(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

The Death Tiki of Awesomeness and other Maggie Valley sights

When Sweetums and I were traveling through the North Carolina mountains in early September, we were on the lookout, as usual, for any roadside oddities. We looked on RoadsideAmerica.com and found a listing with a name we loved: Indian Death Tiki of Awesomeness. Of course, that’s not the statue’s real name; that was bestowed by the person who submitted it to Roadside America.

But we had to stop. When we pulled up into the parking lot of Soco Cycles on U.S. Highway 19, where the Tiki of Awesomeness resides, there was a group of about eight people who had been riding around the mountains on motorcycles that stopped to take photos. We helped them take photos and they took one of us.

I have to admit, this wooden totem was pretty awesome. And it did look like an Indian, and like death.

According to Roadside America, the 16-foot-tall statue, erected in 2013, is officially named “Maniac.” The website quoted the owner of the store, Dustin Davis: “It was just an idea I had in my head,” so he commissioned a local woodcarver named Jeremy Buckner to carve it.

Find it at:
6316 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC

Most Photographed View in the Smokies

We stopped at another Maggie Valley landmark: A tower billed as “The Most Photographed View in the Smokies.” The tower was located behind a store called Soco Craft and Tower, and visitors paid 50 cents to climb up. It was a cloudy day but it was worth the 50 cents and the climb. The tower, added in 1988, certainly did offer a gorgeous view.

Find it at:
6638 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC

Giant Red Rocker

Our third tourist-y stop in Maggie Valley was at the Giant Red Rocking Chair.

maggie valley big red rocker
The Big Red Rocking Chair in Maggie Valley.
maggie valley tiki
The Indian Death Tiki of Awesomeness.
maggie valley tikii 2
The Indian Death Tiki of Awesomeness. (Photo by Wil Elrick/Permission Required)
maggie valley view 3
Selfie from atop the iconic tower at the Soco Craft store in Maggie Valley.
maggie valley view 4
View from the tower.
maggie valley view sign
The sign at The Soco Crafts and Tower souvenir shop.

We noticed a sign saying the owner wanted to sell the roadside chair-making business, which also served as his home. Although we didn’t have need for a chair, owner Chuck Cummings was more than happy to take a photo of his in his giant rocker. He built the chair in the early 1990s.

Find it at:
411 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC

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