Woodworking Wonders from the Road

This past fall, I drove my wife and two teenage daughters across the country and back in sixteen days. No, I’m not crazy.

We witnessed beautiful landscapes and kitschy Americana at its finest. As we followed Route 66 west through New Mexico, we detoured to TinkerTown. Tinkertown is a wonderful and whimsical folk art museum. 22 rooms packed with amazing miniature wood-carved figures, many animated at the push of a button. On our trip, few things captured my imagination as a woodworker as much as the fantastical carvings of TinkerTown creator Ross Ward. If you find yourself near , journey north off I-40, and enjoy the playful carved figures as they dance, perform in a circus, and drink in a saloon.

Visit the website for more info. http://tinkertown.com/

tinkertown-sign
A Playful metal sign hands near the outside entrance of TinkerTown. The exterior is just as whimsical as it is inside with no shortage of wild and weird wonders.
imagination
The amazing detail and imagination of Ward’s carved creation are evident here.

 

changs-laundry
There is a lot happening at Chang’s Laundry.

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As my family and I pressed on through California, we visited San Jose to feast our eyes on an architectural wonder like no other. Built in 1884, the beautiful, but bizarre Winchester Mystery House has some of the finest craftsmanship I have ever seen. The heir to the rifle fortune, Mrs. Sarah Winchester had at her disposal the most skilled carpenters of the day. Together they constructed an eccentric mansion filled with labyrinthine pathways, doors that lead nowhere, windows in the floor, two-inch high steps, and upside-down posts.

Visit the website for more info. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

bell-tower
Photography is prohibited inside the Winchester Mystery House, except for one spot, where I was able to snap a view of the bell tower. I didn’t have time to take any more shots because if you lag behind on the tour, you’re likely to get lost in this maze of a mansion.
garden
The exterior of the mansion is just as strange as the interior. This is a view of the beautiful garden, near the stables.

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Of the many amazing wonders my family experienced, I chose to share these two because of their connection to woodworking, and to whet your appetite for Adventure Travel; an upcoming article in Woodcraft Magazine all about great destinations for woodworkers.

Stay tuned!

 

 

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