I know I’m dating myself, but as a kid I had a nifty device known as a View-Master, into which you put round cardboard disks that contained color images and when you looked through the viewfinder, you had a 3-D stereoscopic view. You could get all kinds of disks for the View-Master, everything from Disney cartoon characters and TV shows to travelogues. I liked the travel ones the best and remember being thrilled by things like the Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt, Buckingham Palace, and Stonehenge. Maybe that plays some part in my lifelong wanderlust?
Interestingly, though I’ve been to a lot of places in this world, I’ve never seen any of those listed above. But as it turns out, you don’t have to go all the way to England to see Stonehenge. Just go to Baldwin County, Alabama. There you will find Bamahenge, a full scale reproduction of England’s Stonehenge, but cast in fiberglass rather than carved from granite (after all, it is Alabama).
The impressive structure (the outer walls are 13 1/2 feet tall and inner ones are over 18 feet tall) has a diameter of 104 feet. It is the brainchild of George Barber, who made a fortune in the dairy business and built Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. He hired Georgia artist Mark Cline to build it, and it took four eighteen wheeler loads to bring it to its home at Barber Marina in Josephine, in the southeast part of the county.
Cline builds structures for amusement parks, and Bamahenge isn’t the only Cline creation you’ll find there. Several dinosaurs created by the artist are also on view as you approach Bamahenge. There are other odds and ends, including a giant steel spider, medieval knights, and an ornate Italian fountain with a sculpture of Neptune on top of it. These were not made by Cline, but they are still impressive.
But it’s the reproduction of the mysterious prehistoric worship site that most people are attracted to. Cline erected the entire monument to be in line with the June 21 solstice, taking into account the change in latitude and longitude from the original Stonehenge in England, though he admitted in one interview that he’s never actually been down to the coast to check it out at the appointed time. Maybe if you’re around there come June, you can get up early in the morning and check it out for him.
Bamahenge is open to the public and there is no charge to visit. From U.S. Highway 98, eight miles east of Foley, take County Road 95 south five miles and then turn right on Fish Trap Road for a half mile. Turn left onto Leiterman Road and drive one mile. Bamahenge is on the right, about 100 yards from the road, but visible. Park off the road and walk up to check it out. It’s worth the trip.
You only have a few days left to take advantage of our special offer for digital back issues of the Gypsy Journal for the years 2003 through 2017. They are in PDF format on a USB thumb drive and will provide you with weeks of great reading about places to visit from coast to coast and our adventures as fulltime RVers. The normal cost of the back issue collection is $75, but we are running a special through the end of April for just $65, which includes shipping. Don’t miss out on this great deal. If interested, you can log onto www.paypal.com and make payment to [email protected]. Be sure to include your mailing address for fast delivery.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Honeymoon, the seventh book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – The past is gone and won’t come back no matter how many tattered remnants you hang onto.