Happy Memorial Day! This week kicks of the unofficial start of the summer travel season. If you are still undecided about where to go this summer, here are a few suggestions if your travels take you to Indiana or Texas.
Medora, Indiana: where you can see the longest covered Bridge in the USA. This bridge spanning the East Fork of the White River took nine months to build in 1875. Unfortunately, you cannot cross this bridge when you come to it, it has been closed to traffic since 1972.
Alexandria, Indiana: boasts the World’s Largest Ball of Paint! Mr. Michael Carmichael has spent more than 30 years applying over 18,000 layers of paint to a baseball. It now weighs close to 1,500 pounds. And you thought that pitcher for the Yankees was applying a lot of foreign substance to the ball.
Aurora, Indiana: Woman Buried in Her Cadillac. Aurora Schuck loved her Cadillac El Dorado so much that she asked her husband to bury her in it when she died. When Ray passed away a number of years later, the vault was reopened and Ray was placed next to his wife. Mrs. Schuck was moved and has been a back seat driver ever since.
Fort Wayne, Indiana: Johnny Appleseed Grave. Here you can find the final resting place of America’s most beloved migrant farmer. The grave is in a well-marked memorial park, the plot surrounded by a wrought iron fence.
Indianapolis, Indiana: Elvis’s Last Concert Parking Lot Plaque. Market Square Arena was the sight of the last performance of The King on June 26, 1977. It was demolished blown in 2001, but the plaque remains. Just don’t step on the plaque with your blue suede shoes.
Seymour, Indiana: Graves of America’s First Train Robbers. The Reno Brothers pulled off America’s first planned train robbery, but the old adage about crime not paying was true for them, they were caught, hanged by vigilantes, and buried in the town cemetery.
Terre Haute, Indiana: The Wave We Were: Hairstyling Museum. This one gets my vote for the best named attraction. Here you can find scissors, curling irons, hair dryers, permanent wave machines, and hundreds of other artifacts that go back to the 19th century.
Waco, Texas: The Bear Pit. This is the home of the Baylor Bears, the mascots of Baylor University. The latest enclosure/habitat is not really a pit, and the bears seem to be well-tended. A place like Jellystone Park where you can, “Look at the Bears! Look at the Bears! Look at the Bears!”
Waxahachie, Texas: Munster Mansion. Charles and Sandra McKee built their home as a replica of the Munster’s house. Apparently the McKee’s have both too much time and too much money. The house is opened for special charity events, usually in October, and you can stop and snap a picture of the outside anytime.
Fort Worth, Texas: Logan’s Run Water Garden. The Fort Worth “Water Garden” opened in downtown Fort Worth in 1974 and was welcomed as an oasis of plants and wetness in the midst of a concrete jungle. The Garden is still a popular spot for lunch eaters and wedding photographers, but its “Active Pool” is especially loved by fans of the 1976 sci-fi film Logan’s Run. It was on its futuristic water-splashed terraces that the film’s bewildered-young-people-who-can-now-grow-old emerged from their dystopian domed city into the real world.
San Antonio, Texas: Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. For over 50 years Barney Smith, retired master plumber, has turned toilet seats into works of art. He creates in his garage, and loves visitors. Barney turns 93 in 2014. At last count he had completed 1,069 toilet seats.
For even more unique out-of-the-way places check out http://www.roadsideamerica.com
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. ~John A. Logan