Virginia: The Great Stalacpipe Organ
> Location: Luray
The Great Stalacpipe Organ is located inside the Luray Caverns near Shenandoah National Park. Instead of using pipes, the organ is wired to soft rubber mallets poised to gently strike stalactites of varying lengths and thicknesses. Leland W. Sprinkle created the organ by finding and shaving appropriate stalactites to produce specific notes; it can be heard anywhere within the cavern.
Washington: Wild Horses Monument
> Location: Quincy
This unfinished art installation by David Govedare is called Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies. Currently composed of 15 steel horses along a high ridge, each weighing about 1,000 pounds, the sculpture was initially supposed to include a tipped over 36-foot-tall basket, from which the horses would be emerging. According to the artist, the basket represents Grandfather, the Great Spirit.
West Virginia: Mystery Hole
> Location: Anstead
The Mystery Hole bills itself as a gravity-defying wonder. It includes attractions such as balls that roll up hill and a Volkswagen Beetle, chopped in half, seemingly crashed into the side of the building. Original owner Donald Wilson “discovered” the hole’s mysterious powers in the 1970s and set up a kitschy tourist attraction that fell on hard times in the 1990s, but new owners are restoring it.
Wisconsin: House on the Rock
> Location: Iowa County
Originally built in the 1940’s by Alex Jordan as a weekend country home, the House on the Rock has become a sprawling outpost of collections, exhibits, and gardens. Inside are hundreds of mannequin angels suspended from the ceiling, a carousel with 269 animals, and hours worth of other artistically displayed collections curated by Jordan until his death in 1989.
Wyoming: Ames Brothers Pyramid
> Location: Buford
The Ames Brothers were two classic swindlers — a railroad president and his congressman brother — who got rich selling shovels to gold-miners, then inflated railroad construction costs to make another $50 million off of taxpayers. In the 1880’s, after their deaths, Union Pacific Railroad built the 60-foot-tall pyramid as a monument to the brothers. Since then, the nearby railroad was pulled up and the pyramid now stands crumbling, miles away from any paved roads.
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