O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain. America! Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to live in 5 states, 6 cities, and 3 different time zones. Our last move was in December 2010, from Portland, Oregon to Raleigh, North Carolina. My husband and I took a tour across America from coast to coast, a bucket list adventure waiting to be explored. As we embarked on our Great American Road Trip, we planned on making various stops along the way to visit a few of America’s roadside attractions.
Oregon is such a magnificent part of the country, abundant with fertile valleys, plateaus, volcanic peaks, rugged coastlines, and deep vast forests. My husband and I share some incredible memories of living in Oregon from 2009 to 2010. With many wonderful places to go and things to do, I recommend ordering a free travel guide from Travel Oregon. So long to the Beaver State (or the Web-foot state), you will be missed.
Here are some of the cool places we visited on our trip:
A giant statue of Abraham Lincoln is located about 10 miles east of Laramie, Wyoming. It was built to honor Lincoln’s 150th birthday and sculpted by Robert Russin, a University of Wyoming art professor. The bronze head weighs over two tons and is 13.5 feet tall, perched atop a 30-foot granite pedestal.
North Platte, Nebraska was home to William F. Buffalo Bill Cody, the West’s most colorful showman, army scout and buffalo hunter. A fun place to visit is Fort Cody Trading Post, Nebraska’s largest souvenir and western gift store. Behind the store, you will find the tallest Native American “muffler man” you have ever seen!
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine is located in Cawker City, Kansas. In 1953, a farmer named Frank Stoeber found it tidy and efficient to roll spare bits of sisal twine into a small ball in his barn. Instead of re-using or disposing of the twine, he kept rolling. Every year, Cawker City hosts an annual Twine-A-Thon, where anyone can step up and wrap more scrap twine onto the ball.
If you are planning on taking a road trip, a great place to ask questions and get advice is The Great American RoadTrip Forum. For a guide to uniquely odd tourist attractions, go to Roadside America.com.
American Road Trip Routes
1. Pacific Coast
2. Border to Border
3. The Road to Nowhere
4. The Great River Road
5. Appalachian Trail
6. Atlantic Coast
7. The Great Northern
8. The Oregon Trail
9. The Loneliest Road
10. Southern Pacific
11. Route 66
Did you know?
Muffler Men once beckoned noisy and exhaust-weary vehicles to replace their mufflers. The statues’ hands were molded to hold mufflers or tires, with their right palms up, and left palms down.