Friday, June 12, 2009

Roadside Attractions of Minnesota

Have you ever been driving down the road when the sight of a giant fish statue compels you to pull over and take a closer look? A friend and I had just pulled out of a gas station along Highway 169 during a mini road trip up north and were happily gnawing on our freshly purchased beef jerky when I spotted it. A quick swerve into the next lane followed by a sudden right turn into a park brought us up close and personal with a larger than life version of a walleye. The Minnesota state fish had never looked better.

Further up along our route we also saw a giant Robin Hood and a giant helicopter. Other structures I've previously seen along roads in my home state include a rooster, a voyageur sans pants, Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox, the Jolly Green Giant, a snowman, and a polar bear. Come to think of it, if you take a road trip in Minnesota and you don't see something big that's made out of fiberglass you probably didn't go very far. It makes me wonder: Is the phenomenon of erecting giant versions of people, animals and objects on the sides of roads a global phenomenon, or are Minnesotans the only ones who get a kick out of this stuff? I don't know the answer to that, but I'd really like to think that somewhere along a French autoroute passing motorists are treated to the sight of an enormous wheel of brie.

8 comments:

Mike and Steph said...

The end of this post teases the reader with a waft of Carrie Bradshaw, and then backs off at the last minute.

Cancemini4 said...

I'm particularly proud of Columbus, Ohio's roadside field of enormous cement corn.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2252320

Gunnar and Sherry said...

We northeasterners can only dream of the delightful bounty of eccentric roadside attractions that Minnesoata has to offer!

Tanya said...

@Cancemini4, I love the corn! Thanks for sharing.

@Gunnar and Sherry, We've also now seen that they do roadside attractions in Ohio, so maybe it's a midwestern thing?

Zhu said...

That's cool and original!

Don't think Canada has to many roadside attractions, although maybe there are deeper in the country.

I remember New Zealand had some cool ones, including giant fishes, a Gore-Clinton highway, giant Lord of the Ring characters (randomly standing in fields...) etc. Made it fun driving around.

Josh said...

This phenomenon is not unique to Minnesota. Almost every state (if not every state) has at least something, but Minnesota erects giant roadside attractions like no other. Wisconsin puts on a good show too.

These things can be found in many countries as well. Most prominently in Australia and Canada (other than the US).

Tanya said...

@Zhu, I would love to see giant Lord of the Rings characters just standing randomly in a New Zealand field. That's awesome.

@Josh, Ah yes, Wisconsin. I seem to remember seeing a giant mouse holding a wedge of cheese in WI!

TheRandomTraveler said...

I'm surprised I haven't heard about this one...