The journey to strange

Posted by on Saturday, August 5th, 2006

So, as I mentioned, we got a trailer for the camping trip.  Sounds crazy, I know, but this is the first time in years Scott and I have been able go for the same number of days, so we wanted to take just one vehicle.  Nothing makes us more exhausted than packing up at the end of the trip knowing that we both have to drive a car home.  And we needed to take lots of lumber so we could live in the trees, and we also needed to be ready to transport some communal stuff if the need arose.  Scott picked up a trailer, and, lo and behold, it matched our dog.  (Which I would show you, but Typepad is yanking my chain: The trailer has a picture of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever on it, and Kayo is half-Chessie, so matchy match.  The trailer didn’t make either of us miss Kayo any less.)

Since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s the Saturday sky.

Now that’s the right kind of weather for a vacation.  79 degrees, blue sky, nice breeze.  Ahhhh.

This is one of my favorite sites in Pennsylvania.  I’ve loved this barn since I was a kid, despite the fact that I’ve also hated tobacco since I was a kid.  My Grandpap was never sure how long ago this was painted, but it’s been this way for a long time.

Now for the really important stuff.  Those of you who spent a lot of time on the PA Turnpike as kids may remember the old Davey Crockett Museum, which was in Breezewood right before the ramp to the Westbound turnpike.  We would torture our Mom until she took us there.  It had a giant statue of Davey Crockett on top, of course, and it was full of antique gruesome taxidermied beasties.  We loved it.  Mom hated it.  It closed sometime in the 80s, and I guess I figured all the stuff went away when a gift shop moved in.  How wrong I was.

When Scott and I started hanging out a lot, he mentioned that he and several of the other KF always stopped at the old Museum on the way North, and that the new owners had made it even creepier.  Visiting the museum was a vital tradition, never to be broken, and if I wanted to spend time with Scott, I had to get on board.  So visit we do, every time we need to get on the Turnpike.  And, strangely, it is even creepier now.  No seriously, it is.

They still call it a Museum, though I don’t know who Crawford is or why he/she doesn’t deserve an apostrophe.  Much more sparkly than when we were kids, right?  Lots more crap?  This is the side view.

All the best museums sell shot glasses and t-shirts from all 50 states, lemme tell ya.

This is when you should change the channel if the thought of hanging a taxidermied beastie on the wall makes you very sad.  I promise you, these beasties would have all died very long ago of natural causes, the hunters who killed them are all long dead, and if these beasties weren’t in the museum, they’d be in a landfill.  My grandpap’s family had to hunt to eat.  I am friends with a lot of hunters.  I eat meat, I use leather, and I don’t think either of those things are wrong, but trophy hunting ticks me off to no end, I promise you.  But this, somehow, is forgivable because the beasties are relics of another time.

The taxidermied beasts are all still there, but now they’re used as display pieces.  I kid you not.  And the displays get more and more strange the deeper into the museum/ tacky gift shop you go.  It starts like this:

Strange, right?  Ram’s head, surrounded by sports memorabilia and fake Native American “art.”  But a regular old Pennsylvania sportsman could hunt down and stuff a ram, so, you know, not too terribly weird.

But then there’s a rhino, who also apparently likes sports:

I should point out again that all of these beasties are antiques, slaughtered years ago before, well, Pennsylvanians stopped slaughtering endangered species on their foreign travel.  The current owners didn’t hurt any of these animals, but they just can’t bear to throw them away.  Which I actually understand.  It would literally add insult to injury to throw that majestic rhino’s head in the trash.  Poor fellah.  Maybe he likes to watch the tourists buy silly things.

What I don’t understand?  How can you have a family made just of roosters, and why you would charge your leopard with baby-sitting them.

That’s a recipe for disaster.  But I’m rooting for the Cat.  She looks like he could use a nice chicken dinner.

And what would make that little scene stranger, you might wonder?  Well, how about the fact that it is directly under this hefelump display stand!

See–her Kittyness is there in the lower center.  Seriously, how messed up is that?  Did David Lynch dress this set, or was it John Waters?  Wait, no, it had to be John Waters.  How do I know?  Because John Waters likes hats a lot.  And so do Water Buffalo:

And Bison:

In the wild, all the Bison go for the Shady Braidies, I promise you.   This shell of a bison taught me, as a child, how small dairy cattle are, in the scheme of things.  I thought Bossy was huge until I met this guy.  He’s huge.  Bossy was just zaftig.

But the pièce de résistance, without a doubt, is the Samurai Grizzly:

Dangerous to the nth degree, now that he’s mastered swordplay.  I think he’s about 11 feet tall.

So, yeah, Pennsylvania is weird.  This little detour sets the tone for our adventures every time.   After seeing this, having strangers obsessively try to kiss your hand and then be offended when you refuse to let them is a bit easier to handle.

Filed in blather,Celtic,sewing | 3 responses so far

3 Responses to “The journey to strange”

  1. Junoon 23 Aug 2006 at 9:28 am 1

    I remember reading that there was a time when hunting game for display was considered an act of preservation/education – because how else would the magnificance of these creatures be known outside their habitat? It seems peculiar now, but when I see the bison, I almost get it. But it is an attitude from an era of less environmental devestation.

    Also, I wanna know about the hand kissing.
    Because that’s the kind of girl I am.

  2. rachelon 23 Aug 2006 at 11:53 am 2

    Egads! That’s some mighty good kitsch.

  3. The Purloined Letteron 28 Aug 2006 at 10:34 am 3

    Oh, I have to go find this place!

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