Oh, MAN, @Mindthinkr, what a way to ruin your vacation if not future travels alone. Invest in some pepper spray and carry it when you go out.
I've always traveled alone, all across and up and down the U.S. I've never encountered any problems, although I'm 5-10, athletic, and have a look that says "Go ahead and try something so I can kick your ass." I know this because when I used to go out with girlfriends, they would all get hit on (or picked up!) and I would be left to go home alone. When I asked my friends about it, they all said I have an "Eff you" aura so I scare off the guys. I actually would try to kick some guy's ass if I were accosted so I guess it's true. (And no, I wasn't a butterface, I used to be a photographer's model and never broke any cameras. That I know of.)
The only time I got weirded out was walking from Nogales, Arizona to Nogales, Mexico. I had planned to go into all the shops for some great bargains, but once in Mexico I felt uneasy, so I walked around a few blocks non-stop, then back into Arizona. It was just a feeling, but one I had never had before. So I paid attention.
The only other "strange encounter" I had was in southern Indiana on my way to Kentucky, about 3 a.m. I pulled into a rest area planning on spending the night there. There were three or four little picnic shelters, all with lights, scattered along the roadway in. Under each of the lights was one man per shelter, all doing "poses" as I drove by. I figured I was not in their demographic, but still, I drove on into Kentucky to spend the night.
@Prevailing Wind, your vaca blog is FANTASTIC. I especially liked your Arkansas one since I spent all my summer vacas from a wee kid through college on my aunt and uncle's farm in the Ouachitas. Way back before Interstate highways, my mom driving and me in the back seat of her Studebaker convertible, we took highway 67 down Illinois, through St. Louis and into Arkansas. Two hundred miles out of Walnut Ridge, there started a series of billboards in the shape of a salad bowl stating how many miles/minutes to the Salad Bowl restaurant. So, of course, we stopped at the Salad Bowl for lunch on every trip. Once we spent the night in Walnut Ridge, that was a big event.
One of our more memorable trips was taking the Toad Suck Ferry across the Arkansas River. The ferry was retired in 1970. I remember that trip quite well, even though I was a wee tyke at the time. My mom was bold driving that big Studebaker onto the wooden ferry. I was deathly afraid of bridges and water so I think I blacked out for most of the float across the river once we drove on board. But it was the talking point of our vacation for that year and years to come.
Thanks for that recipe @Browncoat. I will def make some and report back. Yum!