Category: Animal-Vegetable-Mineral

Plastered with pumpkinsMahone Bay, NS, Canada

Nova Scotia sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I can never seem to get enough of this season—I love being surrounded by my favorite color, my favorite weather, my favorite flavors. I’m glad there are places like this this little bakery in Nova Scotia, where you can go have a cup of tea surrounded by reminders of autumn in every direction. Otherwise, I’d… More

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Eggstra largeWinlock, WA

World's Largest Egg sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now, I know I can go to the market and find eggs in small, medium, large, extra-large and jumbo. But can I get a round dozen in World’s Largest? (Maybe that’s what those Washington cooperative farmers have been hatching…)

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Two-ton tater totO'Leary, PEI, Canada

Giant Potato sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Oh, the fates were cruel to me this day. I happened to pass through a town that shared my last name, and in that town I stumbled upon a giant fiberglass potato. In front of a potato museum. Which had closed an hour before. Now, really. That’s just not fair.

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Tuxedo twinsCut Bank, MT and Chehalis, WA

Cut Bank Penguin sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Bless their hearts, these birds aren’t quite so elegant as the Topeka Wren, but that’s no reason not to stand proud and proclaim their purpose. Actually, even that is a little muddled here. Maybe Cut Bank really is the coldest spot in the nation… just don’t tell International Falls, MN. Or, you know, the entire… More

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Wild goose chaseWawa, ON, Canada

Wawa Goose sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Wawa is the Ojibwe word for “wild goose”—a fact the town of Wawa, Ontario would prefer you didn’t forget. And just to make sure the lesson hits home, there is a veritable flock of giant geese waiting to welcome you. I just hope these guys don’t get the notion to fly south for the winter—then… More

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Wrented wingsTopeka, KS

Topeka Wren sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m always up for the hokey and awkward when it comes to roadside attractions, but every now and again you find a true masterpiece. Case in point: the Topeka Wren (formerly the mascot for WREN radio in Lawrence, KS) nearly took my breath away. This bird is a couple decades older than your average roadside… More

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In the pinkMarquette, IA

Pink Elephant sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Some of my favorite roadside attractions are the ones that are totally incongruous with the surrounding area (like finding a blue whale in the middle of Oklahoma). Unless, that is, I’m wildly misinformed, and Iowa is actually chock full of elephants…

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Feeling blueCatoosa, OK

Blue Whale of Catoosa sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m not sure if kids used to find this guy diverting or terrifying, but the Blue Whale of Catoosa is still just as memorable as he must have been in his heyday. This spot was once a roadside swimmin’ hole along Route 66. These days it’s just a roadside monument, but that’s okay—it’s not like… More

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Orange you gladShasta Lake, CA

Giant Orange sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Apparently these giant orange stands (which are actually ducks) used to be so common along the old Pacific Highway that by the time you got thirsty on your journey, you’d have arrived at the next one. There are just a handful remaining today, and I was extra lucky to discover that this one was actually… More

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Kings of the roadMuffler Men, various points around United States

Muffler Man sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, if I’m going to spend all this time talking about roadside attractions, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the legendary Muffler Men—guardians of gas stations, presidents of photo ops. If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ve probably seen at least one of these guys along the way. These behemoths started appearing… More

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