There’s no shortage of bizarre roadside attractions in Vermont. Many are quick stops or are completely ignorable… depending on your objective. Since our objective was to “find bizarre things in small-town America,” we made an effort to find the three attractions below.
Rocket & Rhino Head
The rhino head is crashing through the wall of the Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace in Burlington (moving to a new location soon). We spent a bit of time trying to determine if the rhino head was real or fake. Given it spends a large portion of the year with a pile of snow on its head, we determined it must be fake; a taxidermied rhino would likely fall apart quickly.
Not to be outdone, the neighbouring business (Conant Metal & Light) has a rocket ship overlooked by a giant metal eagle.
The interwebs refer to this Public sculpture as “the world’s tallest filing cabinet;” however, the local artist who created the sculpture (Bren Alvarez) has never called it this. The 2002 work is referred to as File Under File Under So. Co., Waiting for… and makes an irreverent statement about bureaucracy.
The work was created to illustrate the number of years that a proposed roadway (from the I89 to Burlington) has been stuck in paperwork limbo (since 1965). Each drawer represents each year of waiting between 1965 and 2002.
The cabinets are pretty rusty and have been overrun by birds, graffiti, love notes, and band stickers. The location can be visited as a very quick stop on the way to Oakledge Park, which is certainly worth a wander.
Called Reverence, the black granite tails were created in 1989 by natural forms artist Jim Sardonis as a statement about the fragility of the planet.
The whale tails are easily viewable from the interstate but are accessible from elsewhere. During a third pass of the sculpture (long story) we did see kids playing amongst the tails… so there is a safe way to get to the site.
Photos were taken by La Niña as we drove by.