News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America.
Sightings Vol. 10, No. 2 February 28, 2014

Hey February...

...don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out. Even the smiling stucco Snowman of North St. Paul would agree this past month was perverse. The US endured stretches of road trip-suppressing blizzards, ice storms, and freak weather. Even in moderate climes, there was faint encouragement. We drove down California's Central Valley last week, where every third orchard appeared to have been taken off life support due to the drought. Talk about depressing. February teased us with worthy Black History Month and Presidents birthday landmarks, and the good news is that they'll still be there to visit when Mother Nature is back on her meds.


Monuments Man

HIstory in Granite dedication.The always gracious Mayor Jacques-André Istel invited us to attend the official unveiling of the History of the United States of America in Granite, in Felicity, CA, on Feb. 22. It's part of his ambitious project chronicling civilization, science, the arts, parachuting and the French Foreign Legion. Mayor Istel wrote the monument text himself, highlighting milestones from "World War I" to "Male Potency Remedies" on 100-ft. stone panels engineered to last 4,000 years.

U.S.A. History in Granite Dedication


Atomic Test Sites: No Souvenirs

Project Gnome Site.In our zeal to provide you with a rich Atomic Tour experience, we strive to provide directions to all the important nuclear explosion test sites. Unsurprisingly, they're in remote places, lacking t-shirt stores or charming Googie cafes and motels. But a lonely historical plaque and Cold War vibe can be worth the bumpy drive, as tipster William Breiland found when he made it out to the Project Gnome site in New Mexico. It's considered safe for day visits, but remember that digging for fused glass or pocketing a jar of atomic explosion dirt is currently forbidden. Come back in 4,000 years.


Spotted by Tipsters

Rock Houses.The prehistoric-looking Vermillion Cliffs Rock Houses, including the Old Cliff Dwellers Lodge that was built by a former Ziegfield Follies girl in the 1930s, proved to be a photo-worthy stop for tipster tenkism in Marble Canyon, Arizona.

Day yhe Music Died Mural.Traveler James Peuster shared with us The Day The Music Died Mural, accented with floppy corn ears, near where teen plane crash victim Ritchie Valens went to high school in Los Angeles.

Lucky Cat Museum.From somewhere within the labyrinthine former home of the American Sign Museum, Shelley Berman tracked down the all-smiles Lucky Cat Museum of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Humphrey's grave.Presidents landmark fanatic Kurt Deion finished his quest to visit the graves of every U.S. President and Vice-President with a trip to Minnesota and eternally slumbering Hubert Humphrey. Kurt sez the Roadside Presidents iPhone app helped with some of the nitty gritty directions as he's pursued other obscure Presidential sights. And he's sent us plenty of photos.

Check out more discoveries in the very Latest Tips.


Field Fresh

Recent visit reports & researched rarities. Perhaps the Anti-Gravity Monument could help the Droopy Crosses.


Tourism News

LEonard KnightRIP Leonard Knight, 82, creator of the multichrome Salvation Mountain in Niland, California. One of America's most literally colorful folk artists; preservationists vow to keep the Mountain intact.

Chain Reaction.After years of Cold-War-like brinksmanship, peace returned to Santa Monica, California, when officials decided not to bulldoze the city's atom bomb mushroom cloud sculpture, Chain Reaction. Made of chains, natch.

Templeof Sibyl.The oddly out-of-place pagan Temple of Sibyl in Bible-Belt Birmingham, Alabama, now serves as a traffic fatality shrine; it glows blue whenever someone in the city dies in a car crash.

Corvette Museum.The National Corvette Museum entered the realm of Roadside legend when a sinkhole swallowed eight of its cars. Ever-resourceful, the museum plans to turn the wrecks into a temporary attraction before the GM restoration.

Get more info about these and daily breaking news stories on the Roadside America Twitter feed.


Seen something big or crazy? Let us know!
The Team

Mobile Apps

Roadside America iPhone app Roadside America App for iPhone: Update 1.8.7 - iOS 7 optimized.
10,000+ USA/Canada offbeat attractions, inc. research targets and gallery photos not on the website. Fun trip tools. Option to open in Google Maps.

$2.99 on the App Store (inc. access to 1 region); addtl. regions or "All Access" is in-app optional purchase.
iOS 7 iPhone, iPod touch (iPad compatible)

Roadside Presidents App for iPhone: Update 1.3.7 - iOS 7 optimized.
More new pix, new places. Roadside Presidential sights are inspiring, amusing, and sometimes embarrassing! See the marks left by centuries of leaders and losers!

iOS 7 iPhone, iPod touch, (iPad compatible). Available on the App Store.

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Main image: Stucco Snowman of North St. Paul, Minnesota