If you are driving on the Lookout Mountain Parkway and happen to see a T-Rex peeking over a fence, don’t be alarmed. It isn’t Jurassic Park come to life or a dino-critter mysteriously teleported through millions of years of time to make you his afternoon snack
It’s just Junkosaurus Wrecks, the resident king of the beasts at The Barnyard, a park of metallic curiosities located at what’s commonly referred to as Fischer Crossroads in Fort Payne, Alabama. It is intended for all ages and known to host school field trips and senior citizen group visits. You might also see hikers, bikers and campers from nearby DeSoto State Park.
Tnalga.com’s Steven Stiefel recently encountered the aforementioned T-Rex and stopped to chat with the creator, Mike Goggans. He credits his work with the alias “Ekim Snagoggog” (his name backwards).
He said “Junkosaurus Wrecks” was built over a period of 10 years, composed of about 2,000 nuts, bolts, washers, screws, and wire that were discarded by people. Goggans said one item could be as small as a spark plug or as large as an entire lawn mower. It is also made up of lawn and garden tools, shop tools, automotive parts, personal care items, toys, fishing gear, electronics, music effects equipment, foot wear, cooking utensils, buckets, cell phones, and many other items.
“I figure that I spent about 16 weeks, actual hours of 40 hour work weeks, working on it,” Goggans said. It makes for a fascinating way to spend one’s retirement, bringing joy to the children who marvel at his creative use of what is essentially garbage that would otherwise be buried in a landfill.
J-Wrecks stands 21 feet tall and spans 35 feet from its nose to the tip of the tail. He weighs approximately one-and-a-half tons.
The metal beast joins Lirpa Anad Nitsud, a tall “robot” that stands guard over the Barnyard Parking Lot. Inside the fence, there’s Lirpa’s companion, Zerk Zing Gugbloot, deemed “the Ruler of Grits and Cornbread.” All hail the king of grits! Am I right? There are multiple such junk-based animal renditions that will amuse the kids, as well as a version of Spongebob.
Goggans said The Barnyard can be reserved for reunions, weddings, birthday parties, poetry readings, and other special events. To arrange such an event, check out their web page at http://thebarnyardeieio.com.
The Barnyard stands as an illustration to the saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.
(Photos by Steven Stiefel. All Rights Reserved)