Summer Heated Fever Dreamers
Lirpa Anad Nitsud
glints in Alabama's August sun. The Forevertron
shimmers on the cracked concrete of an old Wisconsin schoolyard.
Heat never seems to faze the still-living creators of fantastic scrap artworks. In fact, the summer surge of curious visitors fuels these visionaries with pep, whether they're building and sculpting, or just talking about building and sculpting.
We envy their fry-an-egg-on-my-head energy, and make sure we spend time with some of them every summer.
Dr. Evermor's one-way ticket to God will be punched by the Forevertron, a dynamo-powered Victorian launch complex that he's been building since 1983. In an earlier life the Doctor was Tom Every, an industrial salvager... and if this all sounds confusing then we suggest you visit Dr. Evermor's creation, or at least read our story about it. All will become as clear as the Doctor's glass egg space capsule, possibly.
World's Largest Ball of Paint
Unlike most visionaries, Michael Carmichael created the World's Largest Ball of Paint as a collaborative project. He wants you to join in! Our visit in July found the ball in fleshy pink, coat #24,624, although that layer has been painted over dozens of times by the time you read this. The Carmichaels welcome visitors, and Mike has devised a special ball-painting system so no one gets messy.
Museum of the Weird
Austin's gravitational pull has long favored strange energies, and Steve Busti has fallen under its spell by amassing the densest (and best) collection of oddities in that weird-friendly city. From a giant creature frozen in ice to a Cursed Box that can never, ever be opened, the Museum of the Weird challenges those who would say that a statue can't make you pregnant, or that a human skeleton can't pull pranks.
Journey Through the Center of the Earth
Of America's earliest crackpot dreamers, the one with the grandest vision -- the only vision preserved in a monument -- was Capt. John Cleves Symmes. His tombstone is one of America's oldest postcard-worthy man-made monuments, because it depicts his theory that "the Earth is hollow and habitable within." Symmes died back in 1829, but still holds his place as a bold thinker well into the 21st century.
Although not farsighted in the strictest sense, "Devil Anse" Hatfield and Asa McCoy dreamed of a better world -- one without the existence of each other. Their respective clans became America's most popular bad neighbors, and you can follow their bloody, vengeful deeds along our custom Hatfield-McCoy Feudin' Trail as it snakes its way back and forth across the Kentucky-West-Virginia state line.
Spotted by Tipsters
Pigeon Takeout: Tipster glb had a memorable visit to the lotus-shaped Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, which concluded when the we-can't-harm-animals Hare Krishnas unexpectedly gave away a free box of live nuisance pigeons, which glb dutifully drove 140 miles before releasing.
Wild Whizzer: Combining a rare twin tree stump with a real toilet, an anonymous visionary created Cowboy Whizzer Tree, found in the Oregon woods by R Pearson, who cautions visitors to "stay in their cars," although more from trespassing concerns than possible splashback.
Dinosaur Survivor: Preserved as if in amber by dry Utah air, a rare Vintage Roadside Dinosaur was spotted by tipster Steph near Dinosaur National Park. Nearly 70 years old, the teal T-rex once had a car horn in its mouth that its gas station owner could honk at passing cars.
Old Salt Moai: If there were a roadside statue reuse-recycle award, it might go to the Huge Slickered Sailor Head seen outside a Massachusetts seafood restaurant by tipster Carol. The freakishly stretched skull looks familiar -- maybe because it used to be an Easter Island head outside a Polynesian restaurant.
Maze of Wood: Hedge mazes are elegant, corn mazes are earthy, but the Fort Custer Maze made of weathered wooden pallets found by Kara S. McC. looks like our-kind-of scary. There's no shade, it's huge, and "very rickety" according to Kara, but, "All of these things just make the maze more fun."
For more fun discoveries and updates from the road, head over to the Latest Tips.
Yesteryear Travel: Where the Sun Reigns!
Our latest rummage through the archival footage trunk uncovered this clip from a 1954 black and white travelogue selling the golden promise of Miami. Dad, Mom, and "little Lisa" watch alligator wrestling at Musa Isle Indian Village, then dress up for an elegant meal of ice cream. "You too can enjoy the same fun," promises the narrator, although if you didn't pack the right clothes you wouldn't get any ice cream.
Enjoy your end-of-summer excursions!
The RoadsideAmerica.com Team