See the USA

Some of the fun & unusual things you can see on your way to the Pacific Northwest.

Wall Drug

Wall, SD

Bison

Great Plains

Multnomah Falls

Portland, OR

An Introduction

You’ve decided to attend the 2015 MOCNA International in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

We hope you will find attending this MOCNA event provides you the wonderful opportunity to tour through this great land of ours whether you decide to drive or trailer your Met. Besides all the fun you’ll have telling people along the way about your Met you’ll be traveling through some of the most beautiful and ever-changing landscape in the world. The words of America the Beautiful run through my mind every time I travel this beautiful land:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Katharine Lee Bates – 1913

We miss so much of the core of America in this day of super highways, GPS directions, and the huge hurry to get somewhere. Those roadside attractions that once made our trips memorable and enjoyable are disappearing so quickly and we’ll never get them back. Wouldn’t it be great to take a little slower path and rediscover roadside America?

Please consider adding an extra day or two of travel time so you can relax and enjoy some of these strange, weird, and wonderful attractions.

We’ve put together a listing of web sites that show you some of the fun and unusual things you can seek out along your route. Or maybe you’ve heard of something that piques your interest - the internet is a great source before you leave of course, but once on the road one of the best sources I’ve found to gather route and attractions information is at Visitor Centers. Just about every state I’ve travelled through has a visitor center located just inside the state borders. They have free maps, attraction advertisements, and VOLUNTEERS! The volunteers are wonderful people to talk with and they are so proud of their states. They are a tremendous wealth of information and can tell you about interesting things to see or do along your route and those much more relaxed though less travelled roads that are going your way. And Visitor Centers have RESTROOMS TOO!

We’re positive you’ll find reasons to smile, stand open-mouthed in awe, shake your head at silliness, and take pictures that you’ll enjoy and share with all of your friends for the rest of your lives.

And by the way, when you reach those “purple mountains majesty,” stop and see for yourself whether those mountains really are purple or not! (You’ll be glad you did.)

As you prepare for your trip don’t forget to pack your AAA membership, camera, cell phone, cooler, first aid kit, GPS, paper maps, and your MOCNA Roster (you never know when you might need knowledgeable help)!

Attractions Along The Way

Consider these attractions that you may find along your route - just to get you looking

Government Railroad Bridge Moline, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa

The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi!
Designed by then Colonel Robert E. Lee, opposed by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, and when the owners of the freight barges on the river (angry that the railroads were taking away their business) decided to sue the railroads for “obstructing the river” a Springfield, Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln led the defense!


Some other places of interest:

  • Biosphere 2, Oracle, AZ
  • Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, I-10 exit 219, btwn Tucson/Phoenix, AZ
  • Vintage Motorcar Museum, Hardy, AR
  • Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
  • Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield, CA
  • Redwood National Forest, Coastline of Northern CA
  • Geographic Center of the U.S., Lebanon, KS
  • Silver mine, Wallace, ID
  • Purple Martin House, Griggsville, IL
  • Largest Ball of Paint, Alexandria, IN
  • Government Railroad Bridge, Moline, Illinois to Davenport, IA
  • World’s Biggest Ball of Twine (add your own!), Hwy 24,Cawker City, KS
  • Spam Museum, Austin, MN
  • 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar and Flying Jackelope! I-90, Haugen, MT
  • Glacier National Park, US Hwy 2, MT
  • Gold mine, Bozeman, MT
  • Kootenai Falls, near Libby, Troy, MT
  • Wells Fargo tracks, SR 7, between Wibaux and Benson, MT
  • Battle of Burnt Boat Creek, Bismarck, ND
  • Enchanted Highway, (Roadside Giants!), Dickinson, ND
  • Painted Desert, I-94 ND
  • Teddy Roosevelt Park (Bison!), Medora, ND
  • Carhenge, Alliance, NE
  • Largest Ball of Stamps, Boys Town, NE
  • Lucy the Elephant, (yep, she survived Hurricane Sandy!), Margate, NJ
  • World’s Largest Pistachio Nut, Alamogordo, NM
  • The Shoe Tree, Middlegate, NV
  • Crater Lake, via Medford or Klamath Falls, OR
  • Multnomah Falls, east of Troutdale, OR
  • The Rocky Mountains!
  • The Black Hills, I-90, SD
  • Mount Rushmore, off of I-90, Keystone, SD
  • Murdo Pioneer Auto Museum, I-90, Murdo, SD
  • Wall Drug (Amazing!), Wall, SD
  • Billy Tripp’s Mindfield, Brownsville, TN
  • Cadillac Ranch, I-40, Amarillo, TX
  • Forbidden Gardens, Katy, TX
  • Petrified-Wood Gas Station, Decatur, TX
  • Arches and Canyonlands Nat’l Parks, Moab, UT
  • Zion Nat’l Park, I-15/Utah 9, Southern UT
  • Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Interpretive Center, Vantage, WA
  • Teapot Gas Station, I-82, Zillah, WA
  • UFO Landing Port, Green Bay, WI
  • House on the Rock, Dodgeville, WI
  • Custer’s Last Stand, Custer National Park, I-90, Sheridan, WY
  • Fort Phil Kearney (10 years before Custer!), I-90, Buffalo, WY
  • Yellowstone Nat’l Park, WY/MT/UT

As you prepare for your trip don’t forget to pack your AAA membership, camera, cell phone, cooler, first aid kit, GPS, paper maps, and your MOCNA Roster (you never know when you might need knowledgeable help)!

Carhenge

Alliance, NB

Mount Rushmore

Keystone, SD

SPAM® Museum

Austin, MN

Teapot Dome Service Station

Zillah, WA

Some Interesting Websites

Websites filled with cool places along your route to stop and ogle

15 of the Weirdest Roadside Attractions in America

Funky Roadside Attractions (Why I Love Road Trips)

Welcome to my Beautiful America

Top 50 American Roadside Attractions

RoadsideAmerica.com

Odd & Funny USA Tourist Tips & Links

America's Strangest Roadside Attractions

The "Teapot Gas Station" in Zillah, WA

As you prepare for your trip don’t forget to pack your AAA membership, camera, cell phone, cooler, first aid kit, GPS, paper maps, and your MOCNA Roster (you never know when you might need knowledgeable help)!

The Space Needle

Seattle, WA

Peace Arch (US/Canadian Boarder)

Blaine, WA

Deception Pass Historical Marker

Whidbey Island, WA

Hit the Brakes! It’s a Historical Marker!

Something important happened right here!

Highway historical markers exist along interstates and byways in America. They offer an informative trip back in time to the era and events they commemorate. You can learn a lot by reading these roadside history notes.

You don’t have to drive aimlessly around searching for historical markers. Many are indicated on maps provided by historical societies, automobile clubs, and in some cases, various government departments of transportation. Or, simply consult this Online Directory for websites and/or guidebooks for each state in the U.S. where you can find information on the location of historical markers. (Above text paraphrased from this site.)

Here are some examples of what I’ve learned about at a few Montana roadside markers:

  • Where barbed wire came from and all the different kinds that were used;
  • What is a “doggie” (of “git along little doggie” fame) and why you wouldn’t want it next to your son’s bed at night;
  • How to read cattle brands and why they were used;
  • AND I actually got to see Wells Fargo Stagecoach wheel ruts that still exist on the side of a hill on Montana State Route 7 between Wibaux and Baker!

As you prepare for your trip don’t forget to pack your AAA membership, camera, cell phone, cooler, first aid kit, GPS, paper maps, and your MOCNA Roster (you never know when you might need knowledgeable help)!

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Sponsors

Sponsors and supporters of this event.