QOTD: Best Roadside Attractions?
Mercifully, at least to those of us living in the Snow Belt or in the Great White North, the official start of summer is only 57 days away. You know what that means: swimming pools, grilling meat, and — for gearheads — road trips.
I’m of firm belief the journey is half the fun, especially if you’re taking the Queen Family Truckster somewhere new. The countries on either side of the 49th parallel are filled with random and bizarre roadside bric-a-brac, some of it fit for discussion on this website, some of it — as we shall see — is straight from Hugh Hefner’s imagination.
My home province has a weird fascination with naming towns after, well, things and acts one will not find detailed in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping. Heart’s Content, Heart’s Delight, and Heart’s Desire are all pretty PG-13, but there are not one but two areas containing the word Dildo. Unsurprisingly, the sign pointing to the town is one of the most photographed items on the island. You’d expect it to get stolen with alarming regularity but somehow it remains in place. Fun fact known only by locals: the town of Spreadeagle is next to Dildo but you won’t find that tasty fact on any map or tourist brochure. It’s said the name originated thanks to the land in the area, when viewed from the air, resembling an eagle with its wings spread. Yeah, right.
The town of Dildo is not to be confused with an area about four hours to the northeast called Dildo Run. Naturally, it is within shouting distance of the community of Virgin Arm. It gets better; the small town of Dark Hole (now renamed Parkview) is just down the road.
Urban legend or not, the following makes for a great story. I’ve heard it several times from different sources, so I’m confident there is a kernel of truth in there somewhere. Virgin Arm is big enough to warrant a locally owned fast food joint, as it’s in close proximity to about half a dozen other communities the same size or bigger. In the early ‘90s, long before the internet and online ordering, the restaurant — named Dildo Run Snacks — was trying to find a replacement part for its deep fryer. After all day on the phone, the sole place they found that carried it was in Ontario somewhere. After about 20 solid minutes of convincing the repair place that its restaurant was actually called Dildo Run Snacks, the supplier finally relented.
“Ok, ok. Fine. Dildo Run Snacks is the name of your restaurant. Whatever. In what town are you located so we can mail the part?”
Roadside attraction, weird monument, town name — what’s the oddest thing you’ve happened upon during a road trip?
[Image: shankar s./Flickr]
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