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Skull Rock

At its best, Date Creek Road, which connects Congress with the ghost town of Hillside, is an experience in vehicular convulsion. In other words, it's not the sort of byway on which you'd want to break out your travel edition of Operation. And that's not to mention the boulder-lugging devil trucks that won't hesitate in running you and your pristine paint job off into the thorny brush.

But should you find reason enough to brave the drive up this way, you may come across what just might be the world's largest phrenology bust. It's a huge skull-shaped boulder, whitewashed and detailed with eye sockets and a ghastly grin.

 

Information on the behemoth braincase is virtually nonexistent, but what little history there is suggests that it was painted somewhere around 1900. It’s reportedly the work of a railroad crew whose job it was to maintain the signposts down this stretch of track. Along the way, they thought it would be funny to scare the heebies out of Santa Fe passengers coming round the bend.

The passenger lines no longer roll this way, but the big noggin remains after more than a century. Though menacing as ever, Skull Rock is a practical joke that has lost all practicality.

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