During the first part of the pandemic, I started a new hobby: visiting roadside attractions. It's been such a fun way to see the glorious weirdness that's often hidden right off the beaten path. One of my favorite attractions so far has been The Goop: Mini-Golf Alien Survivor in Tucson, Arizona. The 13-foot-tall statue, sculpted in concrete and rebar by Lee Koplin, was rescued in 2009 from Tucson-based Magic Carpet Golf when it went out of business. It's now sitting in front of someone's house in a residential area of Tucson.
One way to find all of the weird roadside attractions near you is through the website RoadsideAmerica.com, which also created an app you can use to keep track of which attractions you want to see and which ones you've already visited. You can also upload pictures and write tips for other travelers, and make suggestions for new attractions. The website also features a "sight of the week." This week's featured attraction is Chicken Boy: Muffler Man. He's described in this way by the website:
This unique, mutant Muffler Man—half-human and half-poultry—stands on a rooftop overlooking a busy commercial district on Figueroa Street. Twenty-two feet tall, Chicken Boy has the head of a rooster, the biceps of a weightlifter, and his hands grasp a large, empty bucket.
I know what my first stop's gonna be the next time I make it to Los Angeles! In the midst of some really challenging times over the last few years (with no end in sight), visiting roadside attractions has brought some much-needed humor into my life. You should try it!