My friend, Tonya, from www.thetravelingpraters.com has blogged about roadside attractions many times and I'll admit, I never really noticed them until she brought them into the marvelous light. And now...now I see them from a mile away. If I know I'm going to be taking a road trip I may do a little research to enhance my travels.
Recently, the family and I took a road trip back to my husband's home state of Kansas. He has taken us there once but this time I wanted to see a few attractions that we didn't see that first time around. As we were leaving the Farmers Market (another must see if you are in Topeka) we drove by this giant wren. He was not on my list of things to see so he was an added bonus to the trip.
(info taken from www.roadsideamerica.com)
Topeka, Kansas - WREN Statue
The wren sat atop radio station WREN, Topeka (second radio station in Topeka) since 1947 before being installed at its present location in 1993. It was constructed of wire mesh and concrete by an unknown artist sometime during the 1930s when the station was then located in Lawrence, Kansas. Former Governor and 1936 Presidential candidate Alf Landon purchased the station in 1952.
It has become a local landmark and was purchased by The group Historic Topeka after initially having been sold to a developer and scheduled to be moved to Branson, Missouri. It was restored by Buck Thomas, who also repainted it.
- SW 12th St., Topeka, KS
- In the median divider between SW 12th St., SW Huntoon St., and SW Topeka Blvd, at Huntoon Park, in a former fountain.
- The Green Monster
- Here is another "attraction" that we drove by but was not on my to-see list. I had no idea we would be seeing quiet a few attractions just driving around the capital city of Topeka. This one is sort of famous because...it's so ugly... and there was a murder there in 2011. No, we did not go inside nor did we stay around too long.
The Fire Hydrant Garden WAS on my To-See List
- The Fire Hydrant Garden was a lot of fun. Oh sure, it was neat to see the different hydrants but the neighborhood in which you will find this unique garden was not quiet what you might expect. I was scared and wondering if perhaps I should have been packing (and I'm not talking about my bags - even though that might not have been a bad idea). Mike just kept saying, "Wow, this neighborhood sure has changed." He asked me how I found this place. But he was not as surprised about the Fire Hydrant Garden as he was our next stop.
- Turns out that Mr. Ron is as much as an attraction as his Truckhenge. He is a very lively character who has had to take on the local city government a few times over his Truckhenge. If you want to know the whole story you will just need to stop by. Call first so they can give you the grand tour because I promise you - You have never seen anything like it nor will you ever meet folks like Mr. Ron and his wife.
- The kids really enjoyed the school bus. Mr. Ron throws some parties and concerts on his property. He allows the participants to express themselves in any way they see fit, this includes spraying the vehicle carcasses with paint. He wanted us to leave our mark, too, but the tour went kind of long and we were hungry.
- I don't care much for what the hood says but the fact that the truck is positioned this way is neat. Mr. Ron stated that the city told him to "pick up his trucks" so he did.
- WARNING: If you do visit with small children just know that Mr. Ron has very colorful language. Come to think of it - You need to know that, also.
- These were just a few roadside attractions that we visited and I must say that I enjoyed the adventure. I love when road trips are so full of experiences and not just the same ole, same ole; drive on the interstate, get gas, eat...drive on interstate, get gas, eat.....It is more fun to take the road less traveled and meet some of America's most unique people.
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