On the road - Kentucky to North Carolina - The Dainty Squid

On the road - Kentucky to North Carolina

Monday, October 27, 2014

The weekend before last Jeff and I took a little road trip, definitely not as epic as our last one, but still a nice escape from daily life. I was invited to a blog conference down in North Carolina, and while that was fun enough for me, Jeff suggested we leave a day earlier and take a detour over to Kentucky before hitting NC. That's my maaaan! I'm so pumped I found someone who likes road trips as much as I do. I excitedly agreed that adding another day, and a few more states would make it even better. I have a handful of posts from the weekend but thought I'd start with a little round up of all the roadside attractions we found.

First thing Saturday morning we hit the road for Cave City. We didn't actually get a chance to go in any caves. Booo! The one we really wanted was sold out for the day and before we knew it everything was closed. But we did visit all kinds of silly little gift shops full of rocks, which we both enjoyed.
After leaving Kentucky the next morning we stumbled upon the most exciting little part of our trip. I was using the Roadside America app, like I always am when I'm basically anywhere outside of a twenty mile radius of Cleveland. I found an elephant and since I was tired of being in the car already I suggested we stop and find it. As we approached, right off the side of the highway, we spotted the area where it was. Not only was there an elephant, there was a giraffe, a horse, some clowns, a castle and two ferris wheels. ALL ABANDONED. We both freaked. It was such an awesome find!

Apparently there used to be a fireworks store there but in July of this year it burnt down. There aren't really any traces of the building left, it was apparently cleaned up but they left behind all the fun stuff. One of the ferris wheels was already starting to do the mean lean, I'm not sure how long they've been out of use but it doesn't seem like this one will be standing too much longer.
A quick drive away from that is a giant dragon, not quite as exciting as two ferris wheels but still pretty awesome. This guy was massive. He's located behind an dollar store and there was actually someone camping right near his feet. I don't know what that was all about but I tip toed up and took a photo of the big dude anyway. Can't not photograph a massive dragon.

Like I said above, the dragon is only minutes away from the elephant, giraffe, ferris wheel place, and oddly enough he used to be in front of a fireworks place that also burned down a few years back. I saw on the app that someone mentioned the dragon has been for sale since 2013. I couldn't find anymore information on it but I sure hope he finds a nice home! I wonder what the going price on something like that is.
In North Carolina I stopped to check out the grave of Daisy and Violet Hilton. Daisy and Violet were Siamese twins who toured the US sideshow circuit in the 1930's. The twins were poor at the time of their death so they were buried in a donated plot and share a headstone with an acquaintance's son. If you're interested in reading more about them, I actually read this book not too long ago. It was pretty interesting.
Last silly little roadside attraction of the trip was a shell shaped Shell station in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It's no longer in service but it is in excellent condition! Preservation North Carolina actually spent one year and $50,000 restoring it to it's original condition. Eight of these were originally built in the 1930's all around the area but this is the last remaining one. I am forever a sucker for novelty architecture.
And that's what we saw on the trip! I have two more posts about awesome places we visited that I'll be sharing soon.

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16 thoughts

  1. What a crazy place to fiind! It'd be like stepping into an episode of American Horror Story, haha.



  2. I would have collapsed into a heap of hot mess if I saw that rock shop in person.

    1. Girl! You need to head out West then! It felt like every tiny city I visited was FULL of rock shops!

  3. Oh my gosh I live so close to that shell gas station and drive past it all the time! I am so happy the restored it instead of tearing it down. That's awesome, you were in my hometown! :D The ferris wheel photos are amazing by the way, what a cool find!

  4. I love seeing abandoned places like these, awesome pics!

  5. Ahhh, I had no idea we had a shell shaped Shell Station!! Winston-Salem is not far from where I live (Raleigh) so I will definitely need to take a little day trip to check that out! Where was the blogger conference? Charlotte?

    1. Haha! Yeah, it's definitely worth a drive to see. Super cool.

      Yep, Charlotte! :)

  6. So good! I am totally obsessed with novelty architecture! I used to live so close to a few ice cream cone shaped ice cream stands and they always made me so happy :)

    1. Yep, novelty architecture is my JAAAAM!

      Why'd you have to move away!? We're into basically all the same things!! We'd have so much fun together!

    2. I know right?? You've found a zillion places in Ohio that I never knew existed. Clearly I wasn't trying hard enough. We WOULD have a great time—finding a good road trip/oddity loving friend isn't easy!

  7. How have I not heard about this app before? I'm definitely downloading it for our next road trip. You had some good finds. There's something so eerie and nostalgic about abandoned carnival equipment. All the joy they brought and now have just been left to decay. Thanks for the inspiration!


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