Even We Had Trouble Finding This Place, But That’s the Point.
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Far into the wilds of Northern California lies a place where the fish thrive and people can live as one with nature. UW found this fishing paradise on accident after a chance encounter with one of the managers. And we really lucked out.
We ventured to Northern California to see the real Northern California–you know, the one that’s a few hundred miles north of San Francisco. Yeah, that one. Located in Klamath, about 40 miles from Oregon, Gold River Lodge offers true fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts a piece of nature difficult to find these days.
For the fishing aficionados, this is the place you need to be. Perfect for a weekend getaway in a comfy lodge with a scenic view. Or you can bring your RV there if you’d like–they’ve got plenty of parking. But the best part is, Gold River Lodge does everything for you. It’s not BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) here…they’ll take care of that, plus tailor a trip and fishing packages just for you.
You won’t notice much while driving through southern Illinois, at least not until you see the billboards for the world’s largest…well, there’s a few things to see. Here in the small town of Casey, a reinvention is underway. A former oil town, Casey, Illinois is rebranding itself as the modern capital of the world’s largest wind chime. It’s also home to the world’s largest golf tee, rocking chair, and mailbox, among other things certified by Guinness World Records. Oh yeah, you can actually “ring” the wind chime. See video below:
Bolin Enterprise Inc.
So who’s behind all this? Meet Bolin Enterprise Inc.(BEI), a company specializing in pipeline cleaning and maintenance. BEI has long called Casey home, and as the town’s economy changed and many jobs went away, BEI invested in projects like the wind chime to attract tourism. This new endeavor clearly works; it did attract UW, after all. Many of Casey’s small businesses are thriving as a result, shining with the adopted slogan “Big Things in a Small Town”.
There are a number of “big things” in Casey, both official and unofficial, and they’re not all in one place, either. Turn a corner and you’ll find a giant birdcage. The World’s Largest Rocking Chair (certified, weighing about 23 tons) is located next to City Hall. The randomness of these monuments makes Casey ever more interesting. One day, UW will return to document more–unfortunately, we only had time to visit the wind chime and rocking chair.
And of course, we couldn’t leave without meeting the actual builder of all these magnificent things. UW caught up with the master wood and metalworker behind these giant creations in his workshop, conveniently located behind the wind chime. Employed by BEI, this is his “retirement” job (he works with another person, too), and loves every minute of it. He was in the middle of carving what might become the world’s largest gavel when we arrived.
The National Western Stock Show, or the “Stock Show”, as it’s commonly known, is a well-established event that takes place in Denver annually. For one week each January, visitors can see the “other” Colorado, the one that exists outside of Denver, Boulder, and the touristy ski towns.
The Stock Show highlights Colorado’s–and America’s–rural side, complete with rodeos, livestock showings, and a forum to buy “western” stuff. Authentic cowboy boots, anyone? Ranchers from throughout the United States and Canada bring their prized livestock to Denver every year to be judged.
For anyone who’s not from the West, like this East Coaster, going to the Stock Show within an hour of getting off the plane from New York was a real culture shock. But it’s a treat to see if you can go.