World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Version of World's Largst Things Tours California!
The California Tour was a great success - here's what I saw, where and when. The next tour will be in May, to the Orange Show's annual Art Car Parade.
March 2nd – 3rd : Niland and Slab City CA, Salvation Mountain (artist Leonard Knight’s creation)
Great experience - Mr. Knight is still going strong, and is one of the most hospitable people I've ever met. A must see.
March 4th : Cabazon, Claude Bell’s Dinosaurs(we’ve all seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
The Dinosaurs are still for sale! Gift shop still running, though, with a wide range of dino-related merchandise.
March 6th : Joshua Tree CA, World’s Largest Desert Tortoise , and Guest Artist at Copper Mountain College
A diverse community of extremely active artists who value the quality of life you can only find in small rural communities - Not only worth a stop, it's worth a stay. For as long as you possibly can.
March 7th : Bakersfield CA, Shoe
Still standing, and has been sold. Luckily, the new owner kept with the wishes of the builder and rented the space to a shoe repair man. For quality sole stitching (Ha ha ha), visit The Big Shoe.
March 8th : Lindsay CA, World’s Largest Olive
Yes, it's a big olive. Originally made for a co-op of Olive growers, it now sits between the Olive Tree Resteraunt (good pie, EXTREMELY nice folks) and a motel.
March 10th : Kingsburg CA, World’s Largest Swedish Coffeepot , Selma CA, World’s Largest Box of Raisins
March 11th – 14th : Fresno CA, talked with marketing instructor who makes Worlds Largest Things as a part of his curriculum
March 15th – 18th : Sacramento CA and area, World’s Largest Sewing Needle, World's Largest YoYo ,World’s Largest Bulldozer Building – another great example of what is known in Roadside Architecture circles as a ‘Duck’
March 19th – 21th : Sunnyvale CA , World’s Largest Can of Fruit Cocktail (great repainting of a classic label – but it’s so very lonely, surrounded as it is now by a very sterile office park who are obligated to its upkeep)
March 22nd : Castroville CA, World’s Largest Artichoke (fried artichoke leaves – sounds good in theory, but you should judge for yourselves)
March 23rd : Morro Bay, World’s Largest Chess Set
Special Thanks to everyone who loaned me their driveways!
Well, the California Tour is sadly over. I've seen dinosaurs, an olive, a big box of raisins, a pretty good-sized turtle, a large sewing needle, the worlds largest WORKING yoyo (that was a super-secret bonus stop), a shoe shop in a giant shoe, two big clams, a giant chess board (the pieces weren't left out), a very large paper cup,and some amazing folk art environments.
Talked with heads of industry, individual visionaries, college and high school students, marketing moguls and neighborhood kids, ex-truckers and fellow travelers. The thing I keep running into is a wonder and acceptance of Worlds Largest Things. Everyone has a story to share and a list to fill in. Tips and directions end up being very helpful, as well as a place to park for the night.
What happened to the schedule?
Well, in depending on a 1984 Ford to keep me safe and mobile, you have to learn to listen to the vehicle's wishes, too. In the last "What's New" description, I stated that I'm heading out Wednesday March 19th for the San Francisco area. The bus said "No." "I can't do the stopping and the starting on the hills" So, it ended up being a drive-through for San Francisco sites. I did still see most of what was on my list, just in a much much shorter timespan. Drove down the coast along Hwy. 1, gorgeous, and the bus still did fine. Then, by the Salton Sea, the bus just didn't have it in her. The starter went out, in the middle of almost nowhere, at a gas station and convenience store. I was lucky enough to break down in front of a very handy man, who graciously offered his mechanical expertise and driveway for the next couple of days.
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