Tag Archives: Oddities

What’s This Strange Thing?

Add This One to Your Oregon Trip

Special thanks to Oregon Department of Transportation for their cooperation on this article.

Click icon to view map

Oregon’s a beautiful state. For those who’ve only been to the coast, we recommend driving through Eastern Oregon. The unrivaled views are amazing. And along the way, you’ll find some interesting curiosities, like this phone booth. We did a double take when we saw this one.

It’s one thing to occasionally find the ever-disappearing payphone these days, but it’s a completely different story to encounter an actual phone booth! Complete with windows, vintage phone sign, and, presumably, a working phone (although it was out of order when we visited). This was too good not to feature on UWanderings. These relics from the past are almost gone; we’re happy that ODOT preserved this one.

The crazy things we find on the road. Seriously.

This gem from the past is located at Boardman Rest Area in North Central Oregon, off of I-84. See map above for details. Happy travels!

It’s A Wonderful Life Comes to Life

Bedford Falls is Alive and Well in Upstate New York

Click icon to view map

How can we forget George Bailey running down the streets of his hometown, screaming Merry Christmas to everyone as he finally discovers his true purpose in life? Where did this miracle happen? Why, Bedford Falls, of course.

Sadly, Bedford Falls is a work of fiction. However, according to legend, it was inspired by a real life town in Upstate New York. Before the film was made, Director Frank Capra was a familiar visitor to Seneca Falls, NY. Long known for its contribution to the Women’s Rights Movement, Seneca Falls is believed to be the inspiration for the fictional town of Bedford Falls. The names are similar, anyway, although we did run into George Bailey himself. See video below:

Bedford Falls, Seneca Falls…OK there’s that. But the layout of each town is nearly identical, the politics of the time eerily similar. And then there’s the bridge. The famous bridge that George Bailey almost jumped off and into the river below. Seneca Falls has one of those, too.

The famous bridge

 There will always be skeptics, but Seneca Falls, NY long ago claimed the title of inspiration for Mr. Capra’s mythical town, going so far as establishing a museum devoted to the film. To celebrate, It’s a Wonderful Life actually comes to life each December in a winter festival. Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey—George’s youngest—returns each year for the festival to sign autographs. 

Zuzu–Karolyn Grimes–signs autographs at the Museum, December 2016

And there’s plenty of reenactors to go around—George, Violet, Mr. Potter, Clarence. They’re all roaming the streets of Seneca Bedford Falls one time each year.

 
More info on It’s a Wonderful Life Festival
It’s a Wonderful Life Museum

Nevada’s Oldest Saloon

This Saloon’s Been Going for a While

Click icon to view map

Saloons are the cornerstone of the Old West. You’ve probably never heard of Genoa, NV unless you’re from there. Only an hour south of Reno, Genoa’s claim to fame is Nevada’s oldest saloon: Genoa Bar and Saloon.

We’re not sharing interior pictures because we don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you want to get an authentic “Wild West” feel while kicking back and enjoying a drink, it’s right here for you. And if you’re lucky enough, you might see some wildlife nearby, like we did.

Genoa Bar and Saloon official website

Tree House…Cali Style

Older than America

Click icon to view map (NOTE: map point is not exact)

Nothing is more American than building a tree house in the backyard, but this one predates the Declaration of Independence by a few millennia.

It’s known as the “World Famous Tree House”. Driving along California’s famous U.S. Route 101 on our way to Crescent City, we spotted this straight from the road. That’s because it’s pretty much on the road. Really, you can’t miss it, so of course we had to investigate. We weren’t sure what to expect.

And then we entered the World Famous Tree House. It’s wasn’t your backyard weekend project.

4,000 years ago, a little seedling fell on the ground and kept growing. Nothing could stop it, not even a lightning strike 300 years ago. Today it stands 250 feet high and has a hollowed out cavity that you can walk into straight from the visitor center and store, which is built around it.

The property also has really cool chainsaw carvings for sale. Another reminder that you’re on the West Coast, where different is normal.

A Swap Meet for Car Parts

The Things You Can Find Here

Click icon below to view map

***Now YOU can share your travel stories and photos on UndiscoveredWanderings.com! It’s free, fun, and it gets your name out there! Click here to learn more.***

Our second installment on Reno’s 2016 Hot August Nights focuses on a swap meet. Yes, you read that correctly. Turns out swap meets aren’t limited to just jewelry, curtains, and lawn ornaments. Car enthusiasts have long relied on these meets to build their custom rides on the cheap. And why not? There are plenty of old car parts to go around.

But this swap meet–one of the more popular attractions of Hot August Nights–is big enough to incorporate some other items of interest, like antique gas pumps (see gallery below), old car phones, and other oddities that could satisfy any collector. So, come shopping with us!

Hot August Nights official website