On the Road, Again: Carhenge!

Rainy Day Carhenge

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.

The cars are spray painted grey to match Stonehenge's Bluestone boulders.

Carhenge D.O.G.

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.

Me & the dogs at Carhenge. Raindrops on my camera lens...

Check out my previous Midwest roadtrip post: Losing Middle America.

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, Photography, Road tripping!, Uncategorized, Vagabonding 101. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to On the Road, Again: Carhenge!

  1. mjspringett says:

    Very coool, thanks MJ

  2. Drew W. says:

    As always, beautiful photos to go with an interesting piece. I always enjoy reading about your travels. Thanks!

  3. Iris says:

    Haha, awesome!

  4. ehpem says:

    This is awesome. Love it. Good photos too. I really like the top one with all that sky – works really well.

  5. How cool is that?! I love that it’s not covered by graffiti like the similar one in Texas, too. Great pics. Thanks for sharing!

    Tijeras, NM

  6. Kippi says:

    I’m with Lisa — awesome. I wonder if they took pics of its construction.

    I went to Stonehenge when I was in school in England (back in the ’70’s). I remember driving down the motorway, traffic was light, and we came over a hill. Stonehenge lay out there on the plain — it was an awesome sight. Few cars or people were around, and back then you could walk freely in it. That experience, along with walking into Canterbury Cathedral for the first time, trying to imagine all the people who made pilgrimages to these sites — still moving.

  7. dlpsharma says:

    Just Superb! Great!
    Not just your spirit, but also the way you have organised your collection and experiences.
    Keep going.
    God Bless You.

  8. dlpsharma says:

    Just Superb! Both, the spirit and the collection!
    Keep it up.

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