KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Matt Ozug

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Summertime is for road trips. Atlas Obscura and All Things Considered are traveling up the West Coast, from California to Washington, in search of "hidden wonders" — unique but overlooked people and places.

Driving on Interstate 5 in Turner, Ore. — about an hour south of Portland — it's hard to miss the towering road sign, topped by a waving Humpty Dumpty: "Enchanted Forest Theme Park. Next Exit."

The Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, Calif., houses one of the largest collections of birds eggs and nests in the world. As part of our summer road trip collaboration with Atlas Obscura, we explore the collection and meet the scientists who run the foundation.

Oran Z has been collecting relics of Black Americana for most of his life. The items he's amassed used to be in a museum he ran in Los Angeles, but now they're all housed on his property.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

When chef James Syhabout set out to write his new cookbook, Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef's Isan Thai & Lao Roots, he sampled a recipe that is not on most American dinner tables: Fire ant salad.

It's a traditional Lao dish that he ate in his mother's home village. The ants nest in mango trees, and little children are sent into the tree to harvest the ants and their eggs.

"We got this salad, came to the table and there's like ants crawling in and out of it," Syhabout says. "You just bite them before they bite you."

One of America's most coveted dining experiences is a 40-seat restaurant in a converted grist-mill in the rural village of Freedom, Maine.

Chef Erin French, who is self-taught, opened the Lost Kitchen in her hometown of Freedom without much of a plan. She loved the space, and at first thought she would make English muffins and offer brunch, not convinced that the village of just over 700 people could become a dinner destination.

Rolling Stone magazine turns 50 this year, and co-founder Jann Wenner has written the foreword to a new book celebrating the anniversary. Wenner started Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967 with $7,500 of borrowed money, donated office space and some used typewriters. He was a 21-year-old Berkeley dropout who was into all the great music coming out in the year of the "Summer of Love" — and he wanted to create a magazine that took rock and roll seriously.