Nestled in the hills of Brown County, Indiana, just off of State Road 46, sits a peculiar green barn, covered in dirty socks. It’s a well known stop for hikers on the Tecumseh Trail.
A few years ago, the young couple who own the property put a stop sign on the side of their barn—not an uncommon practice in small towns—but with small black stickers on it that read, “Take a Rock, Leave a Sock.” Beneath the sign sits a large pile of geodes the couple had collected from their nearby creek.
According to the young woman and her husband, it started as a joke—a gift to the hikers who trekked past their house all year round. Much to their surprise, geodes began to disappear—and dirty socks appeared in their place. The hikers had taken the whole thing quite literally.
There is now a hand-painted sign that reads “Hikers! Please, Help Yourself to a Free Geode!!” A “guestbook” inside of a large plastic bag hangs from the sign, indicating that “leaving a sock is optional,” and that visitors can “feel free to leave anything, or nothing at all.” Beads and ribbons now hang alongside the socks—and the original stop sign.