My family is getting better about just trusting me when I say – “hey, let’s go see this or try this.” Whether it be a ghost town or some other odd “cultural experience,” they are now at the very least curious to see what kind of awkward moment awaits us.
This summer our first adventure was at Truckhenge. Truckhenge is actually Ron Lessman’s farm located on the north side of Topeka. Couple of things to know before you try out this adventure.
First, call Ron. I’m dead serious. Visit his webpage, get his number and call him to make an appointment. You can call the same day, the same hour…heck, probably as you are driving up but call none-the-less. He might be off or unavailable. It’s private property, so you can’t just show up and walk around. Ron will is more than willing to give you a tour. You’ll want the tour -that’s half the experience.
Second, it’s a rated PG-13, sometimes R tour. Ron means well and he’s got a great heart but his language can get a bit spicy if the topic of the city government or city council of Topeka comes up. He and them do not have the greatest of relationships. In fact, it’s the drama between the city and Ron that created Truckhenge in the first place but I’ll let him tell that story. He’s funny and quirky, all around good guy but just know that he is who he is and honestly, this is part of the experience as well.
Third, take a camera and a sense of humor. You’ll see why.
We show up at Ron’s house and he proceeds to tell us the story of what started all this mess in the first place. Apparently the city didn’t want him storing his old trucks on his land or using his land as a parking lot while he cut up trucks because these trucks were in danger of floating down the Kansas river on into Lawrence if there ever was a flood. Ron found some loophole in the city ordinances and buried the trucks in concrete, right side up and called it art. Later the name Truckhenge was used and that term has stuck till today.
But what started out as Truckhenge has kinda grown over the years. There’s a fishing pond and boat art and a bonfire pit for their summer concerts. There is of course, his bone collection in the boxcar. As well as his house – which we were invited in and given a tour of as well.
We ended up spending over an hour with Ron on his tour. We laughed a lot during the tour as well as those fun awkward glances with our kids – ‘Did he just say what I thought he said?’
Just be warned that 4 pm is his standing appointment with his neighbor to have a drink with. He’s not missing that for anything.