Category Archives: Oddities

American Windmill Museum

American Windmill by Charley CarlinThe American Windmill Museum is a real gem here. I had no idea such a museum existed and this one is really super. On the grounds which looks to me to be somewhere around 25 or 30 acres there are windmills everywhere old to new all over the place. One might think oh that’s nice then move on and miss the whole shooting match. The building is huge there are two of them there are hundreds of different windmills on display, complete with stories of operation time periods and where they were used. It’s quite eye-opening to see all the things that have happened in the history of the windmill.

I was amused by the small windmills that were used in the 20’s 30’s and 40’s to run your radio when you’re out in the middle of nowhere on the Prairie. Thence you could hear what was on the radio. Cool!

Now in addition to all these windmills there is something I’ve never seen before which is a collection of millstones. Yes the stones that were used to grind grain and coffee and chocolate and bunches of other things including animal feed and who knows what all else. Someone collected all these and saved them and gave them to this Museum.  That is another complete mini-museum.

Now add on to this huge huge model train layout and beautiful miniaturization around the train. Well that’s enough to amuse any child or adult.. And to make sure nobody’s left out on the other side is a collection of Miniatures not dollhouses but just miniature houses that describe many things from the past it’s Charming it’s well done it’s worth the stop it’s a fabulous Museum I would give it six stars but 5 is the limit here.

 

Carhenge Monument

Carhenge Monument - by Charley Carlin

Carhenge Monument

At Stupid Vacations oddities are a specialty. We love oddities.  And the Carhenge Monument really qualifies. A step up fro Cadillac Ranch for sure, this qualifies way up there.  In far western Nebraska, away from the interstate on the north and the interstate on the south lies Alliance, Nebraska. Carhenge as built in the late eighties and at first the town thought of it as an eyesore. Small towns and small town politics is always a puzzle, with some vocal opinions om both sides of the aisle. The locals whined and complained until they figured out that The Carhenge Monument is a draw for tourism and that brings tourist dollars. So now the guy is a local hero. Tie that all in with the City of Alliance being in the path of the last solar eclipse and about a bazillion tourists came to know and love Alliance and Carhenge. There are additional odd art pieces in the town of Alliance. Carhenge is a fun oddity and a must see for sure.  Definitely a bucket list item for  the oddity fanatics.


About The Author
Charles Carlin - Finding Roadside Oddities

Charles Carlin

Charley is a magnet for those slightly odd and one of a kind places, some of which you may have never heard about. Charley easily found all over the web. Just Google Charley Carlin for more insights. He can also be found via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, and Google Maps

Meteor Crater – Winslow Arizona

It seems that Tourists and Explorers have a penchant for large holes in the ground and Meteor Crater qualifies. Just 26 miles outside of Winslow, Arizona if you are traveling west on Interstate 40, or 44 miles out of Flagstaff if you are traveling east on Interstate 40, Meteor Crater is a natural phenomena that is not to be missed.

Meteor Crater Panorama - by Charley Carlin - For Stupid Vacations

Meteor Crater Panorama

Meteor Crater – Formerly Canyon Diablo Crater

Whether you are interested in astronomical events and ancient history, or even US History, Meteor Crater has a bit of each in the Visitor Center. The perspective on how a large rock can cause such a change to the landscape is worth some thought.

<center>Meteor Crater by Charles Carlin for Stupid Vacations</center>

Meteor Crater over a mile across

No amount of brochures, pictures or videos can give the perspective that looking over the Meteor Crater edge can give. The magnitude and force of a meteor to make a crater of this size is truly mind boggling. Yes it is a drive off the interstate, but not that far. Yes there is a charge, and its worth it. The view from the observation deck is expansive and for me breathtaking to think about the time between impact and the formation of a crater that has lasted tens of thousands of years. Truly incredible. Yes in summer it is hot as hades to be outside.  One does not have a choice where the meteor fell 50,000 years ago. The place sat undiscovered and misunderstood for so long. The history inside and the movie explain the current understanding and are eye openers for most. This is a must do one kind of a trip.
Enjoy, I did, and more than I might have speculated beforehand.

P.S. For a full lowdown on the history and the elongated arguments about whether it was a volcanic or impact creation is in Wikipedia for those who desire a deeper story revealing the claims made by scientists over the decades concerning the creation of meteor crater.

P.P.S. Be sure to see Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff  for an astronomical good time.

New England Carousel Museum

While doing a job near Hartford I came across the New England Carousel Museum via the great

Ne England

New England Carousel Museum

Carousel near the Bushnell Park. What a beautiful old Carousel, and it happened to be on its 100th birthday. The animals on the carousel were so beautiful and well maintained. Apparently the know about carousel animals because

the New England Carousel Museum then came to my attention. How lucky to find this small museum, by some standards, a medium sized museum by others, however for me it was just right. It is focused on the carousel animals and of course the history of the carousel. This museum has a shop to repair and also to Continue reading

Button Museum – Bishopville, SC

The Button Museum
Can You Find it?

While at The Cotton Museum in Bishopville, South Carolina, Button Museum - by Charley Carlin
I asked the man at the counter as I was exiting if their were any other small museums around?

No, he said. I asked if there were any local oddities nearby?

No, he said. Are there any places that are a bit different around here? I asked.
He scratched his head a bit and said there is this guy who stays up all night sewing buttons and he has The Button Museum. How do I get there? I asked. Well go down to the corner, turn right, the right at the second stop sign, then out about 6 miles and. . .  Well who knows where he sent me, but I started driving and searching. I went farther than he said, I turned back, I kept searching, I found a very small sign, I kept driving. Continue reading

Jolly Green Giant

Well I guess I’ve been waiting my whole life to finally meet the Jolly Green Giant.

Jolly Green Giant - Blue Earth Minnesota

The Jolly Green Giant

And now it’s a done deal. What fun to find this Roadside Attraction of a 55 foot tall Jolly Green Giant.

He’s definitely jolly, and definitely green, and a giant for sure.

A must stop for the laughs and giggles and one more thing a good friend actually added to his bucket list. Now that is some food for thought. Frozen food for sure.  Too funny.

Cool Factoids

Jolly Green Giant - Cool Factoids

Cool Factoids

This Giant is over 50 feet tall and has been waiting for you to visit him since 1979. There is also a Giant Food Museum that I have yet to explore. Oh so many places at to visit and they are so spread out across the country. What fun!


About The Author

Charles Carlin - Finding Roadside Oddities

Charles Carlin

Charley is a magnet for those slightly odd and one of a kind places, some of which you may have never heard about. Charley easily found all over the web. Just Google Charley Carlin for more insights. He can also be found via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, and Google Maps