Roadside Attractions

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by cztardust, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. cztardust

    cztardust Active Member

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    One of the cool things I used to see leaving the Chicago suburbs on vacation and when I was a kid, was the Wapitiland campground tee-pee on state highway 41 in Indiana. It was very similar to the ones in the photo I found below and hardly anyone remembers it here!?! Today, both the campground and tee-pee are gone, but occasionally we'll run into a roadside attraction and just have to take a snapshot or two knowing that these roadside attractions are fading away fast. Anyone else come across something like this and just have to take a photo or two? bernardino.jpg
     
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  2. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    We always stopped at Auto Rest Park in Carmel Maine (1 miles west of Bangor). They had a restaurant, cabins, petting zoo and arcade. Closed in the late 50s.



    [​IMG]
     
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  3. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    I avoid these places like the largest ball of twine (KS), Carhenge (NE), Hole in the Rock (UT), Cadillac Ranch (TX) but will stop for historical markers at times....
    [​IMG]

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  4. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    Roadside attractions definitely appeal to my love of kitsch. We haven't had too many opportunities in our recent travels, though we were able to stop at the drive-thru redwood tree in Leggett, CA on our trip last fall. Totally worth the 5 bucks. :D
     
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  5. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    When I was 10 or 11 -- about 1969 or 70, we took a family trip to Arizona. This was before I-40 was complete and much of our trip was on the Mother Road.

    Along the way I started seeing billboards for Big Chief somebody's Trading Post somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona. Of course we had to stop. At least in my mind anyway. I managed to pester my dad enough that he finally agreed that we could stop on the way back home.

    I could see the place as we drove by and thought what a cool place. The anticipation started building as soon as we left Phoenix a few days later. But when we got there on the way home, the place had burned to the ground - literally. There was nothing left but the sign out front a pile of ashes. :(
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  6. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    I'm smiling right now because of the mention of this.:smiley: Except the "REAL" largest ball of twine is here in Darwin, Minnesota.;)

    As a kid in the 1960,s, we lived in a small town next door next to Darwin, in Dassel. As kids, we always marveled at the big ball of twine and would always note that the ball was "getting bigger"! We moved away from Dassel in 1968 but would go back there once in a while visiting.

    My dad and I went back to Dassel for a reunion in 2009 and we had to, just one last time, head over to Darwin to see the ORIGINAL World Largest Ball of Twine.

    DSC00305.JPG
    DSC00309.JPG Dad DSC00307.JPG

    How's THAT for excitement!![LOL][LOL]
     
  7. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    I've been to my share of roadside attractions, but they are fading fast. In short, I think Trip Advisor did them in. 30 years ago, the ONLY way you were going to know what South of the Border was about after reading 100 miles of billboards was to STOP. Now, 100 miles out you can see the complete reviews, pictures, complaints and photos... so you just pass right by. Roadside attractions were ALWAYS big on promise, short on delivery, but it was like you knew you were going to be conned, you just pretended you weren't. Also, I think with GPS navigation, it is focusing us in on the DESTINATION, and the journey is just watching the "miles to destination" tick down. No time to stop, gotta get THERE. So, other than stopping for gas/diesel, coffee or biological issues, it's put the hammer down and let 'er roll on cruise.

    Personally, I like to stop at roadside things. I'm a bit of cheapskate, but I'll pay a few bucks to see something unique. I like to stop, a LOT, along the way, but the DW isn't in the same boat on that concept.

    I know you asked about photos of disappearing roadside attractions, but the ones I know are still in business (Blowing Rock, Rock City, South of the Border, etc). Alaska, my new home, doesn't seem to have many.... except this one....

    igloo heyday.jpg
    This is the igloo hotel, it its heyday. It's in the middle of nowhere on the Richardson Highway.

    This is how it looks now:
    igloo now.jpg

    It happens, I guess.

    Happy Driving!
     
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  9. Fless

    Fless Active Member

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    Bishop Castle in Colorado, not exactly on a well-traveled road but well worth the stop if you're anywhere near it .
    http://www.bishopcastle.org/

    From the web site: For nearly 60 years, Jim Bishop has been constructing one of the most impressive monuments to perseverance in Colorado. Bishop castle is a monumental statue in stone and iron that cries loud testament to the beauty and glory of not only Having a Dream, but Sticking with your Dream no matter what, and most importantly, that if you do believe in yourself and strive to maintain that belief, anything can happen! Three full stories of interior rooms complete with a Grand Ballroom, soaring towers and bridges with vistas of a hundred miles, and a Fire-Breathing Dragon make the Bishop Castle quite the unforgettable experience! Visitors are always welcome free of charge, and the castle itself is always open.​

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    _
     
  10. cztardust

    cztardust Active Member

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    Actually, I forgot the Giant Ear of Corn that Fair Oaks Farms has on I65 in Fair Oaks Indiana. I pass it daily, so I guess I didn't think of it. It'd probably get more attention if it were accessible or they had a duplicate of it the parking lot of Fair Oaks Farm's restaurant. After all Indiana is the "corn" state.
    download.jpg
     
  11. DanLee

    DanLee Member

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    It's been over 50 years since we passed it, but I still recall a place that advertised: "See Live Rattlesnakes! Pet The Baby Pigs! 2,000 Pound Prairie Dog!" We didn't stop and I can't remember where it was.
     
  12. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Back in the postwar, post depression 50's and 60's, times were good for many, cars were plentiful and affordable (and full of kids), gas was cheap, and freeways were not common yet. Advertisers tapped into the wanderlust that is hardwired into everyone. Remember Dinah Shore's "See The USA In Your Chevrolet"? People went for long drives, looking for something to do. There were many roadside attractions, and as has already been mentioned, many didn't live up to the billboard hype. Think of all the roadside restaurants and drive-ins that are mostly gone now A&W, Shakeys, Stuckeys..... As cars got faster and were more long-range, the 'Mother Roads' became, or were replaced by, high speed limited-access freeways with rest stops. Many of the small towns still in existence by the 60's had won the lottery when the railroads came through decades before, causing other bypassed small towns to die out. But as many of these remaining towns were bypassed by the freeways, the attractions slowly died along with many of the small towns. 3nosanta1212bw.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  13. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    My wife is from Dassel, class of '91. We used to have a Golden Retriever we got from a family in Darwin. We named him Bailey, after the twine ball (Bailing twine lol).
     
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  14. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    It is a small world!

    I used spend my summers fishing in Spring Lake. We lived one house away from the lake at 641 Pleasant Street. It truly was my Mayberry.
     
  15. TheDuke

    TheDuke Member

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  16. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link!

    We're definitely going to have to visit the world's largest frying pan the next time we're at the coast. :D
     
  17. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and after reading the list for Washington State, I realized that I had forgotten our visit to the Teapot Dome Gas Station.

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  18. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    Cave City, KY near Mammoth Cave is an old tourist town.
    US route 31W is lined with old roadside motels. Most are abandoned or converted to apartments. One of the last teepee motels is still in operation.
    Near I65 there are new and old attractions. Dinosaur World is nice and new. Guntown Mountain is old and currently closed. It is one of the last cowboy shootout in the street attractions.
     
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  19. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    This post reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies -- Cars:
    Sally: Yeah. Forty years ago, that Interstate down there didn't exist.
    McQueen: Really?
    Sally: Yeah. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way.
    McQueen: How do you mean?
    Sally: Well, the road didn't cut through land like that Interstate. It moved with the land, you know? It rose, it fell, it curved.
    Sally: Cars didn't drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.
    [:)C]
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  20. cztardust

    cztardust Active Member

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    Went to a cowboy shootout when I was a kid. It was "over the top" and well acted out. One of the best memories I had when the folks took me to Colorado. Even the town was authentic. All gone now. i remember we were in the mountains and it was a eye blinker, but fun.
    This is a little off topic, but in the lack of wild west shows, I've checked out some of the Native American, Indian Pow wows. Some are really well done. Aware that the general public are interested, some have had historical presentations, interpretive information on rituals and really know their stuff. Not only do you get a wild west type of feel to the event, but also history viewed from a completely different aspect.
     

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