Click the hotspot to see Thunder Mountain from the other side.
Rising up on the flat pan just off the highway in Imlay is the decaying hulk of a concrete monument filled with decades of dust and tumbleweeds. It is one man’s personal response to the excesses of the 1960s; responding to the excess in kind. Frank Van Zant, who preferred to be known as Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder, began his work in 1968 using for its construction everything from junked automobiles to decapitated dolls’ heads. It became his home, and the attached hostel the home of his tie-dyed acolytes.  The construction continued for twenty years, ending when its creator decided to end it – and his life – in 1989. Now deserted and dangerous, its main buildings are fenced off, awaiting potential salvation by Van Zant’s son.

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