The Loneliest Roadtrip, Day 5

13 Mar

Day 5: Washington, Oregon

Left Seattle early and made our way to Long Beach, Washington, the home of Marsh’s Free Museum.

Marsh’s has an amazing collection of curiosities, perhaps more even than Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. It would be bereft of me to ignore their extensive assemblage of antique music boxes, nickelodeons, peep shows, fortune tellers, and other mechanized delights, which had us cashing in dollars like kids at a Chuck E. Cheese. Marsh’s shining star, though, is the king of taxidermied monstrosities, Jake the Alligator Man.

Jake is a distant cousin of the Fiji Mermaid, although his human element seems decidedly more real than that of his compatriots. Research yielded little in the way of speculation as to his makeup, and I suppose that’s one way to keep the illusion alive. In any case, the fact of the matter is that there was a time in recent history when it was okay to sew a corpse to another corpse, throw in some papier mache, put the creation on display, and people would love you for it… and I for one miss that. Jake was celebrating his birthday when we visited, and he donned a party hat to mark the occasion. We failed to catch the annual crowning of Jake’s bride, but just to know such a thing exists is enough to bring a smile to my heart.

Right outside of Marsh’s, we stumbled upon another artful entrepreneur. Regrets, I have but few, though not getting a drawing of myself here ranks near the top.

Pardon my recent tendency to frame photographs poorly. Toy cameras sans reflex lenses plus harried photographer breeds, ahem, ‘experimental’ results. Anyway, I think we can all agree that Long Beach is home to many wonderful things, but I haven’t even skimmed the surface. The town is also home to the World’s Largest Frying Pan and the World’s Longest Drivable Beach. It was a lovely rainy day, and despite the weather I managed to run down to the water, jump into the ocean fully clad, and sufficiently ruin my cheap faux-leather shoes. Adventure! Visions of the Green Meanie Mobile getting stuck and/or floating out to sea and the subsequent issues which would inevitably arise danced through my head, and as such a drive along the stormy beach was vetoed. What was I saying about adventure…? Coffee was in order after that jaunt, and while trolling for some decent espresso (isn’t this Washington?!?), we found the World’s Most Perfectly Named Store:

I really didn’t want to leave, but a pressing engagement in Eugene, Oregon made it necessary. Said pressing engagement turned into quite the series of debacles, but on a positive note, we ate the most wonderful Liege waffles at Off the Waffle. Mine had warm goat cheese and blueberries on it, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wake up occasionally and wish I had a comparable waffle house here at home. Are you listening, Denver?

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