We had been driving all day, my friend Emily and I, and it was dark and late and we just wanted to find a hotel in Nebraska. We finally saw a patch of lights and pulled off into Chadron, Nebraska. We got food at a diner and then drove around the town looking for a vacancy.
There were none.
So we kept driving, an hour more, to Alliance, Nebraska. We checked into a Days Inn — they had a free room, all the towels had been used, ice was in the ice bucket, an opened bar of soap was on the bathroom counter, the air conditioner was making strange noises.
But none of that mattered. We had made it all the way to Alliance and we had beds to sleep in and in the morning we were going to our first stop of the day, something so important that even the Days Inn Guide listed it first in the section titled “things to do in the area.”
Carhenge is a replica of Stonehenge made from, well, cars. All of the elements are there — from a circle of upright vehicles to a heel stone — and it mimics the original in size and placement.
Carhenge is 96 feet in diameter and is made up of 38 gray cars.
Artist Jim Reinders created the attraction in 1987 as a tribute to his father, Herman Reinders. The car art was met with some resistance from the city council, who ordered it torn down. Luckily, other locals formed a Friends of Carhenge alliance to save it from destruction.
Location: 2141 County Rd. 59, Alliance, NE 69301
Hours: Open daily at all hours. Daylight hours are preferred.
Cost: Free. Donations are accepted.
Date: August 31, 2008