“a strange custom of unknown origins”
Rice became noted for its Rice Shoe Tree, a lone tamarisk on a turnout just south of the highway. For reasons unknown, it became customary for travelers on Highway 62 (also known as Rice Road) to and from the Colorado River to hang an old shoe on the tree's branches. The tree was featured on California's Gold, a PBS program hosted by Huell Howser. The tree burned to the ground in 2003 in a fire of suspicious origin, after which a 'shoe garden' replaced it; a fence on which people hang shoes instead. Travelers still stop to spell their names on the nearby Arizona and California Railroad right-of-way with the multi-colored volcanic rock used as ballast. Hand-assembled graffiti lines the railroad for the entire distance that it parallels Highway 62.
Definitely one of the more peculiar spots in a state filled with peculiarity.
Also note the custom of leaving "graffiti" made of coloured rocks along the railroad to the north of the highway for miles in both directions.
I stumbled across this and could not have been more excited. Yes this is a random stop but such an interesting stop.
Lots of shoes on a fence and great for a leg stretch.
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