I first saw this mondo cross probably about 45 miles east of Amarillo. I was able to bring my camera to bear and operate it one handed; this is the best picture (once cropped and shrunk) for getting a feel for the size of the thing.
There wasn’t much to speak of around this building; it’s a large church in the middle of nowhere.
I’ve seen crosses like this–exactly like this complete with diamond cross section and pointed tips–in other places. One further east on I-40 that I remember from a previous trip even has billboards proudly announcing to oncoming traffic that it is the largest cross in the world.
[Update, 2 March 2013. This is the Groom TX cross. (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1912) which is just a few inches shorter than the Effingham cross (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10913) which is the one I remember... and that cross is on Interstate 57/70 in Illinois, contrary to my faulty recollection of where I had seen it. A bigger one is being built in Branson, Missouri.]
It’s not obvious from this picture, but the flat planes of the cross are all made out of corrugated roofing material, similar to metal roofs you see on some modern construction, especially in hail prone areas like mine. I imagine the builder erects a framework and then simply bolts the sheet metal onto it.
It’s also not obvious from this picture, but there is a lightning rod on the top of the cross. Apparently someone is worried that god might take aim at what his supposedly his chosen symbol. So here’s a cropping of a picture I took a couple of seconds later.
You can also see the roof corrugations, and the fact that the edges all use the same sort of flashing metal roofs use.
OK, so that’s a bit of brobdingnagian Christokitsch for the highway travel. I then spotted this–then had to backtrack to photograph it because I found it difficult to believe my eyes:
I had to wonder: did these folks actually name their travel center “Jesus Christ Is Lord,” or is the different color an indication that they were just making a statement of faith?
19 miles later, on the eastern edge of Amarillo, I had a pretty good indication:
So you see here not only the billboard (complete with commandment to take Exit 77 right now) but more text all over the awning above the diesel stations, and even “Jesus Christ Is Lord” on the side of a trailer.
And here there’s preaching just before the BOHICA moment of buying your diesel. Which come to think of it is much like serving as an altar boy at many Catholic churches.
The panel on the right is illegible by the time I shrink the photo down so it will fit here, but says “The Lord Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday And Today And Forever”
I pulled over at the next exit, went to a different travel center, and (while paying for a snack) asked the cashier if that was truly the name of the place just up the road, and she said yes it was–she seemed mildly disgusted with it in fact; I guess this guy is over the top even for the bible belt. I then pointed out that clearly this person was not interested in selling to any Jewish truck drivers. Not that I know any. I did mention knowing a couple of atheist drivers and she said words to the effect that she did have some Jewish customers and even a couple of agnostics… “…WHATEVER”–in an impatient, verging on angry, tone of voice. This anger being from someone who is not off the deep end like the owner of the JCIL Travel Center; one must wonder how he’d react to someone walking through his door and proudly announcing their atheism.
The “Jesus Christ Is Lord Travel Center.” Folks, I simply cannot make stuff like this up!