If You Weld it They Will Come

September 11, 2012 6 Comments »

Enchanted Highway Giant tin man metal sculpture

Giant tin man metal sculpture along the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

What in the world would ever bring you to the North Dakota prairie lands? How about an enchanted highway with the world’s largest metal sculptures? Seven massive sculptures placed out in pastures of rolling hills in the middle of nowhere was enough to get my attention.

So I went.

Drive the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

A 7 hour drive from my parent’s home in South Dakota is Regent North Dakota – the town where the Enchanted Highway originates. The sculptures were started in 1993 out of scrap metal and items common to local farms and ranches. The subject matter of these sculptures is taken from rural North Dakota life.

Artist Gary Greff built the sculptures, and maintains the project which is located off of I-94 in the Southwestern part of North Dakota.  I was actually a bit disappointed that the North Dakota Tourism board doesn’t do much to promote it on their website – it’s a shame as it’s what brought me to North Dakota.  And  I would guess that I’m not the only one – would you go to see these giant sculptures in the middle of the prairie?

Geese In Flight

The sun burst is made or over 300 lengths of well pipe and there is more that 4.4 miles of welds holding everything together. The geese and hills are made from oil well tanks. More that $9,000 in paint was used to complete the sculpture. The sculpture is 110 feet tall and 154 feet long and weighs 78.8 tons (157,661 pounds). A large goose has a wing span of 32 feet and is 20 feet long.

Enchanted Highway North Dakota Geese in Flight

Geese in Flight

Pheasants on the Prairie

The site contains four pheasants sculptures. The rooster stands 40 feet tall is 70 feet long and weighs 13,000 pounds.

Enchanted Highway North Dakota pheasants on the prairie

Pheasants on the Prairie

pheasants on the prairie

Baby pheasant is still giant as compared to the picnic table in the top left corner!


The largest grasshopper is 40 feet tall and 50 feet long. The grasshoppers were made from four oil field tanks.

Enchanted Highway North Dakota Grasshopper metal sculpture

Thank god this isn’t real! It looks like a horror movie – attack of the giant grasshoppers!

Deer Crossing

The metal used to create the deer originated from seven rusty oil well tanks. The buck stands 70 feet tall and is 60 feet long. The doe stands 50 feet tall and is 50 feet long.

Enchanted Highway Giant deer metal sculpture

For a sense of scale…see my father standing at the fence post underneath the deer’s hind leg!

Tin Family

The “Worlds Largest Tin Family” was the first site to decorate the Enchanted Highway. The Tin Man stands 45 feet tall and has 16 telephone poles anchoring him to the ground. His cap measures 6 feet in circumference and is 5 feet tall. The Tin Lady stands 44 feet tall and 12 telephone poles hold her up. Her hair is made of barb wire and here ear rings are augers.

Enchanted Highway North Dakota Giant tin family

Maybe they got lost on the way to Oz?

The tin farmer on the enchanted highway

My mom and dad sit on the Tin Farmer’s shoes which are made of horse water tanks.

Theodore Roosevelt Rides Again

This site depicts a silhouette of Theodore Roosevelt on his horse and a stage coach. The silhoutte is made from 1 3/4 inch well pipe. Teddy stands 51 feet tall and weighs 9,000 pounds.

An ode to Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite place to hunt…North Dakota.

Once you are finished driving the Enchanted Highway – then keep heading west on I-94 and check out buffalo, prairie dogs, and landscapes of Theodore Roosevelt National Park!


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