Always more to see along America's highways. How many of these still pull in tourists? I'll let you guess. Another thing to ponder, how many of these sites are still alive? Again, I'll let you guess.

From coast-to-coast, there's plenty of weirdness to go around.

Paul Bunyan and Babe_tatteredandlost
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Paul Bunyan and Blue in Bemidji, Minnesota In the early fall of 1937, the Paul Bunyan Carnival was organized with Hector Brown in charge. Various organizations in the city were requested to take over certain parts of the program. Cyril Dickinson, of the Dickinson Construction Company was delegated to build a statue of Paul Bunyan. Earl Bucklen, (on right) mayor of Bemidji at the time, was used as a model. All measurements were scaled up three-to-one. The statue was built late in the fall and had to be covered with canvas while the cement was hardening.

In order to get some idea of the labor and materials which went into Paul's construction, Mr. Dickinson furnished the following statistics:
  • Concrete footings to water level: 5 1/2 tons
  • Weight of statue above footings: 2 1/2 tons
  • Height of statue: 18 feet
Built in the winter of 1937, 737 man-hours were used in the construction of Paul Bunyan. The statue is of wood framework above the footings, over which reinforcing bars form the outline. Heavy steel laths are over the reinforcing bars and cement stucco is applied to this. The reinforcing of the footings is of heavy steel and continues up through the legs of the statue. This was intended to be reinforced in such a manner as to withstand a high velocity of wind. The statue was painted at the time of construction and is touched up each year before the summer tourism season begins.

Paul's shotgun rested beside him for many years. Made of wood, it deteriorated over time and was removed. A replica of the gun is on display in the Tourist Information Center. (SOURCE: Visit Bemidji)
To read more click here.

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Though this reptile location, the Florida Reptile Institute in Silver Springs, Florida, founded in 1930, seems to have been a place where legitimate studies were done, more often than not I recall huge signs along highways telling of live snakes, alligators, bears, and two headed calves. I do remember us stopping at a place that had a dead stuffed two headed calf. I have never been able to get the image from my brain. I was not a happy camper at that place. It was somewhere in Nebraska or Indiana.

Bertha and Tina_tatteredandlost
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I remember seeing Bertha and Tina as an opening act for someone at the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada. Of course, they were not the only opening act. Emmett Kelly was also on stage before the "big" name came on.

You used to be able to see the pens where Bertha and Tina were housed down the road from the casino. I always thought it was so sad. I mean, what the hell were two elephants doing as sideshow material? Sorry, but there was simply no dignity to any of it.

Chandelier Tree_tatteredandlost
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Chandelier Tree: This redwood gets its name from its unique limb structure. The tree resembles an ornate chandelier. The drive-through tree park is open from 8am to dusk year round and offers a gift shop, picnic area, and nature walks in the forest. To reach the park: take the Leggett exit where Hwy 101 junctions with Hwy 1, after exiting the freeway turn south immediately onto frontage rd and watch for signs to park. (SOURCE: California's Redwood Coast)
Liberace Museum_Las Vegas_tatteredandlost
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What can I say? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Happy trails fellow travelers.


  1. The Canadians celebrated their 'weird' roadside attractions last year with a number of postage stamps. I don't think Liberace stands a chance of getting on a postage stamp, do you?

  2. Ohhhhh...do you have a link to the Canadian stamps? I'd love to see them.

    I think someday there will be a block of stamps honoring all the boring and bland singers and performers from the 50s that somehow managed to gut the spontaneity of music. I'm thinking Liberace, Lawrence Welk, and Pat Boone. You think you're up for the portraits?