2011 In Review: Big, Silly, Weird and Wonderful Sights from the Road

Finding a roadside treasure while riding my motorcycle is one of the simple joys in my life. There is a happiness that only spotting a 15 foot fiberglass cauliflower can bring. Am I right?

From the Road in 2011:

Bigfoot – Happy Camp, California

Bigfoot Happy Camp California
While riding along on CA96, I was excited to see the school bus icon on the GPS get closer and closer to the town of Happy Camp. I knew this awesome giant was in town and I couldn’t wait to see him. He was more impressive than I imagined he’d be.

CA36 Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree on California 36

There are other celebrity shoe trees out there in the world that are more “popular” than this one on CA36. Sadly, several of these perennial favorites have fallen victim to soleless vandals. (See what I did there?) 

I had no idea this shoe tree existed so you can imagine my surprise when we found this baby in all of it’s shoe-filled glory.


Hat Creek Muffler Man

Hat Creek Muffler Man California
This fella relocated from Dunsmuir to Hat Creek. In the process he got some spiffy new clothes and a very smart looking cowboy hat. I’m sure that after all of those year of standing at Daily Drivers’ Auto Care, a change of scenery was nice.

Hayward Muffler Man – California

Big Mike Hayward Muffler Man California
It seems that we were able to get an audience with Big Mike shortly before he was sold and taken down. I don’t know where he’s headed but it’s nice to know someone cared enough to take him home instead of sending him to the big fiberglass dump in the sky.

Willits Muffler Man – California

Muffler Man Willits california
This well-cared for Muffler Man is found on the Willits Rodeo Grounds. He is behind a locked gate until rodeo time. Anyone know if he wear cowboy boots?

Big Shoe Building – Bakersfield, California

Big Shoe Repair Bakersfield
Shoes, roadside attraction, motorcycles. It’s like the holy trinity of things that I love! Giant rope shoelace? ::swoon::

The Big Duck – Long Island

The Big Duck Flanders Long sland
The Big Duck is one of my favorite things about Long Island. Now at 80 years old, it is also one of the greatest surviving examples of programmatic architecture. I find it nearly impossible to ride past it without stopping for a photo. Did I just hear Kenny mumble, “I know”?

Partridge Family Bus – Ashland, NY

Partridge Family Bus
The Partiridge Family Bus replica that sits on Route 23 in Ashland, NY doesn’t appear to have moved since I last saw it 4 years prior. C’mon, get happy all over town in that thing, already!

“The Big White Guy” – Chicopee, Massachusetts

Chicopee Man Muffler Man
According to Roadside America, the Big White Guy is a Texaco Big Friend.
He has such a dopey-eyed, simple look about him, doesn’t he? I just know his voice would sound like Bing Crosby.

South Park Monster Truck Bus – Leggett, California

South Park Monster Truck Bus

What I wouldn’t have given to be driven to school each day in that baby.

The whole time I was standing there, in my head I sang “Goin’ down to South Park, gonna have ourselves a time…” in my best impression of Les Claypool’s wacky twang.


Mustachioed Muffler Man – Merced, California

Merced Muffler Man

There is something about this particular muff that makes me think of “Bob,” the dude who took the armoire from Kramer on Seinfeld.

I believe this is the first muffler man that I’ve seen who happens to have a very hip mustache.


Excited Elephant – Connecticut

Elephant loves the Speed Triple
One hot summer day in 2011, I was stuck in a line of traffic crawling along at 35mph behind a giant hotdog. Seeing this totally psyched pachyderm on the side of the road gave me a chance to get out of the conga line of cars and off my hot motorcycle.

House of Doors Muffler Man – Cheshire, Connecticut

House of Doors Muffler Man
One of the last times that I stopped in to see the House of Doors Muffler Man, he was nothing more than a pair of pants standing there. He has since been put back together and is proudly holding his American flag.

Yellow Submarine Oil Tank – Shelter Cove, California

The Yellow Submarine tank was a really nice surprise. When Kenny and I pulled into the parking lot of the Inn at the Lost Coast in Shelter Cove, it was sitting in the front yard. It is painted on all four sides.

Smiley Bouy – Montauk, Long Island

Smiley BouyIt’s hard not to smile when you pass this giant smiley out in Montauk.

How About You?

Did you see any roadside treasures in your travels this year?


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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7 Responses

  1. Awesome recap! My one post of cool stuff, which I found because of you, was my visit to The Farnham Colossi.

  2. Joe Crivelli says:

    Very cool photomontage. Nice to see a couple of Triumphs in your stable, too! Seems like you got to spend a lot of time on the road this year – I’m jealous.

  3. Wayne Busch says:

    I grew up on Long Island. Will never forget the duck.

  4. Joe says:

    Great recap to what was clearly a great year of riding. I am still so behind trying to pull together all of my ride photos – seeing your post inspires me to get my butt in gear while it is still to icy to ride; because once the ice thaws . . . . .

  5. George says:

    You have a nice collection going here. I passed Leggett in California on the way to the drive-thru Tree Park but didn’t see the bus 🙁
    Here’s my account of the day from Fort Bragg to Crescent City. http://goo.gl/UuUOu

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