Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rocks of Ages

Nothing amuses me more than roadside attractions. Religious themed roadside attractions become an added bonus for me as they seem to rarer and rarer finds.

On the road south to Red Lodge, Montana, is a decaying spot called Pathway Thru the Bible. This walk through rock garden is reminiscent of the Petersen Rock Garden outside of Bend, Oregon, but with none of the grandeur and much more proselytizing.

One would actually miss Pathway if they didn't have a keen eye trained to the road. Trees practically cover the hand-painted sign indicating that some stop even exists here. Nothing really states much about who built it or why. Well, why they built it is pretty obvious…teach about the bible…through walking through ambiguously organized rocks. But it still remains mysterious. 

As I strolled through the grounds, a woman with a weedwhacker hacked down grasses off in the distance on the property. While normally I would stop and converse with the property owners of such establishments, I figured I would take pictures and let this woman manicure her property as I wandered around without being acknowledged.

It is hard to tell whether this rock garden really saw better days or not. It didn't have the aura of outsider art or the craftsmanship of a planned tourist attraction. If anything, it felt like a forced Sunday school project--something kids were subjected to build begrudgingly when egg crates and cotton ball mangers weren't enough.

I wonder though…Where did the abalone shells come from in Montana?

And of all of the scenes to depict here for a walk through of the bible, was it really necessary to have Lot's Wife as a Pillar of Salt depicted? It seems like some more inspirational things could have been presented. Perhaps it was just a the best use of the medium at hand.

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