just under 500, located in north Texas between Lubbock and Amarillo, near Caprock Canyons State Park. Here, they celebrate Bob Wills Day with a Texas-sized barbecue cook-off.

Next stop would be Spuds, Fla., named for one of its important agricultural products potatoes. It is located 15 miles from St. Augustine, and was the location of a camp for German prisoners during World War II.

Then we head up to the Township of Cranberry, Pa., close to Oil City (a moot point, since we aren’t frying our turkey). With a population of 28,000, it has been identified as the fastest-growing area of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

To round out our menu, we meander south to the tiny town of Corn, Okla., population 400. Back in the late 1800s, Turkey Red wheat, which grew well in this western Oklahoma soil, was introduced by the Mennonite brethren. Corn also claims to be the location of one of the first tornados captured on film in 1951.

Roll, Ariz., would finish off our main course. It is a small, unincorporated community in Yuma County, along the lower Gila River. It is near the Yuma Proving Ground and the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. It was named after John Roll, an early settler to the area.

The best part of Thanksgiving dinner has to be the desserts, so we head to Pie Town, N.M. It got its name from an early bakery that made dried-apple pies in the 1920s. On the second Saturday of each September, a Pie Festival is celebrated here. It is also the location of one of the 10 large radio antenna that forms the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which stretches more than 5,000 miles from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to the island of Hawaii. This system provides astronomers with the sharpest vision of any telescope on the earth or in space.

With dessert, you can choose either Hot Coffee, Miss., with Cream, Wis., or Tea, S.D. Add a little sweetness to either in Sugar Land, Texas.

Now, if turkey and all the trimmings don’t suit your taste, you can always visit Sandwich, Mass., a beautiful Cape Cod seaside town of 23,000. This is one of the oldest towns in the United States, founded almost 150 years before the American Revolution.

After enjoying Turkey, Spuds, Cranberry, Corn, Roll, and Pie Town, our final stop is Yum Yum, Tenn. Nap anyone?

Our virtual Thanksgiving Day road trip has taken us through 24 states and more than 10,900 miles. Although our stomachs may be full and our fuel tank empty, our appetite for adventure remains unquenchable.

We wish you “Happy Thanksgiving” and bon appetit!

Harry and Linda Kaye Perez are freelance writers from just down the road from Floresville. Together they share a passion for traveling and writing, and discovering the very best in all corners of the world. Email them at

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