Category Archives: Mileposts

Travel stories and sites from Susan and Jerry Wong. Susan Hicks Wong grew up in Asheboro and currently lives in Greensboro, NC. She and Jerry, her husband, write about unique places they encounter while traveling wild and free across North America as long haul truckers in the Iron Dragon.

Sun Yat Sen Park and Gardens: Mental tonic in the big city

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

Jerry and I always enjoy our visits to hip downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but sometimes the oppressive gray skies looming over traffic-crowded streets cast our spirits down a bit.

The perfect tonic is for us to take a relaxed afternoon stroll through the perfect replica of a Ming Dynasty scholar’s garden in bustling Chinatown.

High-rise apartments tower in the background, but once you enter this classical Chinese garden, all is serene.

Continue reading Sun Yat Sen Park and Gardens: Mental tonic in the big city

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Revisit our Western past in 1880 Town, SD

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

In my frequent trips to downtown Asheboro, I’ve been really excited by the development of good restaurants, a downtown farmers’ market, funky loft apartments and even a few … BARS and CLUBS. (Oh, my! Clutches pearls, fanning self.)

The town center has managed to keep its feeling of old-fashioned charm while developing a hipster district of sorts. It’s definitely the town I remember from high school, but Asheboro has been changing in all kinds of great ways to be more livable and attract new residents and retain younger folks. And that’s a good thing.

However … try to imagine a town where the attraction for visitors is NOT changing.

Continue reading Revisit our Western past in 1880 Town, SD

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Logging museum brings the past to the present

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

It was 6:30 a.m. on a quiet Sunday morning when Jerry and I decided to pull over our semi, the Iron Dragon, to check out the Collier Logging Museum and State Park along two-lane US 97 that runs through a heavily forested section of Oregon.

There is easily accessible parking along the roadside. I don’t believe the museum was officially open that early — we were the only visitors — but I imagine that they must get many school field trip buses and tourists visiting nearby Klamath Falls. Well-executed professional signage guided us through the huge open-air collection of logging machinery. Continue reading Logging museum brings the past to the present

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SALTON SEA: California lake reflects its beauty … and horror

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

Last year, Jerry and I had a free day and decided to visit the Salton Sea. Located in California’s Imperial and Riverside Valleys, in a state under siege from drought, the fate of this inland sea is fiercely debated.

The first thing we noticed about the Salton Sea — by area, the largest body of water in California — was its otherworldly beauty.

A water bird glided near the calm water’s surface and trailed the tip of one wing, creating delicate ripples in the harbor’s reflection. Palm trees outlined a cove from which you could see misty blue mountains across the water. A mother and her young daughter whiled away the morning, bird watching in brightly colored rented kayaks.

Continue reading SALTON SEA: California lake reflects its beauty … and horror

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Biosphere 2: Fascinating then, still so now

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

“Oh my gosh, look. It’s a real live roadrunner!” Our excited voices cut through the bone-dry Arizona midday heat as we waited for our tour to begin.
“He’s so tiny!” my husband says. “I thought a roadrunner would be, you know, bigger.” Continue reading Biosphere 2: Fascinating then, still so now

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Giant figures come to life: The Wayne Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose, SD

A fish bowl without water. Photo: Susan Hicks Wong 

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

When I was growing up in Asheboro, one of the favorite things my three brothers and I would do together was to lounge on our scratchy harvest gold sofa and watch endless reruns of “Roadrunner” cartoons on our flickering color television. We never tired of Wile E. Coyote’s elaborate plots backfiring as he attempted to outfox the Roadrunner by dropping Acme brand anvils and dynamite-laced pianos.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could wander through a bigger-than-life-sized surreal take on the cartoons of childhood? Well, you can experience just that at the Wayne Porter Sculpture Park, one-half mile south off I-90’s Exit 374 near Montrose, SD. Continue reading Giant figures come to life: The Wayne Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose, SD

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Stonehenge of the Pacific Northwest

Portrait photo of Susan and Jerry Wong
Susan and Jerry Wong

With its sparkling waters and sweeping views, the Columbia River Gorge separating Washington and Oregon is an inspiring sight. However, few people outside of the Pacific Northwest know that a stunning, full-size replica of England’s Stonehenge overlooks the Columbia off Highway U.S. 97 in Washington State near the Oregon border. Continue reading Stonehenge of the Pacific Northwest

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