Hole N' The Rock, Utah

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Some dads build their kids tree houses, but in the treeless desert of southeastern Utah, Albert Christensen’s only possible alternative was a cave. A badass dad that he was, Christensen blasted the rocks off a sandstone cliff face near U.S. Highway 191, so that his sons could sleep at night. He continued drilling and expanding the cave for 12 years until it was large enough for both him and his wife to move in in 1952. The 5,000 square foot subterranean home is equipped with 14 rooms arranged around huge pillars, a fireplace with a 65-foot tall chimney and a deep bathtub built into the rock. Albert was building a 100-foot tall staircase when he died. The stairs would have cut up to the top of the rock, where his wife would have arranged a rock garden. After her husband’s death, Gladys continued to develop the property, opening a gift shop and giving tours of her home until she passed away in 1974.

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Photo credit: penjelly/Flickr

Today, the Christensen family home welcomes travelers along U.S. Highway 191 with huge painted white letters on the cliff face that scream "Hole N' The Rock". The sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the face of the rock above his home was also made by Albert. Most of the original furnishings, Alberta's paintings and Gladys's doll collection, along with Albert’s taxidermy specimens —two stuffed horses and a donkey— are left untouched as a memorial. Also displayed are many of the tools used to create this home. Albert and Gladys’ graves are located in an alcove a short walk from the entrance.

Hole N' The Rock was purchased by Erik and Wyndee Hansen from Gladys' son, Hub Davis, in 2000. They've added a trading post, an outdoor petting zoo, a giant cactus made of bowling balls, and a 2-story outhouse.

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Photo credit: Shaan Hurley/Flickr

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Photo credit: jimmy thomas/Flickr

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Photo credit: UnShuttered Soul/Flickr

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Photo credit: Tim Vo/Flickr

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Photo credit: Tim Vo/Flickr

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Photo credit: Tim Vo/Flickr

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Photo credit: Nifer Kilakila/Flickr

Sources: Roadside America / theholeintherock.com

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