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Roadside News: Jan. 28, 2009

Frozen Putts: By this point in winter, snow sculpture stories have gotten pretty crusty.  But we can all appreciate the efforts of Frankenmuth, Michigan — home of the battling Bavarian chicken restaurants — which created a miniature golf course with hazards made of ice.

Grain Silo B&B: There’s already been a grain silo hotel in Akron, Ohio.  Now a farm in Carlton, Oregon, has gutted three of its silos and turned them into a bed and breakfast.  The reported experience is far from a barnyard. “My queen-size bed was sheathed in sheets of soft Egyptian cotton … I preferred stretching out in the bathroom’s Jacuzzi tub and letting the water jets loosen travel-knotted muscles.” Pampering has its place, but somehow this silo seems more true to the hard-working rural aesthetic….

Ames PyramidOff-Season at the Pyramid: Some attractions present special challenges in January.  A reporter from a Colorado cable TV station found that out when he drove to Buford, Wyoming, to visit the Ames Brothers Pyramid, which is a giant pile of rocks on an otherwise treeless prairie.  “As I approached from the north side,” he writes, “I was hit by a wind that was so strong it blew me off my feet. There I lay, being buffeted … My hands were bleeding from cuts inflicted by the rocks as I tried to catch my fall, and my wrist hurt so bad I thought it might be broken. I rolled away from the stone walls and lay there until I could get up and push my way through the rushing air and get back in the car.”

Fantasize at the Rock Sign: An octogenarian in Ontario, Oregon, has spent five years designing a welcome sign for his town — made of rocks from every stop along the historic Oregon Trail.  “These rocks, which will be surrounded by concrete, will be able to be seen and touched, allowing visitors to take a fantasy trip….”  Although the city council is nervous about the cost of the sign, which is estimated at over $100,000, local citizens are being invited to “get involved with the project by donating rocks to the effort.”  A similar rocks-as-windows-to-a-larger-world project has been underway for years in Littleton, North Carolina, with unknown results.

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