Note: This story is from the November-December 2011 issue of the Gypsy Journal.
As soon as we hit the road as fulltime RVers, people began telling us about North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway, a 32 mile long stretch of two lane road between Interstate 94 and the little hamlet of Regent, to the south.
The Enchanted Highway’s claim to fame is the series of giant whimsical metal sculptures that artist Gary Greff built along both sides of the road.
Greff, a teacher and high school principal, lives in Regent and had never done any artwork or welding before he conceived the idea of the sculptures as a way to bring traffic to his small town. And oh, what sculptures he dreamed up! They are amazing for their sheer size, and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Geese in Flight, located at the north end of the highway, at Exit 72 on Interstate 94, about 20 miles east of Dickinson, is 110 feet tall and 154 feet long, and has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest metal sculpture.
More gigantic sculptures are waiting for you as you drive south, including grasshoppers, deer jumping over a fence, and pheasants.
And there are “humans” too! The Tin Family includes a farmer, his wife, and son. These were Greff’s first creations, and were made from used farm machinery, with the help of local farmers and friends in the community.
Theodore Roosevelt Rides Again is a 51 foot tall tribute to the role President Roosevelt played in North Dakota’s history. The sculpture is made of used oil well pipes.
If you like to cast a line, you will appreciate Fisherman’s Dream, a lake scene with 30 foot long fish swimming below the surface, and a 70 foot rainbow trout leaping from the “water.”
The detail that Greff incorporated into the sculptures is impressive. The 45 foot tall Tin Man, of the Tin Family sculpture, holds a pitchfork in one hand, while his wife holds a basket of flowers, and their son grasps a lollipop.
There are pullout areas beside the highway at most of the sculptures, to allow you to stop and admire them safely. Once you get to Regent, there is a small RV park just off the main street, but you won’t find much in the way of dining or shopping except for a small gift shop, a historical museum, and a handful of other buildings.
But as always in the RV lifestyle, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And a journey down the Enchanted Highway is one you won’t soon forget.
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Thought For The Day – Old minds are like old horses. You must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order – John Quincy Adams