Wacky in Wickenberg

26 Jul

Last weekend, I went on a roadtrip to Wickenberg, Arizona – for reasons that even the locals weren’t really sure why I came. Sometimes I just like to explore places, and considering this small town’s downtown was decorated just like a Wild West town, made it pretty neat… and a little creepy.

Wickenberg is about an hour northwest of the outskirts of Phoenix, still within the same county (because that’s how the southwest works). and it’s just under 8,000 people. Personally, it kinda reminded me of the town where I grew up (without the Wild West kitsch). I chose to travel there because a) I’ve never been there, b) it was referenced in an MST3K short, and c) because I knew that a chapter of the club I belong to would be open.

The decoration was one thing – the statues were another. Apparently, they decided to a “Cows on Parade” thing, but instead of cows, they put up people statues in Wild West outfits. That was pretty creepy.

Not sure if it was because they were life-size or just really good or I simply wasn’t expecting it. However, when I checked out the local chapter, the people there were incredibly friendly, great to talk to, and it made it worth the trip.

Unfortunately, the trip getting there wasn’t that exciting – it was flat, it was desert, there was precious little between Phoenix and there. However, I did take a different way back, avoiding the 10 to get home (really crowded interstate).

However, it was a really nice place to visit, and would really like to go back sometime. Have you ever traveled to a place and discovered a hidden gem? Tell me about it in the comments below!

3 Responses to “Wacky in Wickenberg”

  1. joliesattic at 9:08 am #

    It’s been more years than I can remember since I’ve been there. Neat little town. The mannequins are new.

  2. Jordan Hoggard at 3:36 pm #

    Good post. I love road trips. I used to drive for half a tank of gas and then at that point say, “Cool tree. Turn left there, or right, or whatever I decided to blurt out,” for no other reason than because I did. I love serendipity. So, one Friday night after attending a gallery opening, I had the itch. I headed out from Denver to drive through the night to the Badlands in the Dakotas as I’d never been there. I figured in my Audi TTS that, so long as I didn’t get a ticket ( and go to jail for “Flagrant double the speed limit minimum“ 🙂 ), I could make it by sunrise. Then, I saw it. THE most audacious and hilarious billboard ever. “LAST CHANCE. Turn Back Now! It’s only 311 miles to Carhenge.” Whaaaaaattt???

    I pulled over because I was laughing so hard. ONLY 311 miles. I’m from Texas, so it’S not the distance that struck me, but the “who advertises like that?!” part. That settled it. I drove up to the next crossover, turned around, and foot back to the floor through the gears and arrived… just before sunrise… at Carhenge. It’s a full scale replica of Stonehenge made of used cars stuck in the ground and painted gray. They even have a path to the mini sacred satellite area off to the side. So wonderfully surreal. I sat at a picnic table Under a tree, and watched the sunrise at Carhenge. It was actually a pretty spiritual experience… until hours later about 9a when the bbq’ers and picnickers and tourists (of which I was of course one) started showing up and then it transformed into more of a carnie scene. That was cool in itself and surreal, though I was the only one there at sunrise, and it was one of the most peaceful sunrises I’ve experienced. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska.

  3. PansandProses at 7:31 pm #

    Great post! Thank you so much for following me!


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