As you might surmise from the name, Carhenge is a full-scale replica of Stonehenge, accurate to the smallest detail–except for the rateher significant detail that, instead of massive stones, it’s made out of cars.
Nebraska’s answer to England’s most famous Neolithic monument was erected by a farmer named Jim Reinders and his clan at a family reunion in 1979. When asked why, this modern-day Merlin’s only response was the cryptic plane loqui deprehendi–Latin (sort of) for “the thing speaks for itself.” Today the Reinders have moved on like the Druids of old (to Santa Fe, I think), leaving only the mystery of the standing cars as mute testimony to their former greatness.
Carhenge stands a few miles north of a little town called Alliance, Nebraska. Never intended to be a tourist attraction, the ‘Henge is set well back from the road and only nominally advertised. [2006 Edit: In 1996, that is. The good people of Alliance have since realized they had a kitsch kash kow on their hands and have stepped up accordingly.] We arrived on foot in the middle of the night. There was no moon, and making our way across the Nebraska plain with only one thin flashlight, one could well imagine himself upon the English moors. (Whatever. It was dark and cool.)
The slaughter stone was a station wagon, a pre-OPEC monster with a grill like the jaws of a hungry beast. It was here, in the dead of night, that we performed the blasphemous rituals only whispered of in Brown Jenkin‘s owner’s manual. We stripped off our raiments and fell to our knees in the manner of the ancient Druids. A fat cloud of mosquitoes performed blood sacrifice. In a guttural tongue known to us only by dim ancestral memory, we gave thanks to the Elder Automotive Gods for carrying us thus far and offered strange tribute to ensure our safe return…
We came back the next morning to get a bunch more pictures. In the light of day, of course, what we had been able to imagine as spooky and ominous became merely cheesy. But that was fine too. I mean, Christ, whaddaya want? It’s just a bunch of cars sticking out of the ground.