Almost all travelers have heard of Stonehenge. I had a friend who didn’t travel much, but he managed to see Stonehenge in England on Salisbury Plain. What inspired it and what it was used for originally is still not known. It might have been a temple used for religious purposes or an astronomical observatory. We’ll never know for sure. We do know that it was built and used by Neolithic and Bronze Age people between 3700 and 1600 BC. We know it was created with primitive tools, and the stones were moved great distances so it was an engineering feat.
The closest things to Stonehenge that I have seen were the Standing Stones of Stenness on one of the Orkney Islands and Newgrange in Ireland. They taught me that places like Stonehenge, while unique, are not uncommon. Visitors are amazed by these existing stones symmetry and size. I have also been to one modern recreation of Stonehenge, Sam Hill’s at the top of the Columbia Gorge in Washington State. It dramatically overlooks the Columbia River near his Maryhill Museum. The closest town to it is Goldendale, WA.
But I did not know that recreating Stonehenge has become something of an obsession for lots of Americans. Any “henge” is a prehistoric, upright monument consisting of some monoliths of stone or wood. Some modern examples mock the concept. Hence, we have Carhenge outside Alliance, NB and Truckhenge near Topeka, KS. I have been to Alliance one time and Topeka many times because I had a good friend who lived there, but I have been to neither car nor truck henge. Whether or not this is wise, I don’t know; but there is only one way to find out. I have to admit that I did enjoy Sam Hill’s Stonehenge because of my Aussie companion and its splendid, scenic location.
Roadsideamerica.com lists 36 Stonehenges in the USA and nbcnews.com promotes 7 “Great Stonehenge replicas”. Kentucky’s Stonehenge called The Mayor’s in Munfordville, Front Lawn Stonehenge in Nunica, MI, and the Permian Basin one at Odessa,TX all sound mildly interesting. I have been to Odessa but missed Permian Basin. However, the one that intrigues me the most is the private Stonehenge replica at Sachem Head, CT. All 4 are listed among the 36, and roadsideamerica.com says that there are more to come because they are “still springing up”. Is this obsession the future of travel?
PS Sachem Head was conceived by Jonathan Rothberg and sits on his 11 acres facing Long Island Sound. Known as the “Circle of Life”, you apparently can’t see it unless you google it.