A few days ago I posted about a number of new and recent murals that now grace the walls of buildings in Lexington (see the post here). Some of these, including the massive Lincoln mural, are part of the annual PRHBTN celebration of art forms that have been criminalized, marginalized, and under-appreciated in the mainstream. In the past week since the completion of the Lincoln project, four other giant works have been completed by three different urban artists including Phlegm from Britain, GAIA from Baltimore, and Odeith, from Portugal. All of these works are just a tad off the beaten path, but well worth seeking out.
This mural is painted on the side of the old Rescue Mission wall by the railroad tracks on Limestone near Loudon Ave. The horses represent Lexington’s racing history and then his graffiti like signature to the right. Odeith has been doing spray paint art since the 1980s. See his Facebook page.
From Limestone you can turn left and head to N. Broadway. Along the way check out the mural on the side of the LexTran Building….
After passing by the LexTran building, make a left on N. Broadway and head into town. When you arrive at 6th Street, make a right and go three blocks. Turn right in front of the West Sixth Brewery and GAIA’s (see GAIA’s Facebook page) large horse mural unfurls before you…Thoroughbred horses leaping off of an empty equestrian pedestal as a keffiyeh print from the United Emirates unfurls in the background.
Continuing on the PRHBTN Tour, go back to 6th Street, turn right and then left on Jefferson. Follow Jefferson to Main St., turn left on Oliver Lewis Way to cross over the tracks and then make the next right on Manchester. You will need to follow it all the way until you see the big red brick building and water tower on the left, home of Barrel House Distillery. Here you will find another amazing piece of work, almost as large as Lincoln. British artist Phlegm completed his unique mural on the side of the wall of the old distillery…with a dinner for two at the top.
While Phlegm was there he also got an invite to add some character to the old water tower on the property.
A couple of other walls at the distillery have some unique art painted on them, and I got these as well. No idea how old they are.
While in the Manchester area, you may want to check out a couple of other works of urban art. Take a right onto Manchester and a couple of blocks n the left is the D.C. Electrical Contractors facility. There they have a wonderful Einstein on the garage and some other graffiti art on a couple of walls. Not sure when these were done or who did them. But nice nonetheless.
So, when visiting Lexington, don’t just think about the horse country, the bourbon and the bluegrass. Think modern urban art. It is now dotting the city and you can’t miss these great attractions!!
March 28, 2013: On our way back to Kentucky from Rexburg, Idaho we made a three day detour to Shelby, Montana to visit our daughter and her husband and their 4 children. Thanks to our new best trailer tires we were able to go on rough roads quite smoothly, and I have to say till date they have been my best investment on the RV. During our three days here, we were very busy with a trip to the base of Glacier National Park, a drive around town capturing the “Neon Essence” of Shelby, and a trip north to Sweetgrass, just south of the Canadian border, where we also visited a Hutterite colony and learned of their amazing communal ways. This post will cover these activities through photos and some details.
Shelby is a city of about 3400 people (including 6 of my children/grandchildren!!). It was started as a railroad town and continues as such today. Named after Peter O. Shelby of the Montana Central Railway, the town really got its start in 1891 when the Great Northern Railroad was making its way to the Marias Pass. The story goes that the builders threw a box car from the train and called it a station.
One of the endearing characters of Shelby is all of the old neon signs still hanging around the town. Obviously, as an Amtrak town, there are still lots of motels in Shelby. As well, it is a nice pit stop for many.
There are lots of bars and restaurants as well…
On a previous trip I took the kids to see a movie at the Roxy. Old style theater still in operation. It was fun.
Here are a few other scenes from around the town itself…
Vietnam War Veteran John Alstad of Sunburst created most of the pieces at the Veteran’s Memorial in Shelby. He estimates he spent nearly 700 hours working on the various pieces at the monument, the most prominent of which is the Iwo Jima piece.
As I noted, Shelby is a railroad town. As I drove around town getting the shots above, we were stuck at a track for nearly 20 minutes as a long train made its way to a grain elevator. The photo at the top shows the train at the elevator.
I have always enjoyed looking at the graffiti on trains. You see it all over the country. Here are a few examples I got as the train moved slowly past us. I couldn’t go anywhere, so, why not?
After the trains, I drive a bit east of town on US 2 to get a view of Shelby from the hill. We came across this unique Historical Marker.
One of the evenings Julianne and I went with my daughter and her husband to the “premier” steak place in the Shelby area. Trust me, you would never know how good this place was inside by driving by it!! It is in an old whitewashed building literally in the middle of nowhere in a place called Dunkirk, on the outskirts of Shelby. All that is indicated is the sign.
Once in the place, it is a whole different story. Linen napkins and nice china. The water glasses were the nice stem ware one sees in an upscale restaurant. The prices are also synonymous with ritzy… But so was the meal.
After a nice dinner, we walked out of the restaurant and OH WHAT A VIEW!!
The next day my son in law Aaron, his two boys and I all took off west towards Glacier National Park. Though it was officially closed, we were able to get close enough to the mountains to catch a beautiful sunrise. I will have a special photo album of shots of the mountains, but will include a couple of them here as well.
We left early, while still dark and headed towards Cut Bank and Browning. We then took Hwy 464 towards Duck Lake. As we headed north towards Babb, the sun began to rise.
After the sun was finally up, we backtracked to Babb and dropped in at the Leaning Tree Cafe, which is about a mile from the US 89 Junction. It opened at 8 AM and it was time for a great meal.
You can see a complete gallery of the Glacier N.P. Mountains –> Click Here
We headed back towards Browning, and along the way saw a couple of bison. Not too good of shots, but, I didn’t want to get out of the car
We made our way into Browning, Montana. The mountains were beautiful, but I was actually quite shocked at all of the garbage in the fields (mind you, I come from Lexington, KY which always looks like a park)
From Browning we headed east again towards Cut Bank, we took a small detour off of US Hwy 2 to visit the Camp Disappointment historic site and monument near milepost 233. There is a historical marker as well as a large obelisk monument dedicated to the site.
The biggest disappointment is all of the graffiti on the obelisk. I don’t know why people feel like they need to vandalize monuments like this.
From Camp Disappointment we continued east into Cut Bank. The skies were clear blue and it was a great opportunity to stop and get some close up shots of the Blackfoot Warriors, made out of scrap metal. These were created by native Blackfeet artist Jay Polite Laber and were commissioned by the Blackfeet Tribal Leaders. They were created in 2000. He actually created a set of these to welcome travelers into the Blackfeet reservation from all four directions — the northern site is at the US/Canadian border on US 89, the eastern site in East Glacier on US Hwy 2, the western site is near Cut Bank on US Hwy 2 (these are below), and the southern site is on US 89 near Birch Creek and Heart Butte.
From the warriors we went through town and made the requisite stop at the world’s largest penguin!
Being another train town, there is a large Train Bridge in Cutbank
Even though we had a busy morning and got into Shelby around noon, we were then again back on the road north towards Sweetgrass and off to visit a Hutterite colony, which was an amazing experience.
From Sweetgrass we headed west on a dirt road towards the Hillside Colony of the Hutterites. AS we visited we learned some amazing things: the Hutterites are almost totally communal. All of them share everything. Unlike the Amish, the Hutterites have adopted technology and are fabulously industrious. They make their own clothes, they grow most of their own food, they all live in a small community. Their homes are sparse. It should be noted that I took a number of photos, with their permission, but, by their request, very few and only select photos are being added below.
We saw the above rock formations on the way to Hillside. However, these were just an inkling of the bigger ones, which I have visited in the past.
As seen above, the Hutterites in Hillside Colony live in the prefab buildings as seen above. The apartments are small and have little or no belongings in them. Each of the steps represent a single domicile.
One thing noticed immediately, there are no stoves, ovens or refrigerators in the homes. They have a couple of chairs, perhaps a bench, a bed or two and some dressers. The bed frames, dressers, kitchen tables, the cup holder above and the chairs are all hand made in the community.
All meals are eaten together as a community — men on one side, women on the other. The women prepare the meals while the men work out on the farms, the chicken coops, the woodworking section, or otherwise.
Overall, we were so impressed about the kindness of the Hutterite folk. We picked up some potatoes, home made sausage and some of their wonderful bread. They are as industrious as bees and ants and all share completely. Each individual has their own assigned jobs, many for life. It was a great visit.
One last little visit was made while we were in Shelby. We got to visit Harry J. Benjamin, who makes all kinds of trains and pedal cars. Below is his “De-Railed” Steam Engine, which he shows off in parades in northern Montana. This engine pulls a set of cars that reaches 60 feet long.
Well past his 80’s, Mr. Benjamin, a former farmer and mechanic, is famed in the area for building things out of junk parts and pieces. He has built a number of trains, some other vehicles for the local high school and a number of children’s toys.
Here’s a video of one of his creations:
But, I must admit, the BEST part of the entire visit to Shelby was this….
Next stop…heading home via US 2. Watch soon for the next great adventures on Less Beaten Paths.
Mar. 27, 2013: After almost two weeks in Rexburg working with my new employer DSN America, it was time to return back to Kentucky and home sweet home. They had flown Julianne out to Idaho, so I was blessed to have my very best friend and sweetheart with me for the long drive home, with a brief stopover in Shelby, Montana to see our daughter and their kids. It was an easy first day.
Rexburg, ID to Shelby, MT
We left Rexburg in the afternoon and eventually zipped up I-15. We crossed over Monida Pass, which serve as the border between Idaho and Montana. The mountains were still snow covered and beautiful, especially as we came close to the Montana border.
Lima, Montana is just a small dot on the map and there is not much there. But, it is really a quite unique place. There are barely 200 people living in the town at the base of the mountains. Many of the buildings are really old. In some respects, the town almost looks like it is a period movie set rather than a real town. The Red River runs nearby the small town. Lima was originally called Allerdice until a train station for the Utah and Northern was built there. It was changed to Spring Hill at that time. It was eventually changed to Lima by Henry Thompson, who named it for his former home in Lima, Wisconsin.
We drove around the small town, much of which was dirt roads. There is a woodworker that makes whirly-gigs, a couple of interesting buildings and a unique kitschy store front.
We also found the Lima Historical Society building, originally built in 1880. It was originally called the Bailey Building, having been built and resided in by E.A. Bailey and sons, as a Mercantile. It really did evoke an Old West feel to the place.
Perhaps the most interesting place we saw in town was the Wild West Weed Patch, at least that is what I think it is called based on the writing on the Saw Blade sign. The shop was not open, but there were a number of unique things there. Still, I am certainly not sure what it is called. The closest thing I have ever seen to this kind of hodge podge is Hillybilly Hotdogs in Lesage, West Virginia. (See my Trip Journal of my West Virginia Trip with photos)
After our little diversion in Lima we continued north on I-15 until we got to Red Rock Ranch Rd., south of Dillon. On my trip down to Rexburg I had passed a ranch with hundreds of buffalo and I wanted a closer look on the way back to Shelby. So, the night before the trip there I did some research and discovered it was one of Ted Turner’s Buffalo Ranches. Called Red Rock Ranch, it could kind of be reached by taking Exit 29, north of Dell, Montana. We went under the freeway and then turned right and almost immediately the road was a dirt road. We followed it north, but alas, no buffalo to be seen. So, after almost getting all the way to Clark Canyon Reservoir, we turned around. Shortly down the road off to my left (the car window was open), I heard some birds squawking. At first I thought they were geese, but they sounded different. Then, all of a sudden I saw these two HUGE birds zip on past. I whipped out the camera and took a bunch of shots hoping that one would reveal the secret. Here are a couple of the shots of what I realized were Red-Crested Sandhill Cranes. I had never seen these in the wild so it was a real treat.
Such beautiful birds!!
Well, we did finally get to see the buffalo, but not until we were continuing north on I-15. I was determined to get some photos, so we stopped and I took these from my car on the side of the interstate.
Thank goodness for telephoto lenses!!
We continued north and made a brief stop in Dillon. I wanted to just kind of drive through the town and get a glimpse of it. I had seen in my research that it had a very nice courthouse.
I saw this moose, to add to my collection, but the lighting was not too good. It was across the street from the post office.
The courthouse was one of the nice ones such as the ones can be seen in Texas and other places. But, it was not the only unique building. The Hotel Metlen was also a nice building. It was built in 1897 and is now apparently up for sale, based on the link above.
We then continued north on I-15 towards Butte and made a brief stop for fuel
After Butte we zipped up the interstate through Helena and and then a brief stop in Great Falls to get a birthday present before heading to Shelby. Saw a nice George Washington statue at the Mall in Great Falls. Similar to the statues I saw in Jackson, Wyoming done by Gary Lee Price, but I am not sure if it his work.
Finally, we made our way to Shelby to visit the grandchildren. We spent three nights in Shelby and during that time did a number of things. These will be noted in the next post.