A young boy’s lost bicycle has led to a unique piece of natural roadside art on Washington state’s Vashon Island, over 50 years later.
Traveling off of Vashon Highway, about 50 feet into the woods behind the local Sound Food Café, travelers will come across a peculiar site – an intact, 1950s-era bicycle embedded into a tree.
In 1954 Helen Puz had been recently widowed when she received the bike as a gift from someone in the community, according to Discover Washington State.
“People were very sympathetic and generous,” Puz reportedly wrote in a document on display at the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum. “We were given a girl’s bike and my 8-year-old son Don seemed the natural one to ride it.”
But Don Puz was none-too-pleased to be cruising the island, which is nestled between Seattle and Tacoma, on a girl’s bike. One day he told his mother that he had lost the bike, and given that it was built for a girl, they decided to let it go.
It wasn’t until decades later that Helen Puz, now 99, found out what happened to her son’s bike when she read in the local Beachcomber newspaper that someone had discovered the bike five feet high in the air, embedded in the tree. The tree had grown around it.
One visitor reports on roadsideamerica.com that the front wheel still turns. The roadside marvel has been the inspiration for the Berkeley Breathed book “Red Ranger Came Calling” and a Japanese documentary.