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-- November 01, 2017 --

When Lightning Strikes

Recently, I've passed some of the most interesting spots in the United States, yet rarely gotten to stop, and visit. Sometimes, luck is on my side, and I've pulled over to enjoy what I normally have been flying by.
One such case was when I stopped at Nevada's Thunder Mountain Monument.
In the late-1960s,
WWII veteran Frank Van Zant took LSD one day, and suddenly believed himself to be a Native American. In 1969, he changed his name to Rolling Mountain Thunder, and began to construct bizarre monuments in the small town of Imlay, which were to supposed to be shelters for American Indians in the upcoming apocalypse, calling it Thunder Mountain. Off the side of I-80, be built a number of buildings (using rocks, cement and discarded junk), as well as over 200 statues. The site became home to hundreds of hippies throughout the 70s. In 1983, Nevada made Frank their "Artist of the Year", but soon someone tried to burn down Thunder Mountain, and destroyed a bit of it.
Sadly, in 1989, he put a gun to his head, and ended his career as an outsider artist. The buildings sat derelict, until the state made it a historic site in 1992.

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