Giant Head of Abraham Lincoln
No one heading west on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, can possibly miss this colossal, craggy Abraham Lincoln head towering over traffic at exit 323.
Lincoln's head was built by Wyoming's Parks Commission to honor Lincoln's 150th birthday. It was sculpted by Robert Russin, a University of Wyoming art professor and a Lincoln fan (When he died in 2007, his ashes were interred in the hollow monument). The head originally was perched at Sherman Summit, 8,878 feet above sea level, the highest point along the old coast-to-coast Lincoln Highway. When I-80 was completed in 1969, the head was moved here -- losing a couple of hundred feet (and any eponymous rationale for existing, really) but gaining a vast new audience.
The bronze head weighs over two tons and is 13.5 feet tall. It's perched atop a 30-foot granite pedestal, ensuring that it can be seen from quite a distance, and looking uncomfortably similar to box-bound Captain Pike from Star Trek (the original series). The head is intentionally oversized on tiny shoulders, like a cartoon caricature, and seems to be sagging from its own weight.
For coast-to-coast travelers, the Lincoln head is an easy stop; and the adjacent Summit Rest Area and Visitor Center provides a comfortable vantage for contemplating our 16th President. Ever vigilant, he stares southward.