I’m off to Nebraska! I’ve been to 49 states and I must say, Nebraska is one of my favorites. Too often I hear people complain about driving across the Midwest. Yes, it’s flat and there’s a whole lot of nothing, but if you get off the interstate and explore the back roads you’ll find that all that wide open nothing is simply beautiful.
Nebraska is home to one of my all time favorite roadside attractions: Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge recreated with classic cars. Carhenge is 96 feet in diameter, with 38 cars representing the key features of Stonehenge, including 3 standing trilithons, the heel stone, slaughter stone, 2 station stones, and the Aubrey circle.
The monument was erected in in a weekend in 1987 during the Jim Reinders’ family reunion, in honor of the clan’s recently passed patriarch, who grew up on this land just north of Alliance, Nebraska. The family dedicated Carhenge on the summer solstice and later donated the land to the Friends of Carhenge Trust.
I’ve actually been to the real Stonehenge. I was far too young – 16 – and all I remember is a madhouse. Instead of wide open spaces, the ancient stone circle is now surrounded by ticket booths, souvenir stands, fences and parking lots. And people. Lots and lots of people.
At the risk of blasphemy, I think I prefer Carhenge. No tickets, no lines, no crowds, no fences, nothing but a monument to the Sun in a field surrounded by sky. So what if it’s made of wrecked old cars. I love wrecked old cars! The day I visited it was pouring down rain and I had the place to myself. Next time I’m in the UK, I’ll seek out one of the many other stone circles that dot that countryside.
Check out my previous Midwest roadtrip post: Losing Middle America.