Route 66…World’s Largest Railsplitter Covered Wagon
I don’t know what it is about Route 66 that I fell in love with…you know we all have that “moment” where we discover something new we really enjoy. For me it was this past summer in the Midwest and stumbling across a Route 66 guidebook at a Rest Area that got me hooked on finding every creavass and crack in the Route 66 family. I wanted to know more, see more, and I couldn’t get enough of the kitschy and the obscure. Who wouldn’t want to see old gas stations of back in the day, or a Rabbit Ranch?
So when I found myself in Lincoln, Illinois, taking the steps of this famous President, I also found Route 66 goodies as well. Let me introduce you to the “World’s Largest Covered Railsplitter Wagon” – yes, it is in the Guiness Book of World Records. Built in 2001 by David Bentley, who actually built it on is Property where it sat until 2007 when he put it up for sale and was then purchased by Larry Van Bibber who gave it to the City where it was placed on it’s current home on Route 66.
Standing 24 feet high, you’d think this wagon isn’t able to actually “move.” Yeah, it can actually move. Imagine seeing this huge wagon rolling down the highway during a tornado or a storm…well, it didn’t take a journey like that but it was badly damaged in a wind storm in 2014, thankfully it’s back to it’s original state now. The hoops that hold the canvas make a natural wind tunnel that high up, so I am shocked they haven’t had more wind damage than that.
I had read that sometimes the canvas is removed during certain times of the year, so I was really hoping it would be on when I arrived…and it was! Abe is larger than life, reading his law book in the front seat. Abe was made in Wisconsin, shout out to my home State! Now we all recognize Abe for that famous beard and top hat, but know that he only wore that as President, and wouldn’t have been sporting such a fancy look while on a covered wagon perusing the Prairie. Although, it would have been a sight to see had he had.
Easy parking, easy to drive too. I hate the attractions off the roads where I can’t even find the entrance or there is little to no parking. If you want visitors, make it accessible, that is all I ask. And because this is such a HUGE attraction, it’s great for selfies. They have markers on the history on the base of it, and there is plenty of room to take group shots if needed. There is a lot of land around it, so if you can’t get the whole wagon in your pics, just go out about 20 feet and you should get the pic you are searching for.
Apparently Readers Digest named this the Number One Roadside Attraction in the U.S. ….. I beg to differ. I mean, it’s really cool, but it isn’t something that takes your breath away. If you are a Route 66 junkie, like I am becoming, this is definitely one for the scrapbook. Check it out, it’s free to enjoy, and visit more Route 66 adventures HERE.
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