SF Travel Profile: The Road Tripper

TaggyLee Mermis Bowers, 34
Elementary special-education teacher


Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.

In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.

Number of roadside attractions visited: 75

Standard road-trip provisions: Ruffles, Cheez-Its, Red Vines, dry-roasted peanuts.

Top three favorite roadside attractions?

The life-size replica of Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington, where you can actually touch the stones and pretend you’re a Druid. At the famous Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota, there’s a giant saddled jackalope you can mount to take a picture. Prehistoric Gardens in Port Orford, Oregon is home to a seemingly demented, bright-green T. rex and other jazzy life-size dinosaurs.

Which trip will make it into your autobiography?

I was studying abroad in England and met a cute boy at a Britpop dance club. I mentioned to him that it had been a lifelong dream to go in search of the Loch Ness monster. Soon thereafter, he rented a tiny booger-green car and chauffeured me all over the land of Scots for a week. Our last stop was Loch Ness. We drove 40 miles up and down the loch hoping to spot the monster, but no such luck. The cute boy is now my husband.

SF to L.A.: Advice?

If you take 101, two words: Madonna Inn (and don’t miss the pink-leather explosion at its Gold Rush Steak House). Take Highway 1 if you don’t mind going 30 mph behind an RV with an airbrushed nature scene in exchange for unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean.

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