Guest blogger Mark Kinsel is the President of Driver Solutions, where he uses his 19 years of experience to prepare young drivers for the issues they'll face on the road. He also writes for Great CDL Training, a national leader in commercial truck driver training..
Wacky American Monuments
Everyone remembers those long road trips as a kid with Mom and Dad—rest stops, diners and the license plate game. However, with less and less families striking out for a couple weeks at a time and touring the United States, a lot of the beauty in this country goes unseen. Whether it's a giant ball of yarn, or the infamous Carhenge, there are plenty of quirky attractions worth visiting this summer.
Lucy the Elephant
Lucy the Elephant was constructed in Margate City, New Jersey by James V. Lafferty in 1881. At the time, she was made in an attempt to sell real estate and attract tourism in the area. Since being built, she has housed a hotel, restaurant, business office, cottage and consequently the last tavern to be closed by prohibition. In the 1960s Lucy did fall into disrepair but was fortunately saved by the Margate Civic Association (known today as the Save Lucy Committee, Inc.) and was successfully relocated and refurbished. From the 70s until now Lucy was designated a National Historic Landmark, struck by lightning and featured on a slew of television shows.
Dungeons and Dragons Park
The Dungeons and Dragons Park in Carbondale, Illinois is every Dungeon Master's dream come true. Equipped with knights, wizards, ogres and orcs, this battle worn wonderland has a little something for everyone. However lighthearted in nature it may be, though, the D&D Park has a bit of a dark past. Barrett Rochman, a local Illinois businessman, built the park in memory of his son, Jeremy "Boo" Rochman after Jeremy was killed in a car wreck over a decade ago. Inspiration for many of the characters in the park was based on paintings done by Jeremy, whom was an avid D&D fan.
Built by Jim Reinders in Alliance, Nebraska, Carhenge has become one of the most popular American monuments since its construction in 1987. After the passing of his father in 1982, Jim, along with many other relatives, took the grounds of the farm on which his father lived and began assembling what would become known as Carhenge. Measuring about 95 feet in diameter, this marvel of American muscle is comprised of 38 different automobiles, one of which is a 1962 Cadillac at the heelstone. Inspiration for this piece was found during Jim's brief stint in Europe where he learned about the history and structure of Stonehenge. On August 21, 2017, Carhenge will be in the path of the solar eclipse.
Of the many bizarre sights to see in America, the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California has to be one of the weirdest. Discovered in 1939 and opened in 1940, the Spot is a place where the laws of physics don't apply, or so says the operators of the site. Some speculate that an alien spacecraft buried below the Spot is to blame for its odd characteristics. Others have postulated that a magnetic anomaly has given the Spot its powers. Unfortunately, it's nothing more than an illusion brought on by the gravity hill that the Spot sits on. Hills such as these exist all over the world but are still pretty magical to say the least, such as the countless other wacky monuments all across America.
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