Sunday, October 10, 2004

A day trip?

The wife and I have a sponteneous side. On any given weekend day, we get up in the morning, and there's just no telling what we're liable to get into... This saturday was a great example...

We got up and decided to head down to Cracker Barrel for some breakfast. Now some of the Yankee Contingent may be ignorant of the great joy that is Cracker Barrel, and for you I hold great pity. The place always has a huge roaring fire, and southern cooking that can't be beat. Needless to say we gorged ourselves.

On the way out we ran into a guy we knew who happened to be heading down to Elkins for some small town festival. After some errands we just decided... What the hell? Sure we had other stuff to do, but how often to you get to go to the "Forest Festival"? For crying out loud there were supposed to be lumberjack competitions! How do ya top that?

A fall drive through the hills of West Virginia is gorgeous. We made our lazy way, and eventually found ourselves walkin around a bustlin' fair. There were huge craft displays, so you can imagine that Julie was in heaven. I saw things that I never thought I'd witness in 2004. I saw a genuine Horshoes Tournament. Ringers... Everything they threw... Amazing...

We saw old timey carny displays like "SEE THE MAN EATING SNAKE!" and "4 FOOT SWAMP RAT!" I didn't actually see either one, as I was convinced that the rat was in fact a Kangaroo, and the snake was probably 5 feet long. Still... it was about nastalgia for me.

Jeb had a blast playin' with other youngin' in the little park. All in all you just couldn't top it.

Well... I thought you couldn't. See we came home a different route. We decided to hop on over to Phillipi and catch 119, then take it all the way home. It would be a real nice drive.... hehehe... Little did we know...

See... Makin' our way through Phillipi just as we're about to cross an old covered bridge, Julie spots a sign that says 'tourist info'.

Tourist Info? In Phillipi West Virginia? Well... when you've travelled around as much as I have, you learn that these are the best places in the world. You simply have no idea what you're liable to find. We didn't know it yet, but we were about to find out just how true that was.

We were greeted in this little building by a little old lady who frankly... defied description... except... well... if you've spent any time in small towns you've already met her. She's short, and talkative... and far more energetic than she has any right to be. She was wearing a rediculous dress in an unbelievable shade of purplish doom... and her hat... her hat... well... You know when you go into a bathroom... and they've decorated it by hanging a wicker hat on the wall.. complete with cheap fake flowers on the band? Yeah... She was wearing that hat. For some reason though... I got the distinct impression this old lady was dressed this way just to piss some other old lady off. You know how they do.

Anyway... it turns out this little place was a museam to the first land battle of the War for Southern Independence. The battle had raged through the covered bridge and down main street. There were artifacts and all manner of items from the time. Then... it happened...

The whole time the woman had been guiding us around she'd been dropping facts about this or that... Then she said something I'll never forget:

"Of course, the museum is free, but it's a dollar a piece if you want to see the mummies."

I struggled with that for several seconds, shook my head, and decided I had mis-heard her. Julie was just as confused as I was, but she's not one to let such things go. She wanted to be convinced that the woman had not said what it was that we could not believe she said.

But of course... she had said it. Now... I had turned down the Man-eating Snake, and the 4-Foot Rat for the same price, but I'll be damned if I was gonna pass up this.

We gave 'em 2 dollars and sure enough... back in the backroom they had two mummies. Mummified by some freak in the 1880s, who actually started a mummification company! The smithsonean had come by to visit, and apparently these mummies are still featured on National Geographic's "Mummy Roadshow".

Now I ain't never seen the Queen in her undies, as the fella says... but after this... well... I guess I've seen something ever-bit as stupifying as all that... and ya know... I guess I can die knowin' the good Lord didn't jip me.

Get out and take a drive y'all. Ain't no tellin' what you'll find.

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