Thursday, June 05, 2014

Long Way Round: American Pickers

The following post is one of many that documents the adventures of a family of bears as they turn a 10 hour road trip into a week long adventure while on their way to GeoWoodstock XII in St. Charles Missouri. If you are not up to speed, check out the introduction here.

Some days on the road seem to, without any planning or forethought, develop themes of their own. 

So far today (Wednesday), we had visiting the memorial to Buddy Holly, visited Field Of Dreams, and now we were going to visit the American Pickers store.

The theme, it seems, is pop culture.

American Pickers, if you are not familiar, is a show on the History channel.  It features two guys who search the back roads of America looking for hidden treasures of Americana and other historical artifacts that are buried in the back of barns, and in basements.  They purchase them, and resell them to their customers.   The show, while I am sure at times contrived and scripted, is based on their existing business, which is called Antique Archeology.

To polish off our tour of pop culture locations in Iowa, we visited the original store in Le Claire IA.

The  store front is pretty much what you see on the show.  Today it had a funky 3-wheel, one passenger car in the parking lot.

The first thing you notice when you walk in the store is this funky street graffiti style logo above the cash register.
The second thing you notice is that the place is packed full of things.  All old things, many of them still rusty and dirty.  Many of the items I recognize from various episodes of the show.   There are too many things to mention (tho the following collage shows off some of them), but there are very few things that are not odd or unique in some way.  Some of the things are for sale, some are not.
Also in the parking lot is one of the vans that the guys use on the show.
If you watch the show you will recognize the following car.  It is often featured in the little transition scenes shown between segments.   What they never mention on the show is that this car holds a secret. For in the trunk is a large letterbox hybrid geocache.
It is fun to visit a place you've only seen on TV.  It is also cool to know that, while this is a TV show, it actually is based on two real guys and one real business, and that those same two guys are still roaming the country side in search of the treasures and hidden items lurking in the backwater locations of America. 

As a geocacher I can certainly understand the attraction to that sort of thing. As a person with dreams it is inspiring to experience, if ever so briefly, the home base of two fellows who are chasing theirs. Inspiration, it seems, can be found everywhere, it even lurks under dirt and rust.