Coolest roadside attractions

Courtesy of, Coolest roadside attractions | Cadillac Ranch | Largest ball of twine:

10. Martini Drinking Elephant – Fortville, Indiana
9. Bigfoot Discovery Museum – Felton, California
8. Jimmy Carter Peanut – Plains, Georgia
7. 7 POPS Diner – Arcadia, Oklahoma
6. Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum – Jupiter, Florida
5. W’eel Turtle Sculpture- Dunseith, North Dakota
4. UCM Museum – Abita Springs, Louisiana
3. World’s Largest Ball of Twine – Darwin, Minnesota
2. Gatorland – Orlando, Florida
1. Cadillac Ranch – Texas

I’m chuffed that #10 is the martini-drinking elephant from Fortville, Indiana, but that really makes me think this list is pretty off, especially since I’d consider Dinosaurland in Virginia, or The Big Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma or even The House on the Rock in Spring Green Wisconsin, to be much bigger and cooler roadside attractions than many they have on this list.

And there are a host of cool sites that I haven’t seen yet, like the Corn Palace in South Dakota, or South of the Border, in South Carolina that should probably make a list of “Coolest” roadside attractions.

Cute article, and some things to add to our travel list, but not definitive by any means.

Continue ReadingCoolest roadside attractions

Giant Inflatable Dog Crap Escapes Moorings, Wreaks Havoc

I shit you not — Paul McCartney American Artist Paul McCarthy created, for an art exhibit called “East of Eden: A Garden Show” at the Paul Klee Art Center in Switzerland, a giant inflatable dog shit balloon. On July 31, it was the victim of high winds and blew several hundred meters, damaging power lines and windows, before landing on the grounds of a children’s home.

McCarthy Shit Installation
McCartey Shit Installation

I’m putting this post in the category of Culture, but I don’t really mean it.

Seriously, though – I want to be as rich as Paul McCartney, so I can create GIANT INFLATABLE DOG SHIT for people’s garden shows. Because that is clearly a man who can say fuck you to the whole world.

Lisa kindly informs me that it wasn’t rocker Paul McCartney, but rather American Artist Paul McCarthy, who created the giant dog pile. Damn. That really takes a lot of the fun out of it right there.

Wait. No, it’s still really fun.

Continue ReadingGiant Inflatable Dog Crap Escapes Moorings, Wreaks Havoc

Damn, where’d all my free time go?

I’m sitting here making out our “To Do” list for this weekend, which includes:

  • Putting together new treadmill
  • discarding non-functioning television
  • putting loads of stuff on ebay or craigslist.
  • taking all the recycling to the recycling center
  • laundry, laundry & more laundry
  • Garrett’s birthday
  • Church on Sunday
  • Visit the rental house & install locks and pick up old lawn mower

I haven’t written a recap of last weekend’s festivities at the Kentucky Art Car Weekend yet – although all the photos are on Flickr so you can work out a general narration for yourself. I must say, driving down the street being chased by a Giant Red Phone that keeps ringing at you is quite surreal.

I also took a spin around town yesterday hunting down some elusive Big Things – something I haven’t done in quite a while. Those photos are still on my camera, though. Will need to take them off this weekend, if I get the chance. I found a hippo that I thought had disappeared, and a giant tomato, and also found nice retro 50’s signage and a cool diner on U.S. 40.

I really need to rework my “Big Things” pages again. I so want to get comments on the pages, and there are lots of things I need to add. I hope now that Movable Type is upgraded to 4.1, I’ll have less frustration building new sections. Although the upgrade has stopped posting my links regularly, which I need to figure out. That’s annoying, because I’ve written a lot of funny commentary in link descriptions that haven’t made it to my site. My wit should be preserved for posterity, people.

Continue ReadingDamn, where’d all my free time go?

Giant Colgate Clock endangered

One of my favorite “Big Things” – the Colgate Clock – may be endangered.

Colgate Clock
Colgate Clock

The clock is the second largest in the world. Built in 1924, it sits on top of the Colgate-Palmolive plant in Clarksville, Indiana, near Louisville, Kentucky. We visited in April of 2005 and took photos of the giant clock, which can be seen for over a mile in either direction.

The Colgate plant is closing, and the fate of the giant clock is up in the air. The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana has the clock on it’s list of 10 most endangered historical sites.

Continue ReadingGiant Colgate Clock endangered

Big Things Photos – Back up and Running

My “Big Things” photo galleries are back up and running, finally, after some coding goofiness. In going through all the new photos, I realized I have hundreds of new ones to put online; I’m further behind on this project than I thought. But I have much easier ways to get them online, so that’s good.

I’ll point new things as I get them on the site.

Mr. Bendo
Mr. Bendo

Big Things in Indianapolis

Indianapolis’ Lost Big Things

Big Things In Indianapolis — Inflatables

Big Things Around Indiana

Big Things in Muncie, Indiana

Big Things Around the U.S.A.

2001 Midwest Big Things Road Trip

2004 Visit to Dinosaurland in Virginia

2005 Big Things In Louisville, Kentucky

Coming soon: 332 new “Big Things” photos, including our Big Things Road Trip to Kansas, and this summer, our Route 66 Roadtrip to California.

Continue ReadingBig Things Photos – Back up and Running

Road Trip

I’m just now realizing that in all of the concern and activity around the house, I totally failed to mention that I’m on vacation for a week so we can drive out to my cousin’s wedding in Pittsburg, Kansas.
We’re taking 1-70 across Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri; and from there, we’re taking I-44 down through Joplin, Missouri and into south eastern Kansas, where Pittsburg is located.
Stephanie and I decided to plan a leisurely trip out there, so we can try to photograph some Big Things and visit other roadside attractions. Here’s roughly the entertainment plan:
Effingham, Illinois – Giant Cross
Address: Pike Avenue, Effingham, IL
Madonna of the Trail
315 West Gallatin Street
Vandalia, IL
near brownstown
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
800 South Morrison Avenue
Collinsville, IL
Stay overnight in St. Louis and visit perhaps some of these attractions:
Big Shoe Made of Shoes
Address: 8300 Maryland Avenue, Clayton, MO
St. Louis Arch
Get a spectacular view of the St. Louis area from 630 feet up at the top of the Gateway Arch.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery
12th and Lynch Streets
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
4431 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri – City Museum
St. Louis, MO Directions: 701 North 15th Street.
On the road again:
Eureka, Missouri – Black Madonna Shrine
Black Madonna Shrine: Eureka, MO Directions: I-44 to Eureka Exit, turn left on Hwy W (Central Ave. N) and drive south to Hwy F-F to Shrine.
Buckhorn, Missouri – Giant Bowling Pin
North side of I-44, around the 153-154 mile marker.
Meramec Caverns – Stanton, Missouri
Three miles east of I-44 exit 230. Follow the signs. Impossible to miss.
Stubby Stonehenge
Rolla, Missouri
Precious Moments Chapel – Carthage, Missouri
4105 S. Chapel Rd., Carthage, MO
Springfield, Missouri – Big Fork
2155 W Chesterfield Blvd
Springfield, MO
Big Brutus the Giant Earth Mover
West Mineral, Kansas
Big Brutus: 6509 NW 60th St, West Mineral, KS
Six miles west of the junction of K 7 and K 102, then 1/2 mile south. Hours: Daily 9 am – 8 pm. Phone: 620-827-6177
Here’s where we’re staying in Pittsburg:
Holiday Inn Express
4020 Parkview Drive
Pittsburg, Ks 66762-2398
United States
Hotel Reservations: 1 888 HOLIDAY (888 465 4329)
Hotel Front Desk: 1-620-231-8700
Hotel Fax: 1-620-230-0154
Check-In Time: 3:00 PM
Check-Out Time: 12:00 PM
On the way back, we’re thinking of driving north to Kansas City on I-69 instead, and then taking I-70 back east. That way we could possibly see:
Kansas City, Missouri – World’s Largest Shuttlecocks
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street.
Kansas City, Missouri – Sinclair dinosaur
Sinclair Station at I-35 and Antioch Road
World’s Largest Concrete Soccer Ball: Kansas City, MO
Directions: Western Missouri Soccer League fields.
Kansas City, Missouri – America’s only World War I museum
The Liberty Memorial and its 217-foot-tall Eternal Flame tower
Kansas City Children’s Museum – Muffler Man
Indian Springs Marketplace
4601 State Avenue, Ste. 92
Kansas City, KS 66102
Columbia, Missouri – Beetle Bailey Statue
On Conley Ave, in front of the Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus.
Kingdom City, Missouri – Nostalgiaville, USA and Ozarkland
A shop full of 1950’s and 1960’s kitsch.
Ozarkland – SR 54 & I-70.

Continue ReadingRoad Trip