There is many times on this trip when I don't know what the day will bring. Today was one of those days.
You know how you'll be driving down the highway and you'll see one of those brown (sometimes green) signs boasting things to see. Typically they'll say: State Park such-n-such, or museum of this-or-that. Well today the sign only said "Point of Interest". That peaked my interest, so I exited. At the top of the exit ramp there was another small sign pointing to the left, again all it said was "point of interest".
Let me paint you the picture at this point. I was in the middle of NOWHERE! I hadn't seen a gas station exit in forever, nor did I see anything at this exit. It had been farm fields for what seemed like hours. This exit looked like a random farm road with access to the highway. So I couldn't imagine the "point of interest" that could be out here in the middle of the farm world I was in. I figured it was going to be a historical marker or something like that. After driving a little over a mile on dirt roads, This is the first signs of civilization I'd seen, and it appears to be the point of interest.
I saw no one, as you can see there are vehicles, two vehicles to be precise. But no people, activity, nothing. It seemed so random this place. I figured it didn't hurt to drive up for a closer look. However, I must admit this is the first time on my trip I was kind of spooked by a location.
The wind was blowing about 30 mph (or faster) so you didn't want to stand outside long. The dust coming off the fields, and parking lot hurt my skin. So I made Mia jump out of the car and grab some pictures. We couldn't figure out where the from door was, finally Mia saw a sign that said to knock. Mia wasn't so sure about this option, she was spooked about this place too.
No one around, stuff everywhere.
It looked like a cross between a hoarders dream and a Hollywood mass murder home.
Either way Mia wasn't so sure about this one.
About the time Mia decided we were leaving, a cute, little, well groomed Pomeranian came running up. Mia figured no mass murdered had time to keep such a well groomed pup so we knocked. Ester Chubbuck, came to the door to greet us. Upon entrance we saw the inside of the building was exactly like the outside, very overwhelming with stuff. We learned that Ester and her husband now owned the tower and charge just one dollar for admission. So with our dollar paid we followed the signs through the maze of stuff and rooms to head up the tower.
Mia went up to the level just below the top of the tower, the wind was blowing so hard she was nervous to go up to the top with out another human with her. The stairs were so steep at times it was like climbing a ladder. We did however enjoy the view from the windows.
When we got down from the tower Mia started looking around. Before going up she purposefully avoided looking around because she didn't want to miss anything. So as we came down she started taking tons of pictures and enjoying the marvel of stuff. In the Grandma and Grandpa's room is where you'll find the animal monstrosities. Besides the two headed calf there were countless animals in jars, and bones in frames.
|The dear head is not a monstrosity. But the two headed calf is.|
The tower, hotel and restaurant were built in 1926. And at the time was the tallest building between NYC and Denver. So it was a major tourist stop. The original owner, Mr. Gregory, would stand at the top of the tower with binoculars and a bull horn. Checking license plates and then speaking directly to you. The stop was a major stop for years it had a gas station, and was even a bus stop for a time. The pictures from "back in the day" show tons of people have a great time.
After Mr. Gregory died, the location fell into disrepair and about 20 years ago it was bought by the Chubbucks. They have filled the place with so many things to see, it can be over whelming at times. There is a ton of fun to be had, especially for only a dollar. Many of the items are up for sale, though some prices seem extreme and others not marked at all.
I would recommend people stopping and checking it out. It was an interesting place to stop and stretch your legs in the middle of nowhere.
We were both happy it turned out to be a fun, safe place and not a
future episode for some cop drama on TV.
Though it would be a great backdrop for one...
|The old bar space|
|Original booth from restaurant.|