Thursday, January 23, 2020

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Route 309 Cow

Posted by Stu On July - 13 - 2010

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It seems for as long as anyone can remember, this giant cow has been standing along Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre Township.  It stands guard in front of an Amish shed shop.  It’s a popular landmark and has apparently had a few paint jobs over the years.


As you can see, the cow has its own fenced-in area.


Popularity: 5% [?]

Giant Coffee Mug of Wilkes-Barre

Posted by Stu On July - 13 - 2010

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I’m not really sure how many times I’ve driven by this without giving it too much thought.  Recently I heard this building was to be sold, so I figured I’d check it out before it was possibly razed.

Turns out this was, unsurprisingly, supposed to have been a coffee shop.  The sign for the business is still out in front of the mug.  For whatever reason it never materialized, and the property was put on public auction a few months ago.



Popularity: 8% [?]

Plymouth Rock

Posted by Stu On December - 28 - 2009

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Plymouth Rock, one of the oldest tourist attractions in the US, is just that – a rock.  Said to be where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World, Plymouth is more of an ideal than an actual physical place, mostly because we aren’t 100% sure of the exact spot where the Pilgrims first touched ground.  This rock is really just a section of a larger one; this portion was cut off quite some time ago and has been moved around numerous times before being placed on the beach in Plymouth’s port.
And for the record, the Pilgrims landed in Provincetown first, not Plymouth.


The Rock is the center of this monument, right at the shore.  It’s a decent drop down to it, and all the sides are gated to deter souvenir hunters from chipping off parts of it.


As a friend told me before I left for my trip, “it’s just a rock.”  It sure is, and is probably more based in folklore than reality, but it’s still symbolic and one of the original pieces of Americana.


Popularity: 7% [?]

Rock Garden of America

Posted by Stu On November - 6 - 2009

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My mom moved to North Carolina a few years ago, and during my drive down to Ocean Isle Beach for vacation I decided to visit her.  Right on the side of the road just a few miles from her house, I found this.  It’s just sitting in front of someone’s front yard.


If the sign and rocks don’t give it away, this is supposed to be a rock garden featuring rocks from different states.  I admit I wasn’t here all that long, but I’m pretty sure a few states are missing.  Some states have multiple rocks as well.


Being a Jersey boy, I got a close-up of the NJ rock.


Being a recently converted PA boy, I looked among the various tags for “PA” but was unable to find any.


Just a random, unexpected thing to see along a small highway in northern NC, I think.  There was also some sort of platform that said “register,” I’m guessing for holding a guest book of some sort, but there was nothing on it.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Touro Park “Viking Tower”

Posted by Stu On August - 26 - 2009

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I had been meaning to get to this one for a number of years, but it was usually out of the way.  Since we were touring a mansion in Newport, I finally had a chance to get to the “Viking Tower” in Touro Park.  Nobody seems to be clearly sure of its age or who built it.  There are 2 major sides to the theory of this structure’s origin – some people think it’s the remains of some sort of mill from the 16-1700’s, while others feel it was built much earlier – around 1000 – by Vikings.


The tower, windmill, or whatever it was sits in the middle of the park, surrounded by a small fence.  There are lights at its base, and a statue of William Ellery Channing – a prominent Unitarian from the 1800’s – is nearby.




I found a 360-panoramic of Touro Park.  Kinda trippy.

…wow, ‘trippy’ isn’t in my spellchecker.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Desert of Maine

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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A desert in Maine is just about as out of place as a palace in West Virginia. The Desert of Maine technically isn’t a true desert; it’s made up of glacial silt rather than sand. The silt was deposited here during the last Ice Age, and over the years it became buried under topsoil. When the Tuttle family built a farm here in the 1700’s, overgrazing and poor soil maintenance slowly eroded the topsoil away, and one day the “sand” finally emerged from its slumber. It grew, and despite all their efforts to stop the spread, the Tuttle family was eventually forced to abandon farming by the early 1900’s. The property was sold and turned into the tourist attraction it is today. The only remainder of the Tuttle farm is a barn that now serves as a sort of mini museum.

Visitors can take a guided driven tour of the desert or can walk it solo. Since we stayed at the desert’s campground overnight, we got to walk it for free. There are signs here and there marking points of interest, like old Tuttle farm equipment or trees buried in the dunes.

All in all, it’s a neat little oddity to check out. Keep in mind, though, that you’re essentially paying to walk around to look at sand..errr, glacial silt. So if that sounds corny to you, you probably won’t want to check this out.
I thought it was a fun stop though.


Popularity: 8% [?]

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