Roadside America: A Summer Road Trip

Larry Kahl: Mandan, North Dakota

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What I learned on my summer vacation this year–if you’re heading out on a road trip, be sure to have the Roadside America App loaded into your phone and build in plenty of extra time for interesting and enchanting stops along the travel week-1way! Giant creatures and memorable sculptures abound along our highways and they seem to possess a beguiling siren call to a photographer on a road trip. I’ve added here a little slideshow that includes sights captured along the way as well as some of my Roadside America photo finds below.

This year’s summer vacation involved a road trip from Northern Minnesota out to Glacier and Yellowstone and back again; I’d say the sights that ended up catching my attention for being most memorable were the odd and interesting ones found using the Roadside America App.

I knew I was off to a good start when I woke up very early on the first morning of our road trip and headed out to Mandan, North Dakota in search of Larry Kahl’s Life-Size 32-Piece Cattle Drive and met Larry himself tending to the horses he boards at his Heart River Stables. I got to hear firsthand how he came to create the Cattle Drive sculptures to honor his father; all of the pieces represent a memory of his father but, he told me, the pieces are also there on the hillside to represent all of our fathers. Thank you Larry. You and all of your horses were a happy discovery to a visitor from Washington DC!

All images and video © Lorie Shaull. 

[divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]Dispatches is our occasional look outside of DC at the places local photographers have traveled. Have a set of photos you’d like to feature here? Contact us at editor@dcfocused.com.

 

Larry Kahl: Mandan, North Dakota
Larry Kahl: Mandan, North Dakota
A section of Larry Kahl's Life-Size 32-Piece Cattle Drive: Mandan, North Dakota
A section of Larry Kahl’s Life-Size 32-Piece Cattle Drive: Mandan, North Dakota

Later in the morning, when the car nearly ran out of gas (note to self & other East Coast travelers: out West there aren’t quite as many gas pitstops along the highway as there are on The East Coast), we seemed to have timed our stop perfectly to fill up and for me to jump out of the car to get a photo of Salem Sue, World’s Largest Holstein Cow: New Salem, North Dakota.

Salem Sue, World's Largest Holstein Cow: New Salem, North Dakota
Salem Sue, World’s Largest Holstein Cow: New Salem, North Dakota

And then there was the truly enchanting, Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile stretch of highway seemingly out in the middle of nowhere with giant sculptures sprinkled along side the highway between Regent and Gladstone North Dakota. Most memorable quote from my partner on spotting beehives in a big field, “Are those filing cabinets?” Yes, we truly are visitors from The City.

Are those filing cabinets? Regent, North Dakota
Are those filing cabinets? Regent, North Dakota
World's Largest Grasshopper: Regent, North Dakota
World’s Largest Grasshopper: Regent, North Dakota
Geese in Flight Enchanted Highway: Regent, North Dakota
Geese in Flight Enchanted Highway: Regent, North Dakota

Following are some additional Roadside finds along the way.

World's Largest Sandhill Crane: Steele, North Dakota
World’s Largest Sandhill Crane: Steele, North Dakota
Giant Loon, Park Rapids MN
Giant Loon, Park Rapids Minnesota
Garden of One Thousand Buddhas: Arlee, Montana
Garden of One Thousand Buddhas: Arlee, Montana

And, of course, when driving through Fargo, Minnesota, you’ve GOT to build in a little extra time to go see the woodchipper from the movie, Fargo. Oh, you betcha, you do! Watch your hands!!

The Woodchipper from the Movie Fargo: Fargo, Minnesota
The Woodchipper from the Movie Fargo: Fargo, Minnesota
  • Clif

    Great shots, Lorie. I had no idea that there was such a fascination in the West for giant animal sculptures. Of course, you can never have enough statutes of Holstein cows, so I applaud that.

    • lorie shaull

      Thanks Clif!! I have a working theory it’s a ratio thing between amount of wide open land and size of the sculptures but it’s just pure speculation!!