You see a sign that says “view area” after driving all day. You’re tired, and maybe you think “I’ll pass…still gotta long way to go.” We’ll admit that even we do that sometimes, but those viewing areas tucked away on the side of the road–or the side roads–can turn out to be the best free views you can find on your all-American road trip.
We’ll always be grateful for deciding to stop at Harley Dome View Area in Eastern Utah that one evening.
Located just 3.5 miles west of the Utah-Colorado border along I-70 (see map), Harley dome gives you an up-close view of the West’s jagged yet amazing landscape. Look carefully and you can watch hawks fly around. Then take the winding path up to the main attraction: a panoramic view of the Wild West. Words cannot describe this place, but pictures can.
Don’t miss this opportunity; Utah is a beautiful state. The evidence begins the moment you arrive.
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.
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!
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.
Cruising through northern Minnesota on our way home from our three-month inaugural road trip a while back, we noticed this vintage fighter jet quickly emerging from over the tree line as we drove along U.S. Highway 2. Except it wasn’t flying towards us. Actually, it wasn’t flying at all.
The jet—a (real) retired Cold War era F-101 Voodoo—is a memorial to Captain Sherman L. Gonyea and Captain James L. Verville of the Minnesota Air National Guard, who perished when their own F-101 was lost on December 17, 1971. This memorial also honors “All National Guardsmen who have given their lives that this great privilege will remain forever secure.”
This F-101 has a permanent home on the grounds of the city’s golf course, which is open to the public. A fitting tribute from the hometown of these men, the golf course also hosts a tournament each year in their honor. They will not be forgotten.
Parking The nearby Community Center (100 Pionk Drive) has plenty of parking located at the bottom of the hill from the golf course, plus additional spots are at the nearby museum.
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