Article and photos by Kristi Spiegel
What a gorgeous morning for a motorcycle ride! It was a Sunday morning last summer, July 19, when my husband, Jeff, and I set off on our bikes, following the beautiful winding roads of Nebraska. The route took us north to the town of Oconto, Nebraska, called the “Home of the Windmills,” where we found an intriguing sight.
On the edge of town, along Highway 40, sat an amazing sculpture garden. The garden was filled with spiders, turtles, dinosaurs, buffalo, bears, pigs, totem poles, a tin man, and one of my favorite pieces – the skeleton riding the chopper. There were many other unique pieces.
After viewing all of the sculptures and taking photos, we continued on our way south of Oconto heading to Arapahoe. We then completed our little Sunday morning, 160-mile ride back to Atlanta.
Returning home I was curious. Who was responsible for this out-of-the way treasure? I found the very talented artist was retired farmer Charles Horn, who lives north of Oconto. He constructs his pieces with salvaged parts such as sickle blades, bolts, wrenches and wire. I especially love the way Charles has left each piece natural, to let the elements paint the sculptures with their own unique rust colors.
Anyone wanting to get away for a little afternoon adventure, whether by car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle, should visit Oconto. It’s definitely worth the trip.