Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Fantastic news - According to the AP and the town of Alliance, Nebraska is expected to accept Carhenge as a gift and will maintain the monument ensuring its preservation for future generations!

Say, what??

Our family visited Carhenge three times over the years and it was a wonderful opportunity to share with our children the mystic vibes emanating from a bunch of old cars standing guard upon the prairie.
Alliance - Carhenge
Carhenge is located just outside of Alliance to which you might reasonably ask - where in the world is Alliance?  Well, it is next to Nowhere.  More precisely it's in the middle of the Nebraska panhandle about an hour north of Scottsbluff and the Oregon Trail, not too far from the Wyoming border and about a five hour drive from the Denver Airport(assuming the timing belt on your rental car doesn't give out halfway there as happened to THC).

Alliance is a town of about 9,000 folks and it's the county seat of Box Butte County with a large Burlington Northern rail yard as the economic engine for the area.   It's a clean, friendly town with a surprising amount of trees for a community on the high prairie.
(Theatre where we saw X-Files movie the 1st night it was released - oh, what we went through to get there on time)

According to local legend the origins of Carhenge lay with a local family of wizards (well, actually farmers), the Reinders, who came up with the idea of a replica of Stonehenge built with cars during a long and boisterous family gathering one evening.                                                                 (Comparison of Carhenge and Stonehenge from Wikipedia).
What gained my admiration was not that they came up with the idea but that when they awoke (presumably) sober the next morning they actually decided to go ahead and build the thing!
Alliance - Carhenge
When it was built in the 1980s, not all the townspeople were thrilled with the new monument but by the time we first visited in 1992 it had become grudgingly accepted and as its popularity and global renown continued to grow (it now draws 75-80,000 visitors a year) so did local acceptance.

So what were we doing in Alliance in the first place?  Mrs THC's grandmother lived on the outskirts on a ranch or in the town for most of her life (and it was a long life, lasting from 1899 to 2001) and her dad grew up there.  It was a treat for our family to visit her and for our children to hear first-hand about the way life on the prairie had changed over the course of a century (she said the telephone was the most significant change because it ended the loneliness of being on the ranch).   And on her 100th birthday the town of Alliance held a parade in her honor!

So, if you're driving I-80 cross-country take a little detour and visit Alliance and Carhenge and if you're driving up from Denver you can break up the trek by stopping about halfway there at the mothership store of Cabelas in Sidney, Nebraska - take a tour through the photo gallery to whet your appettite.


  1. As a member of the clan, this brings back a lot of amazing memories of visits to said grandmother and the sand hills of Western Nebraska.

  2. Lovely article on Carhenge, as a board member of the Friends of Carhenge :) Quick correction, though -- the railroad here in Alliance is the Burlington Northern Railway. Thanks for the plug!

  3. That's what I get from relying on my fading memory! Have changed the text. Thanks for your comment. Mark