Sunday, June 5, 2011


Europe has Stonehenge. Topeka has Truckhenge???

I'm sure you might never have heard of Truckhenge here in Topeka, Kansas. I hadn't until we started our Topeka Treasure Hunt this spring and it was one of the suggested "unique or adventurous" locations.

We made an appointment with them as soon as we could. The place seemed rather intriguing and it wasn't a disappointment on that part. I don't believe I've been to an art park quite like it.

The park is full of recycled items, ranging from cars and license plates to hubcaps, and glass bottles, to bones. Everything you see is made from used items.

My children really enjoyed walking around the area looking at all the art displays. They each were very unique and had a story to tell.

In all honesty, the most notable part of the display was the artist himself, Ron Lessman, and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way. He was quite a character as he explained all the details of the place, and put into words the reasoning behind each of the trucks and various objects.

If you take a tour with Ron you will hear him quoting his favorite line repeatedly, "The county told me I had to pick my trucks up. So I picked 'em up!" That is exactly what you will find, trucks that have been lifted off the ground by tons of concrete.

After spending a couple hours in the company of Ron, I went home feeling like I had just spent time with the man from "A Beautiful Mind". Ron is very artistically talented, but it's a struggle to sometimes understand the meaning and value behind the things he was talking about. He was very friendly, but often lacked tact and was crude in his explanations.

The art park was very captivating if you were able to weed through the distractions. The place needs more organization, and better social skills of the guide.

I certainly don't want to discredit the park altogether, as I went home and couldn't stop thinking about the place. It was an experience I'm not sure I want to relive, but at the same time, I'm glad I was able to be a part of.

With all of the trucks and various other objects in the displays it made for a fun place for children. They weren't included in the verbal tour, and were able to just walk around and enjoy themselves.

We were able to spot some frogs, tadpoles and a snake.

Along with all the trucks picked up, you will find many beer bottle sculptures. I noticed Christmas lights on all the displays and think it would be impressive to see them lit up at night.

If you are interested in fishing, there is a beautiful lake on the property that you can pay a fee to catch some fish. The water is very clear, and you can see the bottom quite a way in.

My daughter's favorite part of the whole place was the peacocks running around. You will hear them calling to each other, and spot them running back and forth on the property.

Ron was nice enough to give all the children their own souvenir peacock feather, which Ariel has hanging on her bedroom wall.

I don't want to necessarily recommend this place to you. I will say I enjoyed visiting it once, and if you wish to do so, please do it at your own risk! It's a one-of-a-kind location here in Topeka!

Ron Lessman: The Man Himself

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