Reports coming in from Utah are hinting at the possible birth of a new roadside attraction.

Rhett Davis of Hooper, a growing rural area just east of the Great Salt Lake, has built himself a fence constructed from, of all things, demolition-derby cars. He's buried them nose-first in the style of Texas's Cadillac Ranch and Nebraska's Carhenge. Davis himself calls it his Redneck Stonehenge.

A farmer, Davis also included a tractor to the line-up to add a message for the encroaching residential communities that he's still in the agriculture business. "The unique community coming in, I don't think they're used to the farm life," Davis told reporters.

Apparently, an increasing number of people have been moving to Hooper because they want a taste of the country, but then get upset about the dust and the smells coming from the working farms they've moved next to.

"A lot of people moving from areas like Taylor into Hooper have been complaining about the farms," Davis said. "(But) you don't want to tick off a redneck with a backhoe. That's just not a good idea." ... Continued

Fans of Weird Texas, Weird Arizona and many of the other Weird books are probably already familiar with the work of Troy Paiva, photographer and roadside adventurer. As a contributor to the series, Troy has added a unique flavor to many stories with his incomparable night photography.

Shooting by the light of the moon, Troy visits decrepit aircraft, forgotten ghost towns and fading motels throughout the Southwest and creates stunning images with little more than a tripod, a flash and a stack of colored gels, transforming the old and decaying into scenes both unearthly and beautiful.

His site Lost America has for years been a popular stop for photographers and travelers alike, and in 2003 he released his first book, Lost America: The Abandoned Roadside West, hailed as "a seductive journey into the unique world his camera's lenses capture ... replete with evocative remembrances of the eerie and wondrous moments Paiva has shared with the so-called empty desert spaces." I have two copies, myself. ... Continued

In my time on the road, I've collected multiple shelf-loads of souvenirs: lacquered alligator heads, Thing shot glasses, meteorites, jugs of healing thermal water ... and lots and lots of postcards and magnets.
I've never, however, considered them photographic subject matter. Not when I've got the attractions themselves to shoot.

Photographer Michael Hughes knew better than me. Since 1999, he's been working on a series of images that not only record his worldwide travel memorabilia, but with said memorabilia substituting the monuments they depict.

Check out his Flickr set to see how the concept is more interesting than it sounds.

Do you really know what you're doing on the road? I doubt I'll ever meet an American driver who'd say no, but a frightening one out of every three people who've taken the Traffic & Road Sign Test have failed.

Me, I'm not surprised. Whenever there's a major storm in my neighborhood, a number of traffic lights go out and a nobody seems to know what to do. At least half of the drivers around me run the malfunctioning traffic lights — both directions. Genius. Naturally, the same people will then stop at a flashing yellow.

In case you didn't know — and if you drive, you should — a traffic light that's gone dark is always treated as a four-way stop, just as if there were stop signs there. Always. (It doesn't take much intelligence to figure out why.) A flashing yellow, on the other hand, means proceed with caution: not stop, not yield. A flashing red, though, does mean stop. ... Continued

See video

Here at the Roadside Resort, we recognize Matt Harding as one of the world's travel kings, a title he has reinforced with his newly released video.

Harding, if you don't know who he is, became an Internet sensation in 2005 with his first viral video showing him dancing a goofy jig in 20 worldwide locations, including such places as Vietnam, Russia, Mongolia and Kenya, where he frightened a giraffe.

Dancing Matt, as he came to be known, became even more popular through his Web site Where the Hell Is Matt?, as well as through the release of a second video in 2006. Scoring a sponsor in Stride Gum for his new video, Matt danced his way through an astounding 31 locations, cutting the rug next to such notable sights as Machu Picchu in Peru, Area 51 in Nevada, the moai at Easter Island and the Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington. He also made sure to frighten some fur seals in the South Shetland Islands. ... Continued

Detourists with an unhealthy nostalgia for the '80s will soon be able to live out their Hasselhoff fantasies (no, not those fantasies) thanks to the GPS gadget developer Mio Technology.

Apparently, Mio has recently bought out Knight Industries, as they will soon be releasing their Knight Rider-inspired GPS unit in an apparent attempt to capture the direction-sense-challenged dork market.

Not only does the new navigation unit feature a black Trans Am as the locator icon and greet you by saying, "Hello, Michael. Where would you like to go today?" and come with red lights reminiscent of KITT's Anamorphic Equalizer, but it speaks using the original voice of KITT himself, William Daniels.

There's no definite release date yet, but sources have it the unit will retail for about $300.

Let's just hope it plays the awesome theme music, too. ... Continued

Damaged by flooding in 1981, the former Austin Athletic Club in Austin, Texas, stood abandoned for 26 years. It was built in the 1920s, a time that conjures images of pommel horses supporting men with handlebar mustaches named Phineas (a popular name for handlebar mustaches).

It was the capital city's first rec center, serving the city for more than 5 decades, stretching back to a time when rec centers were used for exercise rather than D&D tournaments.

Deeming the building beyond repair, the city finally allocated the funds to tear it down in September 2007. Fortunately, a friend of mine dragged me there for an impromptu photo shoot the April just prior.

The ravages of time and water on the 81-year-old building's wooden structure did not disappoint in either aesthetics or perilous excitement, and I came away with a fair set of photos, which I've finally gotten around to posting here at the Roadside Resort.

Today's Arizona Daily Star has printed in their Accent section a great piece on Weird Arizona.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Valerie Vinyard last week on my travels to the Grand Canyon State and all the unusual stuff I saw out there. Naturally, being a Tucson-based paper, the Star was mostly interested in hearing about stuff in the "Old Pueblo," like Diamondback Bridge, the 280-foot rattlesnake spanning East Broadway; the Garden of Gethsemane, a decades-old park where you can lunch with Jesus; and El Tiradito, a shrine built in memoriam to an adulterer axed to death by the husband of his lover.

As mentioned in the article, the Tucson area tended to suck me in on my trips out west, but one can include only so much from one region when covering an entire state. One might infer from the article that I believe there are only six weird things in Tucson, but I'm certainly aware of many more; as a bonus for those of you who've followed the article here to the Roadside Resort, here's a list of several other sites in and around Tucson you might want to pay a visit:

... Continued

Perhaps you remember the reports of amazing UFO sightings coming out of Stephenville, Texas? Well the Los Angeles Times has decided to cover the event ... 6 months late.

Back in January, the Roadside Resort reported on the incident in which dozens of Stephenville locals spotted strange lights hovering over town. The story made international headlines, turning the dairy town into a UFO sensation. T-shirts proclaimed Erath County the new Roswell.

Apparently, the Times is just now getting wind of the event. However, I do have to thank them for letting us all know that UFO witness Steve Allen and former education reporter Angelia Joiner have since launched a Web site keeping track of the phenomenon. You can find it at

At the Dwell on Design convention held last weekend in Los Angeles, Apartment Therapy Unplggd (or Unpluggd or Unplugged ... even they can't seem to decide) discovered Wilkerson Furniture's brilliant answer to the bland design of today's flat-panel TVs.

The M21 Flat TV Console beautifully captures the midcentury style of a classic black-and-white set with its slick hardwood cabinet (black walnut or cherry), but will house a brand-new 42" high-definition screen. Plus, the cloth-covered lower section is designed to house a center speaker. It's the perfect answer for anyone wondering how they'll fit their new TV in with their retro-style living room.

Unfortunately, reports indicate that Wilkerson is so far only testing public interest in the design. They aren't quite ready for production. However, Finkbuilt, who originally turned me on to the M21, reminds us that one could always build his own. ... Continued