As Julie Bower scraped a foam peace sign off the hood of her car — her purple and green lips pursed in concentration — several cars drove past at a crawl.
Drivers and passengers alike stared out their windows, their expressions ranging from glee to confusion.
Bower was unfazed.
She said she’s used to stopping traffic with her “art car,” a vehicle covered in toys purchased from dollar stores.
Plastered in plastic dinosaurs, toy soldiers, foam symbols, her car even sports a few calculators glued to the hood. A few times a year, she said she attaches new figurines to the car using E6000 glue, though space is becoming limited.
Bower said she started decorating the car four years ago as a tribute to her parents. She inherited the car from her mother, and her father painted cars in the 1960s.
“He was a big little kid,” she reminisced.
A Houston native, Bower was attending an art car festival in Trinidad, Colorado, when Hurricane Harvey hit and flooded her house. It was the second storm that damaged her home in two years.
Sick of the Texas weather, she said it was time to move somewhere different. Stopping in Laramie on Wednesday, she looked at real estate.
Upon moving to Wyoming, she said she would likely store the vehicle in a garage during the winter months so it wouldn’t get ruined. Once stored, she said she would get another car; however, she already has plans to decorate that one, too.
“Once you start this, you can’t stop,” she said, laughing.