Illustration By Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Illustration By Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio  

Roadside Distractions

Roadside oddities that catch our attention and then fade into our rearview mirror.

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If you’re like most commuters, everyday you drive past the exact same houses, same businesses, same peculiar landmarks. Did you know the Milk Farm along 50 was a teen hangout in the 1930s where kids had milk drinking competitions? Did you know the Rancho Cordova drive-in is only one of 389 in the country? Or that the castle on I-80 was built by current resident and eccentric hair dresser Jerry Lee? There are so many stories we miss speeding by at 65 miles an hour. We’re slowing down, asking some questions and investigating these roadside distractions.

Yuba City's Bird Man

June 30, 2017 | Bob Moffitt

What’s seven feet tall, has six feet, and rainbow feathers? The Bird Man of Yuba City holding two scarlet macaws over his head as a part of the newest addition to our roadside distraction series.

Piles Of White Powder Appear, Disappear On Sacramento Region Orchards During Summers

September 2, 2016 | Bob Moffitt

If you've seen a huge pile of white powder in a field off the side of the road, you might have wondered, "What is that?" That's the question for the latest installment of Roadside Distractions.

Johnny / Flickr

Food and Sustainability

Why Is There A Self-Cannibalizing Hot Dog Statue Perched On A Building Off Alhambra Blvd.?

August 5, 2016 | Melody Stone

A life-sized hotdog man hungrily licking his lips while squirting ketchup on his forehead stands atop an unmarked red and black building at the intersection of Alhambra Blvd. and T Streets. A reader asked us to investigate this roadside distraction.

Matt Cooley / Cool Patch Pumpkins

A Dinosaur With No Name

June 3, 2016 | Jonathan Ayestas

Drive along Interstate-80 in Dixon, Calif. and a huge, white figure looms in the distance. At first, you can’t tell what it is, but as you speed past, a dinosaur comes into view. A dinosaur. At a pumpkin patch. What does one have to do with the other


Two Coasts, Two Cities, Two Signs: The Story Behind The ‘Ocean City MD 3073’ Sign

May 6, 2016 | Melody Stone

A normal-looking mileage sign along the freeway in West Sacramento causes motorists to take a second glance. Placerville, South Lake Tahoe and Ocean City Maryland? What’s that all about? We tracked down the man responsible for the sign.

Illustration By Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio

Insight With Beth Ruyak

CapRadio Goes For A Ride With Our Roadside Distractions Series

April 7, 2016 | Melody Stone

CapRadio's Digital Producer Melody Stone takes us along as she explores roadside distractions like the Milk Farm and a castle on I-80. She’s spearheading CapRadio's Roadside Distractions series.