Off The Beaten Track Travels
Journey To Carhenge
Most have heard about Stonehenge, the gigantic pre-historic stone monument located in Wiltshire, England. If you are a world traveler with a taste for history you may even have visited the site. But how many have heard of Carhenge? Not many I wager.
I too was among the uninformed about Carhenge until, on a recent road trip of discovery, I found myself wandering through the far northwestern corner of Nebraska. I was on my way from Denver, Colorado to Rapid City, South Dakota. The logical routing for the journey would be primarily via interstate highways, loved by many for their high efficiency but scorned by others for their rather boring sameness. As I mentioned, this was a road trip of discovery so I decided to wander a bit. It’s always exciting to get off the beaten track, so seeking a bit of adventure, I got off the interstates and wound my way toward Rapid City through northwestern Nebraska. And that’s where I encountered Carhenge – America’s homage to England’s historic monumental stone site.
Carhenge is sort of out there all by itself. It’s not really close to anything you might have heard of – trust me on this. How to get there? Carhenge is located 9 miles north of the small town of Alliance, Nebraska which lies at the junction of U.S. 385 and Nebraska Highways 2 and 87. It’s about 253 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado and 155 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota.Not only is it rather off by itself, it certainly is not really what one would expect to find driving across the plains of Nebraska. But there it is all the same, in all it’s quirky splendor.
What’s The Story?
What do you do if you have a slice of some rather empty Nebraska land and a bunch of old cars? Of course the answer to that question for most folks would be “Open a junk yard.” And you can certainly find a few junk yards in Nebraska. But clearly, Jim Reinders is not like “most” folks. He’s an artist – a man of vision. Carhenge, which locals refer to as “car art,” was created by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father. According to the Carhenge website Jim reports that “it took a lot of blood, sweat and beers” to construct the Carhenge which you can view today. ( Jim sounds like my kind of artist! ) Thirty nine cars, all painted gray, were positioned on the Nebraska plains to replicate the physical look, size and proportions of England’s Stonehenge. Jim’s Carhenge was completed and dedicated, appropriately so, on the Summer Solstice in 1987.
Click the “arrow” below to view a brief fly-over video of Carhenge
Carhenge is a photographer’s delight. And, if you are a cautious and responsible pilot, it is also “drone friendly.'”
Carhenge is open daily, during daylight hours only. And there is no admission charge! ….. ( Loyal readers will recall that “free” is one of my favorite words. ) But donations are appreciated, and given the true artistic grandeur of Carhenge, they seem well deserved. A small gift shop, operating during summer months, is located at the entrance and offers a variety of souvenirs and interesting items. So be sure to stock up on some Carhenge goodies and memorabilia before heading on down the road to your next adventure.
CHECK OUT CARHENGE …….. AND ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!
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© 2018, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.