Travel Week: Road Kill For Tourists

Ummm…..
well, it’s still
” travel week ”
around the old
blog-stead ……

And after
putting up
with the same
ole crapola
year after year,
you might think
that our dear
regular readersjosephcityarz
would say
” Enough Already ! “
and demand to
be taken
toward horizons
where no man
has gone before……

Not that I
would havebigg
any idea on
how to even
take y’all there.

Hey–
Root Beer !!!!

We must be on
the right road,
after all.

Thankfully,
when we get
requests
around here,
they’re usually inbronto
much more
familiar territory.

My friend Jen
wants more
wacked out
Roadside Attractions.

And that’s one
brontoburger
I really can deliver.

Sure, there’s places
you want to steer
well clear of ,
for one reason
or another……..

But there’s also
planty of places
I’ve been to
that fit the bill
very, very
nicely.cawkercityiowa

Honestly,
you just wouldn’t
believe the
‘out there’ stuff
that’s……
….. well ….,
out there.

Notwithstanding twine
the fact
that their
very weirdness
is really about
the only thing
that makes
them interesting.

Yep–
a big ball of twine.

Ahem.

I bet if you’ve
been wthingsdriving
on Interstate-10
between El Paso
and Tuscon,
you’ve seen these
irritatingly ubiquitous signs…..

Obnoxious
Overkill ?

I guess it would seem so
until you realize what
they’re advertising….. i10thing

It’s the THING.
AKA:
The
“Mystery of the Desert”.

Ooooooo…
you say…..

How intriguing,
right?

Ummm…
well, wonder
how do you feel
about having
smoke being,
not just blown,
but absolutely
gale-driven,
up your ass?

Pay your dollar
at this place
in Dragoon, Arizona,
and you’ll find out. wmummy

I’ll save you
the hundred
pennies–

It’s said to be a ‘gaff’ —
— a faked mummy —
supposedly of a
mother and child.

PT Barnum would be proud.

Will it turn your stomach? thething

Not any more than
the fried chicken
in the gift shop, I guess.

And I do like
me some cheap
wind-chimes, tho.

!!!!! HOY !!!!!!

.

windy

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Coral Castle

palaceHiya….
Hiya.

It’s time for
another one
of our ‘Vintage Florida
Attractions’ posts —

I dunno if
that’s even what
I was calling it the
last time I did one
of these, but that’sgeroge
what I’m calling it
this time…..

— consistency has never been
my strong suit, ya know.

One of the more weirder
(and thus, more fun)
kinds of tourist traps
are the kind that were
built by some obsessed
person for some reasons
only really clear to him.

The ” Palace of Depression
in Vineland, New Jersey,
for instance.postcard

This guy from Alaska went broke
during the Great Depression,
moved to New Jersey,
and built a real freak of a
castle out of nothing but
garbage, junk and seashells.

It was open for toursz7
from 1932 to the mid 1960’s,
when the guy died and
the place burned down,
leaving only the admission
booth standing.
( 25 cents, please.)

Yet, as I am vaguely aware
that not only is the place
no longer extant, but also
was in New Jersey, and NOT
in Florida…..

We will move right along
to the main subject
of this here post.

It was alternately called
” Ed’s Place “,
” Rock Gate ”
and “Rock Gate Park”,
it’s known today as “Coral Castle”.

Built by one Edward Leedskalnin,
an immigrant from Latvia,
it originally stood in Florida City,
but in 1936, he moved the whole
kit and kaboodle 10 miles north
to a location on the Old Dixie Highway,
south of Miami in Leisure City.z1

Legend has it that Leedskalnin
was inspired to build the place
because his girlfriend in Latvia
backed out on their wedding
at the last minute.

Well, whatever got the guy goin’ –
it got him going for the next 28 years
while he worked on the place
day and night–z4
— in complete solitude and secrecy.

An interesting aspect of the place
that I remember from my last visit
was the main gate…

—  which, like almost all
of the stuff there, was
carved out of a single
huge piece of limestone —z2

The gate (8 tons) swung so easily
that a kid (like me at 9) could
easily open it.

Yet, Leedskalnin had no cranes,
no hydraulic lifts, no assistants, even.

Over the years,
I’ve heard a lot of cock and bullz5
mumbo-jumbo about how he
single-handedly cut , moved,
and placed it all….

But I think even Old Ed had
ascribed it more to leverage
than UFO’s or magnetism —

It’s like the old saying
by Archimedes —

” Give me a lever long enoughDigital image
and a fulcrum on which to
place it, and I shall move the world. ” 

— and, Leedskalnin certainly gave
it his all to do just that.

Hey– best of all —
you can still see this
vintage architectural
monstrosity for yourself…..

At 28655 South Dixie Highway,z9a
in Homestead.

The place even has a website:
http://coralcastle.com/.

Tell em ED sent you.

And be sure to drop the dime in the slot.

!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!

z8

coral