...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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recent visit reports & researched rarities. Perhaps the Anti-Gravity Monument could help the Droopy Crosses.
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Ontario, Canada
RIP 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.
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.
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.
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.
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The RoadsideAmerica.com Team