Max and the Roadside Attractions

No road trip is complete without stops at the many strange and wonderful attractions along America’s highways.

You know what I’m talking about. Attractions like the legendary World’s Largest Ball of Twine,” (Cawker, Kansas) or maybe “Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard,” (Burlington, Vermont) or the not-to-be-missed “World’s Largest Bug Statue” in Providence, Rhode Island not to be confused with “Herkimer” the World’s Largest Beetle statue in Colorado.


Anyone planning a road trip needs to visit for a comprehensive listing of oddities along the route. Quality internet. Oh, this is “Herkimer,” the world’s largest beetle. Just so ya know.

On our recent jaunt into the Pacific Northwest, Max kept his eyes peeled to spot all things unusual and interesting.

Sadly, we missed the Human Skulls & Freak Calves Museum, Bobbie the Wonder Dog and Alf’s Ice Cream, Burger and Monkey Emporium. Maybe next time.

Worst dinosaur

This dinosaur looks like the spawn of Godzilla and Barney.  The gentle green eyes are an especially fey touch.

We did see plenty of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, most were really, really badly done. This fellow in particular was a tragic mistake by an artist not very skilled in the depiction of over-sized lizards.

Blue Ox 1

I should mention that Babe the Blue Ox is male. This statue is anatomically correct and complete. I tried to convince the AJF to take a photo while I pretended to hold up Babe’s, uh, gonads but she refused.

Who could pass up Paul Bunyan and his boon companion Babe the Blue Ox? Certainly not us. These towering statues are at a roadside attraction called Trees of Mystery which shall ever remain a mystery to us because the place was not dog friendly.

The giant Paul Bunyan statue has a head and hands that can be moved by radio signals from a remote operator. The operator can also talk to visitors through a two-way radio built into Paul’s giant noggin.

Paul Bunyan

“Don’t touch my axe.”

While we were there, a kid – perhaps 13 years old – was climbing on Paul Bunyan’s axe and taking selfies. The operator noticed the kid and asked through the big speaker “why are you touching my axe?”

Well, the speaker fidelity was rather poor or the kid misinterpreted the question. In response he shouted out – loud enough to get picked up on the speaker that broadcasted over the plaza – “I didn’t touch your ass, who’d want to touch your big fat ass?”

The Trees of Mystery visitors were amused and applauded loudly.

Can’t forget Nessie who is the mythical beast beneath the placid harbor waters in Yaquina Bay, Oregon. Look carefully and you can see Big Foot or Sasquatch or Big Squat or whomever next to Nessie at the world famous Yo Ho Ho Bounce House.


Nessie? That sounds like cultural appropriation to me. Somebody call Loch Ness.

Once you get up in Big Trees country there are all sorts of wood carvings, most seemingly done by chainsaw. Everything from cigar-holding Native Americans to eagles and bears of all types and sizes. On the coast, seals and walrus carvings abound.

Toma and Max at Seal Statue

Max wonders a) what is this thing and b) why is he being held next to it.

Crabs are popular, too. This big crustacean is on the wharf at Bandon, Oregon. Those people on the pier behind the AJF are crabbing. Most all bagged at least one fat Dungeness crab that the pier operators would cook on request.

CRab statue Bandon

I was about to make a crab comment that would have cost me a night on the sofa. So I won’t make it.

Sometimes it’s just fun to stop and take quick photo. Max usually draws attention from fellow travelers and it’s typical for strangers to ask to pet the Malt which he likes a great deal.

What surprised us was that after our photo was taken, a couple of families thought it would be fun to borrow our dog and have him in their pictures, too. Who wants a strange dog in a family photo? Tourists, sheesh.

Had we known he’d be so popular, we would have charged a fee.

We 2 at Trees of Mystery

The one in the back is a grizzly. The one behind him is a bear. :snorf:

36 replies

    • Sometimes I wonder what exactly goes through his little Malt brain when we take him along to these unusual spots. Maybe he’s wondering why he doesn’t go to the dog park like other dogs? How come he can’t just stay at home and nap? Why do we afflict on him such tribulations? All told, he seems happier when he gets to come along and we’re certainly happier when he does.


  1. Good grief, is there anything that isn’t recreated in a statue? Where’s the statue of Max?!

    The last photo of all of you and, ummmm, the bear, is great. You and the AJF are smiling broadly. Max looks bored!! And Max has his own stroller!! Too funny, but so practical. How many treats have you offered Max to get out of the stroller and let you climb in? 😜😋☺️

    The Paul Bunyon story cracked me up!!

    I hope Max is keeping an album chronicling his travels.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Max’s stroller (we now call it a “poussette” because that sounds classier) is as much a part of his travels as the car seat. It allows us to sneak him into places he would otherwise be banned. Just lower the front screen and act like doting grandparents. If caught, my line is “doesn’t he look a lot like me?” That gets a sympathy vote if nothing else. If I could take tours and drink beer while in a stroller pushed by the AJF I would never get out, Ginger. We don’t know what Max makes of all these strange experiences but he keeps a small smile on that Maltese face so I guess it’s all good!


  2. Ya know…..I am at a loss here. I think you have cornered the market on cool statues to visit. Holy smoke! Bugs as tourist attractions–who knew? Yes, Max looks ready to move on to the next great adventure with his humans. Hope he gets extra treats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trees of Mystery should hire that kid..and be dog friendly.
    Is Paul Bunyan the American version of the hero of our comics…Desperate Dan…. who lived on cow pie prepared by his terrifying mother?
    Max is very tolerant….id he get some crab?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to Google Desperate Dan, especially since “cow pie” to us means what one finds in the meadow after a bovine laxative. There are definite similarities but many differences too. Dan’s chest is much rounder and being from Dundee, no doubt he has an accent and a wicked temper. No, Max got no crab. The one time we tried slipping him some king crab, the Malt regurgitated on his Mom’s favorite shoes. “Never again,” she said.


  4. Somewhere in the archives I have a photo of me about to be devoured by one of those dinosaurs. Come to think of it, it may be the only photo the ex kept. So maybe his archives. Still, if you haven’t traced the old Route 66, I can highly recommend it. Weirdness in triplicate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A portion of 66 (Foothill Blvd) runs just a mile below Max’s house. It’s festooned with signage just in case anyone couldn’t figure out what historical road they were on. We’ve done a fair share of the route, what remains that is, in Cali, Arizona and a portion of New Mexico and you’re spot on about the roadside attractions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Ax” and “Ass”…snort-laugh! 😀 So I have to axe…er…ask you…Did you touch Paul Bunyan’s big axe or his big ass?!??! 😀
    Those fun roadside attractions add to the fun fun FUN of road trips!
    Glad the bare bear was friendly and let all three of you in his selfie! 😉 😛
    Max could bring big buck$ to be in other people’s photos! 🙂
    People are always asking me if they can pet Cooper…he’s friendly and safe and loves the attention, so I can always say “yes!” 🙂
    HA! I have a friend who’s dog likes to pee on such things like statues. He might’ve peed on Paul Bunyan’s axe! 😮
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wanted a photo of me holding up Babe the Blue Ox’s nuts but the AJF was too embarrassed to stand there while I posed. They were just the right height so if I stood tall and extended fully, the palms of my hands met the underside…OK, maybe TMI. Some folks saw what was going on between me and the AJF. The guys all laughed and encouraged me; the ladies looked as though they sympathized with the AJF. In the end, no photo. :sad face:

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Been missing your humorous commentary and good to see I have quite a few posts to catch up on. Max is cute as ever and I can understand people wanting to claim him in photos. This could be your get rich quick opportunity. Nothing like being kept by your dog.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bwahahaha. That’s quite the grizzly!

    P.S. Hard to believe I’ve never visited Herkimer, then again, my trips to the Springs are limited-it’s a pass through town on my GPS. I think the Focus on the Family people have an APB out on me anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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