When driving through barren lands surrounded by mountain ranges, your eyes naturally gravitate to any object that sticks out. Now, imagine driving on and off for a few days through these barren lands and all of a sudden a building shaped like an orange pops up out of nowhere. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.
I had already grown tired of driving through the desert and volcanic fields when I came upon this building. I had to pull off the side of the road to see if it was for real or if I was delusional. Was it a mirage or a manmade object?
Sure enough – it was real!
Cartago is located in Inyo County right off Highway 395 about 3 miles north of Olancha and to the west of the dried up Owens Lake. This little town has about 80-90 people that live there and is quickly becoming another ghost town of this region.
The Orange was closed when I stopped by. It’s located right next to a rundown looking motel. The kind of motel that you don’t want to go into unless it’s an emergency. Rumor has it that the Orange is a jerky shop. Yes, out in the middle of nowhere is a building shaped like an orange and it sells jerky. It’s hard to comprehend this rumor. But, it does make for a great laugh.
Wouldn’t this building be better suited for serving juice and water to passing motorists. At first, I thought it was a lemon. Wouldn’t it make for the greatest lemonade stand in the history of mankind?
As of now, there’s no tangible information on what this Orange building is used for. And if that wasn’t enough to tickle your curiosity, the owners decided to add fake green cacti and a dinosaur to the mix.
Like any other roadside attraction, it’s up to your personal preference whether to stop or not. However, I challenge you to find another fruit shaped building in the state of California. I believe this rarity is worth the stop.