Way out in the middle of nowhere, along freeways and rural backroads, they pop up. Sculptures, murals, art of all kinds, on display for all passing eyes. I love this–these surprise “road art exhibits” are some of the best and most interesting parts of long car drives. I’ve begun to collect photos of them. This is one of my favorites: a metal sculpture of a tree, standing alone in the desert outside of Lone Pine, California, on the way to the Mt. Whitney trailhead. The Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains provide a stunning backdrop. This piece is huge, rusty, and magnificent, striking in its remote, isolated setting.
Here is another great piece, also a metal sculpture. Ralph Starrit is the artist, and his whimsical dragon, out in the fields in Northern California along the I-5 freeway, was purchased by the city of Yreka. We had fun Googling this information on a smart phone as we drove north and wondered about this unlikely sight. This dragon must be at least 12 feet long . . .
Recently, driving on a rural road near Silverton, Oregon, we happened upon a marvelously colored rooster. He stands proudly in front of the farm outbuildings just a couple of feet from the shoulder of the road. He is perhaps 4 feet tall and brilliantly painted. In the same stretch of asphalt, fastened to a telephone pole, there is a bright red flower formed out of painted horseshoes. I wonder if was the same artist who fashioned both of these pieces. Finding murals, artwork, and creative displays of all sorts has added so much fun and whimsy to our travels. I wish I had begun to photograph them sooner!