I’M LEAVING. (The state.)

Remember last week then I asked where we should go on vacation and you gave me a thousand great suggestions that made me realize I’ve pretty much never really been anywhere?  Well, we decided to go on a road trip and see stuff we’ve never seen before.  Some of it normal stuff that everyone should see but more importantly, it’s a lot of weird-ass stuff you find on the way.

People have different ideas of what constitutes weird so for example I will use The Museum of Two-Headed Things that I recently discovered near my house, which was filled with much fewer two-headed things you’d expect (two, if you include the one hidden in a wooden box on the floor under bundles of human hair) and also gems like this:

Basically some lady found a dead squirrel in her attic in the 70’s and her kids were like, “Yeah.  That’s nightmare trash” and she was like, “BUT IF I PUT IT IN A GLASS BOX IT’S ART” and they were like, “Mom, this is how hoarders start” and then (28 years later) she was all, “FINE.  I’M DONATING MR. SINEWS TO A MUSEUM” and they probably just rolled their eyes at each other because what museum is going to happily take a dead 70’s attic rat?  And the answer is THIS ONE and I’m pretty sure I just found the place to leave all my weird taxidermy to when I die.

And my dead pets will not be alone because they already have jewels like this one:

So this summer we’ll be driving from Seattle to Denver.  (With stops in Butte, Jackson Hole, and Rawlins.)  We’re going to see Yellow Stone and the Grand Teton and the Rocky Mountains like normal people, but we’re also going to try to do stuff like break into a wallaby farm, and ghost hunt in haunted hotels and abandoned prisons, and visit a 90 foot tall Virgin Mary.  We’ve never explored these areas so if you have any suggestions (or access to wallaby farms, baby otters or other ridiculousness) on this route PLEASE LET ME KNOW.






330 thoughts on “I’M LEAVING. (The state.)

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Please be careful in and around Rawlins—that town has tried to kidnap me multiple times now, I am not even kidding—but if you’re doing the haunted hotel thing of course you’re stopping in Estes Park, right? No spoilers, but you’re going to find some amazing shops and some new pets there. So excited for you!

  2. If you ever head east (& return to Philadelphia) check out the Mutter Museum. It has all kinds of cook medical oddities.

  3. Yellowstone is so cool. I went with my grandparents when I was about Hailey’s age and I still have wonderful memories from it many years later. It does get chilly in the mornings even in the summer, so be sure to take a jacket, but it’s great. Just don’t get run over by bison. Even in the car. Darn things have no respect for personal space.

  4. Check out roadtrippers.com and roadsideamerica.com. Both have awesome weird things to check out.

  5. In Jackson Hole, don’t miss the shoot out in the square. It is hilariously cheesy.

  6. Too bad you aren’t going the Southern route – you could have stopped at Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch off of I-10 near Tucson. You could get some really nice ostrich egg shit or you could pet the deer and then buy some fresh venison. Right up your alley.

  7. You should check out Casper Mtn and I believe they are called Paradise falls, in Wyoming gorgeous little hidden gems off I-25 in Casper Wyoming, also I’m starting to think you’re stalking me, I was in The WY at the beginning of summer!

  8. I wish I could go on a road-trip vacation with you, Jenny… it would probably be the most memorable one ever! 🙂

  9. People think I’m weird because I visit cemeteries everywhere I go on vacation, so you go to all the wallaby farms, haunted hotels, and dead squirrel museums that your little heart desires. If you enjoy it, that’s all that matters.

  10. I just went to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, and it was fantastic – not sure if you’ll travel through that area or not, because I suck at geography, but it’s right up your alley!

  11. Oh, you are gonna have the BEST trip! But be very prepared for crowds – LOTS of people and traffic – in the Yellowstone and Jackson Hole areas. But also be prepared for awesome, breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and some weirdness. There’s a great store in Jackson Hole that you NEED to visit: Jackson Mercantile (https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/jackson-mercantile-jackson). And if you want to chill on the deck away from the crowds, hit me up!

  12. Denver has awesome food, I recently visited. I also HIGHLY suggest Boulder too. Hipsters everywhere … but delicious. (the food, that is. not the hipsters.)

  13. This is just the kind of vacation (well, usually we can only escape for 3 days) that my friend Nicole and I like to take. We map out a route to hit all the best spots, get horribly lost AND constantly misled by Siri who is a total hoor, and end up finding awesome bridge graffiti. ENJOY your awesome vacay! <3 I can’t wait to see the pictures and read the stories.

  14. If you end up heading east out of Yellowstone towards Cody, the Mystic Lady in Wapiti is appropriately creepy with dead things.

  15. Also: do not decide to take a hot springs bath in Yellowstone. Doesn’t tend to end well.

  16. There’s a brothel museum in Wallace, Idaho. It hasn’t been touched since the 1970s so it’s a real gem of consensual disco sex work. Last time I was there they had souvenirs you could buy. So worth the detour.

  17. On the road between Missoula and Denver this spring I went to the Sweet Palace in Phillipsburg – all sorts of amazing candy in an old time setting. And then you can go next door and mine sapphires! (Closed on Saturdays) https://www.sweetpalace.com/

  18. I’m really ashamed that I don’t know weird stuff to do. I would recommend most of the big tourist attractions in Seattle, like Chihuly Garden, MoPop, MOHAI… We used to have a big wall of gum, but I think they took it down. In Denver, I loved the children’s botanical garden and in Boulder you can take the Celestial Seasonings factory tour, totally awesome. Oh! Wait. I got it. You HAVE to go to Casa Bonita in Denver. It’s a really weird restaurant where there are caves and people who do fancy dives for entertainment. and sopapillas and they were featured in an episode of South Park. MUST do. The food is gross. Except the sopapillas.

  19. All of Beyonce T. Chicken’s relatives congregate in Darby, Montana, which isn’t really on the way to anything (unless you want to go the long way between Missoula and Butte) but i’ve driven to Darby three times to see The Great Chicken of Darby and its weird metal animal sculpture neighbors. (also on highway 93 in Montana near Florence, MT there’s a boxcar with the graffitti “BONERLIFE” which is not nearly the kind of tourist attraction i’d think it ought to be).

    Jeffrey City, Wyoming (maybe actually on your way between Butte and Rawlins?) also features a crazy pottery shop/ art studio (Monk-king-bird Pottery) where you can buy mugs that have been shot: http://www.intersectionjournal.com/wyoming/mad-potter-jeffrey-city/ also probably the entire town of Jeffrey City is vaguely radioactive but that probably adds to the fun of it all.

  20. Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, WA. They have wallabys and kangaroos and more, and you get to be in the pens with them, feed them, and pet them! It’s awesome!

  21. If you like wolves, there is a wolf sanctuary pretty close to Seattle.

  22. We did Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mt. Rushmore and a bunch of places along the way! Super cool trip! We also drove through Jackson Hole which was pretty amazing as well. Enjoy! Oh yeah and we stayed at the creepiest camp grounds on the planet in a city called Gillette, WY. The bathrooms looked like something from a Friday the 13th movie and most of the campers were turned into permanent residences.

  23. ALSO in between Seattle & Montana is the St. Regis Truck Stop, Gift Shop & Trout Aquarium, but as of May the trout were still under construction. Also they have fudge.

  24. Just did Yellowstone and Grand Tetons a couple weeks ago. We made an impromptu stop at Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana and they were great!

  25. My family stayed at Grand Tetons National Park and then drove over to Yellowstone. Much less people, flat out gorgeous, and we randomly came across an elk blocking the path to where we were going to fish. Very cool.

  26. Well in Seattle you must do an underground tour because you’ll learn all sorts of stuff about how Seattle was founded by a Madame.

  27. You will also be driving through Laramie if you’re gonna be stopping in Rawlins to see the prison. Laramie has the territorial prison museum as well, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were for a time, along with some cool displays about other inmates….And it’s really just a cool museum. They did a great job of putting it together in the old prison :).

  28. There’s a wolf sanctuary/hippie commune near Westcliffe, CO. If you give off the right vibe, a wolf will lick you in the teeth.

  29. This is awesome! I didn’t even comment last time but I just got back to OKC from a trip to Yellowstone-Grand Tetons-etc. and it was awesome. I’m so glad you will get to go and also abandoned prisons and wallaby farms sound way cool. Take bug spray.

  30. So I just did the drive from Helena to Denver last month. There is a surprisingly good japanese steak and sushi place in Douglas WY. You should check it out. There’s only one so you don’t really need the name.

  31. Sounds like a great trip! Although adding “Virgin” is a little redundant. If she’s 40 feet tall, I’d expect she hasn’t been around too much 😉

  32. you have to do Casa Bonita if you’re going through Denver. it’s a requirement.

  33. We got stuck in Rawlins for a night a couple of years ago. It was a nice place from what I could tell (in between being enraged and crying because our car died), and I’d love to stop there again for a proper visit. They have a prison museum and the Ferris Mansion is gorgeous.

  34. Yasssss! Happy trails, y’all! Oh, and my two cents for how you can optimize wildlife viewing whilst in Yellowstone is to hang out for a day in the Lamar Valley. Just sit tight and watch all the species parade by, Ice Age migration style. We aminal chased all over those 2.2 million acres for days and only found out what we should have done just as it was time to leave.

  35. Atlas Obscura should be your new go to website. It’s a catalog of all things odd and off beat and can be searched via map. You will love it!

  36. That sounds awesome Jenny, I’m sure there is lots of weird stuff along the way for you to see….and i’m sure even if there isn’t you will find some…or make some…have a great trip!

  37. The Dumas in Butte. It was a functioning brothel until ridiculously recently. And they have an amazing underground tour in Butte, too. My ex-husband was born and raised there, it’s an interesting place. Totally worth the 12 hour trip from where I live, in middle of nowhere Utah.

  38. There is the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim (near Seattle). I highly recommend it. It’s basically a dtive-through zoo, and you can feed the animals. Just make sure you don’t stop in the buffalo area.

  39. My husband and I biked that same basic route as part of our cross-country tandem ride. It is astoundingly wonderful. If you get farther east, be sure to stop st Oquawka, Illinois to see the place where Norma Jean, the circus elephant, died. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/3619

  40. Too bad you’re missing the World’s Largest Hairball, located at the Mt. Angel Abbey museum in Mt. Angel Oregon (45 minutes southeast of Portland).

  41. The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver is just your thing! First liquor license in the state, and a mind-boggling array of taxidermied treasures. The staff is awesome — ask someone to tell you about the place’s history. There’s a website, but I’m on my phone and can’t link it right now. Oh! Also, check out Dinosaur Ridge in nearby Morrison (near Red Rocks.)

  42. You have to do Casa Bonita in Denver. Cliff diving people in Gorilla suits.

  43. Ye Olde Curiosity shop in Seattle is your kind of place https://yeoldecuriosityshop.com/ . And If you are in Yellowstone the battle of Little Big Horn happened near by and is a very beautiful, and very eerie place to visit. I got serious vibes from that place. And while in Seattle Larsen’s bakery in Ballard is we, wait I just remembered your diet sorry. But you can still go see the troll under the bridge in Freemont while in Seattle.

  44. Anytime you drive or visit ANYwhere in the states, you should check out RoadsideAmerica.com. I know you’ll appreciate it, because it will direct you to all the two-headed zombie clown museums you could dream of finding no matter where in the US you happen to be. (If there really were such a museum. But if there isn’t, there totally should be.)

  45. Do the adult underground tour in Seattle. You can carry alcohol during it. Buhl, ID, is kind of cute and they have the “Balanced Rock,” which looks like a rock tornado.

  46. If you need help knowing where to go and what to see in Estes Park (Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park) let me know! I would even meet you for coffee while you’re here!

  47. Okay, listen. I live 3 hours from Butte, America. I will literally do anything to sit in a booth across the restaurant and eat a pork chop sandwich at the same time as you do, but not talk or make eye contact. Can that happen?? I’m also willing to park as far away as possible, and pass each other on the way to your car after you see the Virgin Mary. Or we can gaze into the superfund pit from opposite sides of said pit. Just something, for the love of god!!

  48. Stonehenge, near Goldendale, Wa. It’s on your way, just off I-82 outside the Dalles, OR. And the Pendleton Underground tours in Pendleton, OR. Those underground areas HAVE to be haunted by the ghosts of persecuted Chinese.

  49. Isn’t the house on the hill in that general direction? Also my kids and I have actually had that same conversation about saving dead mummified things and references to hoarding. Daily, in fact. I have a collection of frigs, lizards and a turtle. Plus a snake I found in !y AC unit. Except I put them in resin and terrorize people with them sometimes.

  50. OMG if you’re ending your trip in Denver, go to dinner at Casa Bonita. CLIFF DIVERS, JENNY. INDOOR CLIFF DIVERS.

  51. OOOO you are starting in my state!!! I live over on the often ignored side of WA. If your trip takes you through Washington on i-90 you should consider checking out the Maryhill museam near goldendale wa. They have an entire post war fashion show created in doll size. On the way there is a honest to goodness Monastery (St. John’s) that sells some pretty good greek pastries. Also, the hanford reach will let people help dig up actual mammoth bones. Lastly, in Prosser, WA there is a haunted hill where your car is pushed up an incline. https://roadtrippers.com/us/prosser-wa/attractions/prosser-gravity-hill Enjoy your trip!

  52. We’ll love having you in Seattle. And you’ll love Post Alley’s gum wall. It’s an entire wall covered in chewed gum and it’s AWESOME.

  53. Welcome to Seattle!! In Monroe outside of the city there is the Reptile Zoo- they have a two headed turtle- his name is Pete and Repete. If you are downtown by the market there is the Ye Old Curiosity Shot- they have a mummy, shrunken head and lots of other fun stuff to look at!

  54. Casa Bonita in Denver,
    The Molly Brown house in Denver,
    The Alligator farm in Alamosa, CO (right by the Sand Dunes. A desert in the middle of the mountains!!),
    Cave of Winds in Colorado Springs, CO,
    Bishop Castle in Rye, CO
    UFO watchtower in Center, CO
    Cheyenne mountain nuclear bunker, Colorado Springs
    Of course the Stanley Hotel in Estes (where the Shining was filmed)

  55. My husband and I completed a road trip from from IL to California & back in May. We did a northern route there & a southern route home. My advice is to get gas when you are down to about 1/2 a tank and hit the restroom then too. Try whether you think you need to go or not! There were times when we didn’t see a gas station for at last a hundred miles. In Yellowstone, we had a couple of traffic delays because BISON. Which was super cool, but if you really, really have to pee, it’s also miserable. Have a great time!

  56. I am a Canadian, but when I was 10, our family did a road trip from Didsbury, Alberta, Canada to Disneyland. My most profound memory is of my mom pissing in a ditch and then running back to the van screaming with her pants wrapped around her ankles because there was a dead rattlesnake hanging on the fence. So, I got nothing for ya. Just, don’t do that.

  57. Eep! I live near Seattle! So many fun adventures to be had around here 😃

  58. Quake Lake is eerie and fascinatin and worth a stop while driving theu Montanta towards Yellowstone. Google it for the history- very tragic and eerie. Utterly fascinating.
    In Yellowstone- get a thermal gun thermometer thing from Amazon- fun to point at various spots on ground and take temps- geysers and nearby areas that look like normal ground can register as very very hot. Kids love this gun thingy.

    Grand Teton NP is amazing and our favorite ever.

  59. On the far side of the Grand Tetons is Dubois Wyoming home of the WORLDS LARGEST JACKALOPE!!! There is a smaller JACKALOPE at the gas station to ride. Oh and the prison that held Butch Cassidy is in Laramie Wyoming and is haunted

  60. You should come to Newport, oregon! You can potentially touch a giant Pacific octopus at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and get a kiss from a sea lion at the Aquarium! And if you want somethig oddball, id be happy to show you all how to take bones yanked out of a fish’s head and use them to tell how old that fish was! Which is awesome until you get a 100 year old fish and realize it died to give you the information that it was 100 years old…

  61. If your path happens to take you through the Tri-Cities, WA, we have Hanford B-Reactor tours (http://manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov) (Hanford was part of the Manhattan Project and despite being the largest Superfind cleanup site in the country, the history is fascinating). The Lewis & Clark Expedition also came through here, so we have a bunch of historical stops relating to that.

    And then, because I don’t really know weird stuff about my own community, I googled and found out that we apparently have a cemetery just outside town where only babies are buried. http://weirdus.com/states/washington/local_legends/baby_graves/index.php

  62. You should come to Newport, oregon! You can potentially touch a giant Pacific octopus at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and get a kiss from a sea lion at the Aquarium! And if you want somethig oddball, id be happy to show you all how to take bones yanked out of a fish’s head and use them to tell how old that fish was! Which is awesome until you get a 100 year old fish and realize it died to give you the information that it was 100 years old..

  63. The Molly Brown House in Denver is really fun- and they won’t admit it, but it’s totally haunted. My sister and I both had a ghostly ‘episode’ while we were visiting and had to leave the tour! And no, we weren’t even drunk! https://mollybrown.org/about-us/

  64. Hey, no hunting the ghosts. Be gentle with them… And then tell us all the spooky stuff! 😉 Have a great vacation!!!

  65. Thermopolis in Wyoming. Also the pondarosa campground in Cody, Wyoming in Denver, if it’s still there, Don’t miss casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant with cliff divers!!!

  66. Just a short drive from Denver is The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO.

    This is the hotel that Stephen King stayed in when he started writing The Shining. Also his version of the movie was filmed there.

    My husband and I went on a weekend ghost hunting trip a year ago and it was amazing.

    We were there with some of the stars from Ghost Hunters.

    They have staff led ghost tours and we also got to do actual ghost hunts with some surprising encounters.

    I highly recommend. And the city is adorable. Lots of great food too.

  67. You’ll probably be going through Laramie, WY, on your way to Denver. The Buckhorn used to have a two-headed calf among its numerous taxidermed critters. worth the stop just for the character of the joint. I’d go during the day and wouldn’t necessarily eat there.

  68. I live near Seattle and I second other people’s recommendations of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the underground tour, the gum wall, and the Chihuly glass museum near the space needle. Also Pike Place market was just remodeled.

  69. I keep a collection of dead things in my drawer at work, but that deer is the stuff of nightmares.

    Happy travels! Send me a postcard on your jaunt!

  70. Grand Tetons are hands down my favorite place on Earth. But get bear spray! We thought no way would we see a grizzly and then nearly collided with a mama and her cubs on a crowded path near Jenny Lake. Terrifying! And I still dream about the brown sugar waffles at the top of the ski lift at the top of Rendezvous Peak. We just got back from Seattle. Enjoyed a tour of Theo’s chocolate in the cool Fremont area, a hike to the beach in Discovery Park, and dinner at Salty’s on Alkai Beach. We took the water taxi over and back to Salty’s, which my daughter thought was very fun. Views of city from it were amazing!

  71. If you have time go to Glacier National Park. It’s so beautiful and you can see so much of it from your car or their red tour buses.

  72. I can tell you what to do in Wyoming. Jackson wouldn’t be one of them, because it’s essentially California but colder. If you can find somewhere to stay in the Jackson area that’s not Jackson, it’ll be more interesting, unless you like grossly overpriced tourist traps, then Jackson would be okay. About half an hour south of Jackson is Granite Hot Springs, which the kiddo might especially like and you could do that for an afternoon thing and go back to the Jackson area for the night. There are a couple of ways to get to Rawlins from Jackson. Don’t take the route that bears west from Daniel Junction, it’s not terribly interesting to look at. If you bear east at Daniel Junction you’ll be coming through my neck of the woods, or rather desert. Pinedale is a lovely little old west kinda town, also touristy, but not nearly as stupid as Jackson. Just north of Pinedale is a road that goes to Cora and past that to the Green River Lakes Road which should be busting full of wildflowers right about now and into July. At the end of that road after it turns to dirt (it’s a pretty good haul) is the source of the Green River at Green River Lakes with Square Top Mountain sitting all pretty behind it. There’s camping and picnic areas there. Square Top is an icon of the area. Continuing south to Farson, if you go that way, you MUST stop at the Farson Merc for the largest ice cream cones on earth. Continuing south to Rock Springs (where I am) you could make a stop at the city museum which used to be the original city hall and get your pics taken in the original jail cells. They’ve got nice presentations on the local history, coal mining and Butch Cassidy, who spent some time here, tell Bob I sent you if he’s in. If you want to stop and eat, just down the street from the museum is Bitter Creek Brewing and Remedies Grill. Fourteen miles north of Rock Springs is a county road that runs west to Green River over the top of White Mountain, this is actually marked as Wild Horse Loop Tour. It’s kinda hit and miss at the moment whether or not you’ll actually see wild horses up there. I saw evidence two weeks ago, but no actual horses. About ten miles north of Rock Springs is a turn off to Chilton Ranch Road, that one will take you out to the Petroglyphs, Killpecker Sand Dunes (largest moving dunes in North America) and Boar’s Tusk, there’s sometimes wild horses out here too. Also from Farson, if you don’t mind killing the time, you could instead take Highway 28 bound for Lander. Before you get to Lander there will be a turn off for South Pass City, which is a restored ghost town, they do all kinds of stuff in the summer. Atlantic City is near there too, but people actually live there (not many, a dozen or so) and there isn’t much to see. Between the two is a real ghost town, Miner’s Delight, which is kinda cool to poke around at, this is dirt and you’d want to get good directions at Atlantic City, or I can give you the GPS, it’s easier to get to from Atlantic City. Getting back on the highway would take you to Lander, there’s an antique store there, think it’s called the Antique Barn, that’s pretty cool. Just outside of Lander is the Sinks and Rise state park, which is kinda cool to see and you can feed the fishies at the Rise. Dubois isn’t far from Lander and you’d go through there if you took the most eastern route out of Jackson. There’s Painted Hills outside of town that are very pretty. The Wind River reservation is south of Dubois and they have all kinds of stuff going on in the summer, pow-wows, rodeos, there’s a casino there, Sacajawea’s purported gravesite is there with a statue and a really beautiful native cemetery. Fort Washakie has a native museum there at the “trading post”. If you read the Margaret Coel books, this is where they are set and you can go see the church and such at St. Stephen’s Mission at Arapahoe. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but be especially polite while on the rez, they are sovereign and don’t take well to demanding tourists. South of Lander is Jeffrey City which is a kind of modern ghost town, or ghost city, it wasn’t actually small. There was uranium there up until the 80’s then the market tanked and the whole thing was almost completely abandoned. There’s a few people still living there. It’s kinda cool and eerie at the same time. South of Jeffrey City, highway 220 takes off east, and along there is Independence Rock, I’m not sure how far along 220 that is though. This is a spot where the trails passed and people stopped to carve their names in the rock there (it’s a really big rock). So whichever way you get to Rawlins, they have the Frontier Prison there, which is supposed to be haunted. There are tours of it every hour on the half hour. Any place you stop in Wyoming that has a visitors center, hit them up for Wyoming Roadtrip stickers, they are extremely cool and would make a nice souvenir of the trip. Some places are stingier than others about it, send the kid up first to score some and then you and hubby can try separately to get some. Email me if you want more info on any of it.

  73. If you’re going to see the Our Lady of the Rockies (Butte), you need to take scenic route to mine sapphires next to a candy store (Phillisburg), and The Stack (Anaconda).

  74. Outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, there is an abandoned amusement park that is full of weird dinosaur statues. Just FYI

  75. If you’re going to see the Our Lady of the Rockies (Butte), you need to take scenic route to mine sapphires next to a candy store (Phillisburg), and The Stack (Anaconda).

  76. Sounds like an amazing adventure. The thing nobody warned me about when I went to Yellowstone was the elevation. I mean, they did, but I was like, “pah, I’m in good shape, I’ll be fine.” I wasn’t very fine. I was exhausted the entire time. So if you feel like a zombie when you’re there, it’s not just you. Sit on a bench, gaze at the geysers, and laugh at everybody who talks about hiking. There’s enough wildlife around that you don’t really have to go out into the woods to see it, anyway.

  77. I’d like to second Long Beach, WA and Marsh’s Free Museum http://www.marshsfreemuseum.com/ It’s right up your alley!
    And if you’re on the coast anyway, you should bring your wolf costume to Forks, WA and take a Twilight tour. 🙂 http://forkswa.com/twilight/
    You should also check out our haunted hotel in Port Townsend, WA: http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/wa/townsend_mansion_hotel.htm
    If you’re looking for a place to decompress in Seattle, we have a geek-themed coffee shop! http://www.waywardcoffee.com/

    Hope you enjoy Seattle!

  78. If you have the time, drive across Montana to South Dakota. Visit Little Big Horn. Visit the place where they filmed part of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” which is Devil’s Tower. Visit Mount Rushmore in the late afternoon and stay for the lighting ceremony when it gets dark. Very cool! Then drive over to Wall, South Dakota for the best, cheesiest Old West store ever. For reals. Totally worth it. After that it’s pretty much a straight shot south to Texas.

  79. Oh, wait, Rawlins is the prison stop?? There’s also one in Deer Lodge, Montana. It’s a good tour.

  80. The hotel that rakes in the cash off its haunted reputation based on the Shining is north of Denver in Colorado in Estes Park. Cool hotel but they way overcharge for their haunted rooms and if you get one people will stand outside your door all night with tape recorders going ” is there anyone there? Speak into this. Make this light flash”

  81. If you take the scenic route to Butte, there’s a hot springs in Anaconda called Fairmont. It’s just a regular hotel with a concrete pool, but there are a couple waterslides if Haley is into that.

  82. We were just in the Seattle area. I had never been before, and it was awesome! I highly recommend heading north to check out Anacortes and the San Juan islands. Super pretty, lots to see, and you can go whale watching!

  83. You will love Butte! I have many relatives there. I second the recommendations for the Dirty Girl at Headframe and the underground tour. You can also tour a mine (not great for claustrophobia though) and the Copper King Mansion. I like staying at The Finlen, which is a…unique hotel in the center of town. It’s like stepping back in time, in a weird way. And there’s a quirky used bookstore that can easily suck up a couple of hours at least. Read up on the history of the city before you arrive. It’s fascinating.

  84. I forgot when you said you were going? If you can, try to be in Idaho or Wyoming for the solar eclipse! Its on Aug 21st, Jackson is in the ‘path of totality’. I’ll be there with my family, hoping for sunny skies!
    Otherwise you can still see a partial eclipse from anywhere in the US.

  85. In Dillon, Montana, there’s a creepy old territorial prison you can walk through. But if you’re going through Idaho, take Highway 20 and stop at Craters of the Moon. Have fun!!

  86. I highly recommend roadtrippers.com which has “offbeat attractions”, “points of interest”, and a button that actually just says “Weird Stuff!” Roadsideamerica (mentioned above) is also great for giant balls of yarn.

  87. if you accidentally board the wrong flight and end up in Scotland there are more weird things to do and see than you can shake a stick at .. start in Edinburgh with a night tour of the cities old graveyards and tombs and learn all about throwing people to their death in the castle moat, you know the ole witch sink or swim thing, it is Princess Street Gardens now, how delightful.. 👻

  88. Seattle to Denver … haunted hotels … YOU’RE GOING TO THE STANLEY, AREN’T YOU?!? I just know it! I JUST KNOW you’re going to the Stanley!!!

  89. See the weirdness of Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City. This was some guy’s backyard and I used drive by occasionally and walk around. Looks like they turned it into a city park or something. http://gilgalgarden.org/

  90. Hi Jenny,
    If you end up driving through Ellensburg on the I-90 E in Washington, I highly recommend visiting the Gingko Petrified Forest Visitor’s Center and Gingko Gem Shop in Vantage. They’re next to each other — you can park at the Gem Shop, take selfies with the dinosaurs, shop for trinkets in the shop, and then walk over to check out the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center has a few displays of petrified wood and wooly mammoth bones, along with trinkets and books for sale. My favorite parts of the Visitor’s Center are the platforms next to the Center with views of the Columbia River and petroglyphs on display. Beware of rattlesnakes! (Although you’re from Texas, so you probably eat rattlesnakes for breakfast, right? =)
    I hope you have fun on your vacation! Maybe my family should go on a road-trip too once I’m done with summer classes at CWU…
    P.S. For awhile I was calling it Gingko Biloba Petrified Forest, and I got my sister to call it that too.

  91. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs has a “Wallaby Walkabout” where all of the wallabies (wallabi) are just in the open and you can wander among them. There’s also a delightful house full of birds you can feed and hang out with.

  92. While in Seattle you have to stop at Archie McPhee – if you need any incentive, according to its website “Widely considered to be a Mecca for connoisseurs of the strange and one of Seattle’s top ten weird destinations, it is truly an attraction without a parallel.” Also explore Fremont which is the self-proclaimed center of the universe and is also home to a rocket, the annual naked bike ride ride at summer solstice, and a giant troll under a bridge which you can climb on. Fremont also has a statue of a dog with the mayors face and a giant statue of Lenin. You might also enjoy the underground tour – dark, so you don’t have to talk to people. And possibly haunted.

  93. Have a great time, Jenny! I know you, Victor, and Hailey will find a lot of weird on your travels. 🙂

  94. In the summer of ’76, Mommy drove her three younguns from Miami to Alaska and back in a VW camper. Driving through Yellowstone, we experienced our first ever SNOW! (well, flurries, but still)… in the SUMMER!

    Dunno if it’ll snow on y’all in Yellowstone, but regardless, enjoy your road trip! 🙂

  95. When you stop in Wallace, ID for the brothel museum see if you can also track down the last traffic light on the interstate. The last time I saw it, it was in a coffin I think. Cataldo Mission is on I-90 too and always good a rest stop and pictures. Also, be sure to hit Lincoln’s 10,000 Silver Dollar Saloon. Silverbow Pizza in Butte, MT is fun if it’s still there. And check out the mutant trees caused by Butte’s acid lake.

  96. Thanks for telling us about your weird ass adventures. My husband of 3 years and I are going to Paris together this month and when I asked him what he wanted to do, he said, “I’d like to see the fax machine museum, they were invented there.” I said, “I am afraid you and I are going to have wildly different vacations, sweetie.” Maybe he can go with you next time.

  97. THIS IS IMPORTANT SO LISTEN CAREFULLY: Don’t feed the foul fowl in the pond by the KOA Campground in Butte, Montana! On a family trip we stopped there and taking a nice walk we discovered Swans and Geese and Ducks and More Geese. The kids wanted to feed the succubuses (succubi) and I happened to have some stale bread. EVERY FOUL FOWL in or around that pond saw the bread and went fucking nuts! All the birds on our side of the pond rushed us. Every single bird on the OTHER side of the pond hit the water at the same time! The wave splashed across the walking path and nearly swept us off our feet! The geese came at us with wings spread wide and hissing. The swans were exactly the same! I yelled at the kids to RUN!! My ex-husband pushed the kids out of the way and ran screaming (we couldn’t catch him for 3 city blocks). I threw all the buns and bread at the foul fowl and ran too. They followed us for half a kilometer! We had to circle around the campground and get to our trailer from the opposite direction. We were held hostage for 3 days. BEWARE THE POND!

  98. Or, Jenny, you and Victor could start a museum and accept gifts like dead animals in glass cabinets. You could then be surrounded by more dead things. You could then build an amusement park and you’d get people visiting your place. I’d visit, mainly because I reckon Victor would be cool to chat with.

  99. Okay, so for Colorado: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is supposedly haunted. Also just in general Estes Park is gorgeous. Crested Butte/Glenwood Springs/Breckenridge all have little lovely towns with tons of summer activities for all activity levels.

  100. If you find yourself in Santa Fe (t’s a ways south of Denver but might be on your route home to Texas if you’re driving that part too) you might be interested in checking out the abandoned part of the Penitentiary of New Mexico on the south edge of town. The prison’s still open but the “old Main” closed a long time ago – it’s where the 1980 prison riot took place, and a lot of people say it’s haunted. I wandered through it a few times to scrounge abandoned books from the library when I was working in a part of the Pen that was still open – didn’t see any ghosts, but it’s definitely a sad and eery place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD-0CtHkJxk .

  101. Neat trip! You need to extend AAA road service coverage well in advance and that gives you 100 mile towing. Also hit up their TripTik services. Phones are great untill they dont work. As a solo traveller, getting a route and fun tips are part of what I love about AAA.
    You may be renting a vehicle-? I love to mock the car rental agents who try to upsell me on buying their insurance, but an RV trip I would probly bite and buy it.
    I haven’t been through that area, and I feel sure your stories will make me want to. Possible side gig as travel blogger? Be well.

  102. I don’t know if you’ll make it this far north, but Bear Creek Saloon & Steakhouse in Bear Creek, MT is flipping hysterical. It’s a restaurant with honest to god pig races in the back. It’s like a little Indianapolis Speedway back there. I have been on every continent except Antarctica, and the evening I spent there is one I will never forget for the pure silliness and joy of it all.

  103. Sounds like a great trip! Yellowstone is fantastic, but prepare yourself mentally for the crowds.

  104. Both Mesa Verde NP and Monument Valley are really freaking amazing and unique places. And as a bonus…you’ll feel like you’re in a Roadrunner cartoon in Monument Valley!

  105. Please tell me this MIGHT make you want to come through Great Falls, MT after Butte, America: https://greatfalls.craigslist.org/spo/6185868164.html
    The store is conveniently located steps away from the most amazing tiki bar on the planet. Piano Pat, the 80 year old who drinks and sings and plays the piano is a goddamn national treasure. Said bar is located in a hotel so you can get drunk and stumble to your room. AND there’s a nice little independent bookstore across the street for book signings/tax writeoff purposes.
    Hit me up if you need me to make this happen for you!! We don’t have to meet in real life. 😉

  106. The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, ID (SE of Lewiston) includes a medical collection from the 1st hospital in town with instruments dating back to 1900, like a tonsillectomy chair. Also includes items from Chinese mining camps and the Nez Perce tribe.

  107. Try “The Thing” on I-10 (near Tucson). I don’t know if that’s on your way or not, but it sounds like the kind of “Thing” you might like.

  108. Omg! Please go to the sloth sanctuary in Rainer, OR (No relation to the Mt. Rainer, which is also spectacular). The sloth sanctuary needs you and obviously you need the sloths.

    Also it’s kinda near Portland and Mt.St.Helens which is pretty ok too.

    If you have time, I highly suggest making your way to the Ho Rainforest, out on the Washington Olympic Peninsula, and going to the beaches of the WA coast in between Seattle and the sloths, but it will take much longer than just driving straight to the sloths, which I assume you are already doing because sloths. Seriously you get to sleep with sloths (Maybe).

  109. If you go through Spokane, WA you can stop and see the Worlds Largest Radio Flyer Wagon! Its downtown at the Riverfront Park. Auntie’s Bookstore is on the next block if you need new books while on your road trip.This would probably be filed under the “normal” stops 🙂

  110. Hotel Colorado in Glenwood springs – it’s supposed to be haunted. AND the Wild Animal sanctuary in Keenesberg is amazing!

  111. Ok- so in Seattle- there is the Ye Olde Curiosity shoppe- https://yeoldecuriosityshop.com/ right up your alley. ROFL!!!! complete with a few oddities (shrunken heads) tucked in. The Fremont Troll is pretty cool. If you are staying the night- the ghost tour or underground tour is pretty cool too. Just be careful after dark near Pioneer square. (no joke) As for southern part of the state- there is an AWESOME… I mean AwESOME metal statuary park (for lack of better words) We always hit it on the way to Mt. St. Helens. So the park is called Ex Nihilo by artist Daniel Klennert. It’s all found metal pieces… it even has an x-rated portion. Worth the gander. look for the giant metal giraffe on the side of the road. Lol his website is danielklennert.com He even has pieces around Seattle.

  112. OH MY GAWD you are coming to Montana!!!!! I’m so psyched!! Butte is crazy weird, you will love it, there is a brothel museum!!! Here is my cell if you need any more ideas 406-861-5757 text me!

  113. Be careful. The plague is on the rise in the south west. Your luck health wise is just about as good as mine is (not good. Not good at all. Why does my own body attack me not good). I bet the plague would be slightly worse than RA and Lupus. I’m just sayin’.

  114. Kangaroos, wallabys, and wallaroos available here: http://www.outbackkangaroofarm.com/
    You get to wander around the pen with all the animals. We went there with a school field trip with 60+ kindergarteners. THe lady who owns the place even let us all pet a tiny joey then let my husband hold it! SO MUCH SOFT.

  115. PS I have a cabin outside of Darby Montana and my hubby and I will be there July 1 through 15. The cabin phone is 406-821-2191. And I’m not anonymous my name is Leslie I’m the one who posted the OH MY GAWD Butte comment.

  116. That’s where we’re headed this August too! Well, Seattle, one night in the lodge from twin peaks, and then up to a B&B on an island outside of Vancouver. We’ve never been before either so we’re excited. You can get cherry pie and a damn good cup of coffee at the Twin Peaks place.

  117. awesome enjoy your trip!!! You dear are an inspiration to me for sure. I decided if I get all my demons out where others can read them maybe just maybe I can help someone else, that is the hope anyway. Thank you for all that you do and your inspiration.

  118. You probably aren’t going anywhere near Durango, CO, which is too bad. Cause they have a place called Purgatory, which is SO MUCH FUN. And Durango is a really neat town too. But it is like 6 hours from Denver, so…yeah.

  119. I SO want your daughter to become the documentarian for her life growing up. Get that young woman a good video camera with an inconceivable amount of memory and some editing software.

    Want her to pay her own way through college and be set up for life?

    (You’re welcome)

  120. In Yellowstone is a place called the boiling river. Yes, it actually boils. It meets up with a regular river that is freaking cold. There is a place to go where they meet up and you can “swim” and find the sweet spot between boiling and frigid. We spent a really fun afternoon there. It’s not in most of the books or websites because they don’t really want you to go there (although there is parking). So it’s not illegal, but not encouraged. Super fun.

  121. Okay, please tell me that the “Cheeeeese!” taxidermy deer with the big smile and great lashes is going on a mug…. I gotta have that…. #Ineedanewmug

  122. Have a suggestion for your trip. Check a map and see if your travel take you near Troutdale,Oregon.There is a hotel and concert venue called Edgefield.It is owned by the Macmanimen Brothers.(sp) It is a hotel that was formerly an insane asylum and poorhouse. It is awesome-tons of truly strange paintings on the walls and names of past residents on the doors. Only problem is no air conditioning and not all rooms have private bathrooms (make reservations to get your own bathroom).It has wrap around porches with rocking chairs and there is a certain pleasantly eerie feeling as you walk the halls. Hope you can stay there for an awesome experience. Have fun!

  123. Jenny, there is a wolf sanctuary near Colorado Springs and for a rather hefty price you can spend an hour having a wolf nibble your hair, lick your face or eat your glasses. The staff takes a hundred pictures of you for souvenirs.

  124. Before you drive into the Rockies, check out what problems might occur with your rented car. We drove up to the sign, got out like people do to take a picture and the car was dead when we got back in. The car rental place drove a new car up to us and said that it happens all the time. It was weird.

  125. Outside of Colorado Springs there is a wolf sanctuary you can visit and potentially pet of at least see the pups. Maybe you could pet a wolf while wearing your taxidermy wolf.

  126. Celestial Seasonings factory tour was amazing. I could have lived in their mint room. There was also a Chinese teahouse in Boulder that was boxed up in China and shipped to Colorado and re-constructed.

  127. What a great trip. I love that whole part of the world and I’m happy that you can take your daughter to see it all.

  128. When you make it to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado I highly recommend that you stop at Eagle Plume’s Native American Art, it’s part museum and part store. . .so much to see and so much fun history. The Staff is great too. It’s right outside Estes Park on Hwy 7 heading up to Allenspark. http://www.eagleplume.com/

  129. P.S. You should also stay in one of the haunted rooms at The Stanely Hotel in Estes Park, most haunted hotel anywhere and speak to my friend Vera, she is the psychic there, absolutely adore her.
    drink the Redrum beer too

  130. Marijuana is legal in Washington. You could buy some edibles to see if they help your pain. They have some that don’t have THC in them, so they don’t get you stoned, they just help with pain. Also legal in Colorado, but not Idaho – which you pretty much can’t avoid going through on a road trip from here to Denver. <3 Have a great time!

  131. Denver has a museum of miniatures that I keep meaning to go to, but haven’t yet. Probably not as much creepiness as your doll house, but you never know.

  132. P.P.P.S. You can also ask about the staff at Eagle Plume’s about their ghost, they even have a Toast the Ghost event in the fall (sorry got a bit excited that I can’t get all my thoughts out at once, this is the last P.S.ing, no B.Sing

  133. I am from Montana and I love that so many people have given you such good suggestions for my state. If you stop in Missoula, and you should, they have a wonderful carousel with hand carved horses. It’s worth the stop. You can also stand on the bridge and watch people surfing in the river.

    I second the suggestion of Archie McPhee’s in Seattle. It’s the shit.

    Have a great trip!

    P.S. The drive-in at Phillipsburg,MT has really good milkshakes.

  134. Gin to Kansas! Best roadside attractions!
    Garden City, Kansas has the world’s largest hair ball!! (When I saw it I had to ask for it; it was hidden under the counter of the gift shop. Hopefully it’s properly displayed now. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7446) there is also the Land of Oz, which was made by one women and her 70 year-old parents. So fun!!!

  135. Apparently Snapchat filters are finding ghosts all over the place. Maybe you can put a flowery halo on a pissed off pioneer.

  136. I second pretty much everything that Angela M. Cable suggested. A couple of years ago my mom and I road tripped around WY in our goal to visit every town and tourist spot in the state. Be sure to do the tram ride in the Tetons. I especially recommend the cemetery on the Wind River Reservation. Fascinating and beautiful, but then I have a thing for cemeteries. If you can manage it, the Wind River Canyon between Thermopolis and Shoshoni is lovely. And while you’re in Rawlins visiting the prison, be sure to visit the Carbon County Museum just down the street. They have shoes made from the skin of “Big Nose” George worn by a doctor and governor of WY.

  137. I grew up in Idaho Falls and outside Denver. I’m rather jealous I really want to take my husband there someday. Yellowstone was my families’ church – favorites are the Firehole river, hiking along the rim of the grand canyon of the Yellowstone and Norris geyser basin. Craters of the Moon national monument in southern Idaho is great and bizarre volcanic landscape. Do not miss Jenny Lake in Teton and check out the Rockefeller preserve. Buffalo Bill center in Cody Wyo is great if you like western art. In Colorado I’d highly suggest starting in Estes Park with Stanley Hotel ghost tour then take the peak to peak highway to Nederland (google Frozen Dead Guy) from there make sure to stop in Central City opera house (google Baby Doe Tabor)head to Denver via I-70, Idaho springs and Georgetown are worth visiting (there’s an incredible miner’s grave yard near idaho springs with hand carved wooden headstones) and Mt Evans (highest paved highway on earth) if you want to detour west. If not on Lookout mountain is Buffalo Bill’s grave and nearby the Mother Cabrini Shrine (creepy as all hell if you ask me) and Red Rocks amphitheater (cool museum if you’re into music).

    Please please if at all possible check out the rocky mountain animal sanctuary in Keensburg Colorado its amazing, we’ve been visiting and donating to them for 15 years as a family and I cannot say enough good things about the place.

    If you visit western Colorado Glenwood Springs, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes (I guess there’s a huge aligator farm nearby?) are highlights.

    Finally, super stupid but, if you get to the Denver Natural History museum (worth it, better then the one in NYC) be sure to find the sabertooth tiger head and throw coins in his mouth to make him roar!

  138. The cult I grew up in is right outside Yellowstone if you’d like to tour some functional bomb shelters. 🙂 Don’t worry, they’re pretty harmless now.

  139. I went on a Portland Underground Ghost Tour and a drunk guy popped up walking next to me at one point. It was weird. Being a suspicious sort, I put my finger out and poked him, and said “Are you dead?” and he said, “I don’t know.” It was the best part of the tour.

  140. Seattle? You’re coming to Seattle? Oh please, if you can, do stop by the Seattle Mystery Bookshop! I’ll have books for you to sign, and I’m sure we can find something weirder than our ghost (a barber, so he’s not as cool as you might think) for you! Amber and I would be so tickled to meet all of you!

  141. Check out Glacier National Park if you can and Flathead Lake. It’s in Bigfork, Montana. Also do the underground tunnel tour in Pendleton, Oregon, totally haunted.

  142. I don’t know of any Wallaby farms in Colorado but there is an amazingly offbeat gator farm (Colorado Gators) right near the sand dunes about 4 hours south of Denver. I realize being from Texas, gators may not be all that exciting but the gator from Happy Gilmore lives there, along with albino gators, emus, various snakes and tortoises. They let you hold a baby gator (included with admission) or wrestle a gator (costs extra).. It is the most delightfully hodge podge, quirky and slightly terrifying experience I’ve ever had on a single place.

  143. While in Montana, stop and visit glacier national park! It’s like a fairy tale! So beautiful. Also, in phillipsburg and Helena you can “mine” for your own sapphires!

  144. Go everywhere! See everything! It’s a great trip and you’ll have a blast. My only advice is bring a sweater everywhere. You won’t believe how fast the temperature can change.

  145. I work at an animal sanctuary outside of Seattle – cats, dogs, and farmed animals. No taxidermy, but lots of animals to hug. Email me if you guys are interested.
    Jen Roers

  146. The Bellevue Botanical Garden (Seattle) is stunningly beautiful. Check it out if you have time. Have a great trip!

  147. I’ve always wanted to visit the shanghai tunnels in Portland, OR. Really creepy and likely haunted

  148. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the waterfront in Seattle has some pretty weird mummified stuff! And if you’re headed east over the mountains there’s a place in Ellensburg (the perfect distance from Seattle for a bathroom stop) called Dick and Jane’s Spot decorated with crazy reflectors and glass art and such http://www.reflectorart.com. There’s actually a petrified forest near there too… That’s like mummified wood, right?

  149. Make sure you stay at The Stanley Hotel in Colorado: it’s gorgeous, supposedly haunted, and the basis for the hotel in The Shining!

  150. If you come through Wyoming the last week of July, stop in Cheyenne for frontier days. There are a whole Lotta people watching the rodeo, eating carnival food and writing right now. Although, it might not be a good idea with so many other people. But you can hide at my house and watch from my porch.

  151. If you have a chance while you’re in Washington (the State), the Hoh Rainforest is amazing and haunting and the ONLY rainforest in North America. It’s also in my neck of the woods (NO we don’t live in Seattle dammit), so yeah, I’m a little biased.

  152. Stop by Garnet ghost town! It’s near Drummond MT. It’s supposed to be haunted. And downtown Missoula is a cool place, I grew up a couple tiny towns away.

  153. in Seattle check out the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge. He is holding a real Volkswagen Bug in his hand. Also see the Gum wall by Pike Place Market and The Ye Ol’ Curiosity Shoppe on the waterfront.

  154. You have to scoot over to South Dakota the home of more weird stuff than you’d ever imagine.

  155. If you’re headed from Seattle to Butte, then down, please please take one day extra to drive through Glacier National park. It’s truly spectacular! Totally worth the little out of the way. Yellowstone is cool and unique and definitely go there too. Same with Rocky Mountain. But Glacier is insanely beautiful!

  156. My family lives in Butte, MT. I love visiting them. Not sure about your timing, but the Montana Folk Festival (free event) takes place July 7-9. It’s one of my favorite events up there. If you miss the music, then check out the Berkeley Pit (EPA Superfund site v Tourist site- http://www.cc.com/video-clips/iunb4u/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-jones—bad-pit). And definitely get a pork chop sandwich at one of the Pork Chop John’s locations. The one with the most history is on Mercury. If you have enough time, the trip up the mountain to see the Lady of the Rockies (and the view) is fun.

  157. I second the Maryhill Museum stop in Goldendale WA. There’s a replica of Stonehenge there as a bonus! Also, near Shelton, WA is the Wild Felid Advocacy Center (http://wildfelids.org/) a big cat sanctuary. Well worth a visit.

  158. In Butte, MT they used to have a tour that included the underground brothels and speakeasies. Also, might be outta the way but Bannak State Park in MT is fabulous (as are most of the ghost towns in Montana. We try to visit one once a year).

  159. Things I wished I’d known before visiting Yellowstone…. those serene looking paint pots can basically dissolve a body in 24 hours. So ya know…. don’t get too close to that bad ass pool. And I also grew up in a small town where one of the 3 highlights was the museum of two headed taxidermy animals!

  160. You should head south on 101 through Crescent City and Klamath, CA. Yes, part of our highway is falling into the ocean, but we send school buses over it everyday. It’s exciting. My point is, not only do we have ginormous redwoods and a haunted lighthouse, but you can stop at Trees of Mystery and take a picture beneath the massive blue testicles on a Babe the Bull statue. They might be the biggest testicles in the continental US. You’re going to want to frame that special family moment.

  161. Stop in Pueblo, Colorado anx eat at Burritos Betty! Best breakfast burritos in the state. And wave real hard in Colorado Springs! That’s where I’m at. A safe hour long drive away so I don’t get too fat by eating those burritos every day. #2 with cheese and green chile. You’re welcome.

  162. Kangaroo farm north of Seattle and adorable otters at the Seattle aquarium.

  163. I just moved from Denver and now I’m not there and I could have stalked you on your vacation and now I can’t. So is that a good thing?

  164. You should be driving past me to get to Jackson Hole from Butte. There’s the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT with the largest dinosaur collection this side of Jurassic Park. It’s just down the street from me.

  165. I love your crazy vacations but I still think you should chill on the beach in Saint Martin for a few days.

  166. Stop in Kemmerer Wyoming. When I was there in like 92, they had a two bodied calf displayed in the middle of their city hall. There’s also the very first JC Penny’s, and this very odd little museum down a side street that had all kinds of very strange old people’s stuff in it. One of the exhibits that the docent was most proud of was a collection of 50 jars of dirt: one from each state. The story of it was ROUSING.

  167. There should be a load of ghost towns up that way- Nevada’s full of ’em but you’ll be North of that, closer to where Lewis and Clark travelled. But I’m thinking they were still searching for ore up there, so there may be some lovely haunted hotels from that time period. We’ve got a gem in Goldfield, NV. But you’ll be right above us, so I’m sure there’s great stuff. And lovely trees and mountains. Sounds like a fantastic trip! Can’t wait to hear updates from the road!!!

  168. Also Northwest Trek animal park in the puget sound area and tours of Seattle underground.

  169. I just did a similar trip earlier in the month! We went from just north of Seattle through Butte (I advise you to skip the trolley tour, NOT worth it, and just go to the Berkeley Pit on your own if you were planning to stop there) to Yellowstone (Midway Geyser Basin, Old Faithful, Artist Point, Lookout Point, and Mammoth in one day-totally doable!), and then we went further east to Devils tower, Cosmo’s Mystery area, Mt Rushmore, and then back north to Glacier national park and the Montana Vortex. If you drive through Missoula they apparently have the worlds fastest carousel, we forgot to factor in the hour time change so we missed it, but it looked like it would have been a fun little stop. Hope you have a great trip!

  170. The Outback Kangaroo Farm is just 45 minutes north of Seattle! They have all sorts of fun, furry creatures, and yes, you can touch them!

  171. Late summer in Seattle is ideal – long warm days and no humidity. Someone else mentioned Fremont and its Troll; Fremont also has – inexplicably – a statue of Lenin in the square. Seattle has an Underground Tour which is cheesy and interesting and you learn about the history of Seattle. After Seattle burned down in 1901 (I think that was the year) the city decided to address the flooding problems in Pioneer Square by building up the streets one story above the existing ground level, so the now-street level entryways were originally the second floor. Consequently there is a whole area with a floor below it, which you can tour. Former brothels, restaurants, some used as speakeasys…. Pretty cool. There is a lot of walking up and down stairs, so bear that in mind. Funny story – the roads were shored up on either side and filled in, but did not initially abut the buildings. So to cross the street, you had to climb a ladder to the ‘road’, cross the street, and climb down the other ladder. Many a drunk died due to these structures, and the cause of death noted as, ‘fell off street’.

    My favorite restaurant is The Pink Door (https://www.thepinkdoor.net/) in Post Alley. Very eclectic design, you can sit on the patio and watch the ferries come and go from Elliott Bay. Have the bechamel lasagna, it is LIFE CHANGING.

  172. I saw someone mention the Stonehenge (actually concretehenge) on Hwy 90; it’s part of the Maryhill Museum. Which is an awesome art museum, but my favorite part was the free range peacocks you can feed. Sit down with a bag of stale tortilla chips and they’ll surround you (respectfully) and happily ruin their arteries.

    Also, in Yellowstone, don’t just watch Old Faithful and assume you’ve see all there is for geysers. Take a walk through the Upper Geyser Basin (that’s the one that contains Old Faithful) and there are some cool looking cone type geysers. You can check the ranger station at Old Faithful to see if there are any other of the big ‘predictable’ ones going off during your visit. Or find one of the people wearing hats and carrying little notebooks. They are called ‘Geyser gazers’ and know all that shit.

  173. Seattle the area where we live! There are so many great and strange things to do here. I wish I could talk to into doing an author visit while you are here! If you are interested, I work at one of the large library systems in the area and could set it up. I’ve been dying to find a way to get you out here for that. Also: haunted underground tour, Archie Mcphees, a giant chicken statue at country village in Bothell, San Juan islands, Pike place market (lots of people, though), Seattle Central library, Fremont troll, duck boat tour (careful, people have died in those), the pirate store on the pier… There is so much to do here! Hope your trip it’s wonderful!

  174. I meant to post my name with the comment above. I’m camping on Orcas Island this weekend and working through phones and bad internet is hard.

  175. It just dawned on me — if you’re going through Wyoming, given your love of taxidermy, you really, really should stop by the restaurant at the Days Inn in Thermopolis. Thermop is kind of along the way, has a giant hot springs, and both commercial and a free hot springs pool (run by the State of Wyo). Depending on which way you go, it’s along one of the roads to Yellowstone. And Sinks Canyon is gorgeous if you drive through there. http://thermopolisdaysinn.com/index.php/dining

    Saratoga’s out of the way, but there’s an impressive display of taxidermy in the grocery store there, of all places. Frankly, if you travel through Wyoming, you’re gonna see stuffed dead animals

    I’ve lived in Wyoming for years, love all the oddball places, email me and let me know your route!

  176. Head east to Philadelphia and visit the Mutter Museum. Its full of medical oddities. You would LOVE it!

  177. you definitely need to plan a trip the the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia…A museum of medical oddities(the woman who turned to soap after she died) and equipment ect…the gift shop has some awesome stuff.. Siamese twins cookie cutter..

  178. I can see the Denver headlines now “Woman tries to put 90 foot statue of the Virgin Mary under shirt and walk out, just ends up topless and angry”

  179. I’ll echo the thumb’s up for Seattle’s Archie McPhee’s (store is in the Wallingford district). It doesn’t bill itself as carrying things that are necessarily weird or creepy, but it is completely tacky/kitchy/amusing/silly. The yodeling pickle, for example. Also lots of Jesus tchotskes. (sp?, sorry)

    Best buy for me: Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure. There’s also the Shushing Librarian Action Figure, based on the NPR contributor Nancy Pearl (who loves it!).

  180. So glad you will stop in Denver, it’s a beautiful city, is to do. On the odd side I recommend a visit to the Buckhorn Exchange restaurant. Not only does it have the first liquor license in CO, but the walls are covered with taxidermy. You will love it! Plus they serve a good bison prime rib. Enjoy!

  181. I cannot wait to read about all your adventures ! Glad you’re feeling better. Please come visit Loganville, GA. Nothing to see here but me…😘

  182. This will likely get lost in all the other comments, but Virginia City, MT.

  183. I don’t know if anyone has said this already, but we’ve had great luck finding weird things to do/see by looking on Atlas Obscura. I especially love the “what’s near me” button – so you don’t even have to know where you are!

  184. In Denver, go to Sam’s No. 3 and get anything with green chili on it. Sam’s is one of the things I miss the most about Denver, and they have a few locations.

  185. There are lots of great ideas listed. I saw that someone said the gum wall has been removed, it was cleaned but has already been recovered with new gum. There were several suggestions that I was surprised weren’t mentioned. Thornwood Castle is just south of Seattle and haunted. It’s gorgeous http://www.thornewoodcastle.com/. There’s also Lakewold garden nearby for exploring. Dayton, WA near Walla Walla has another haunted hotel, the weinhard. http://www.weinhard.com/. Couple that with wine tasting. I’d definitely head to the ocean. I love Westport over the mentioned Longbeach (pick Marshes or the Ye Old Curiosity Shoppe, they’re very similar). Aother suggested Orcas Island to see the whales but there’s another haunted hotel there called Rosario http://rosarioresort.com/. And one of the more creepier places you can go in Washington is the Western State Hospital. There’s also Neely Mansion in Auburn, WA. That place terrified me as a kid. Now it’s just a cool
    old house. http://www.neelymansion.org/. It has a sister mansion in Puyallup called Meeker Mansion that’s less scary Ihttp://www.meekermansion.org/. I’ve been all the places your going except Denver. Have an amazing time. Let me know when you’re in Seattle I would love to be your tour guide.

  186. If you drive south of Seattle before heading east and you have time, you could make it on over to Long Beach Washington. Marsh’s Free Museum has Jake the Alligator Man in a glass case. He is a big step up from that squirrel! And you get to see a lovely beach. I love a road trip. Have fun!

  187. Depending on your route – there’s this offbeat petting zoo near Boise, ID called Babby Farms https://www.babbyfarms.net with all sorts of cool animals you don’t usually get to be up close with. Bearcats, lemurs, sloths, otters, bush babies, wallabies, kangaroos to feed, etc. Some you get to handle more than others, but it’s different. Also Dinosaur National Monument with tons of fossils and petroglyphs.

  188. If you make it to Kansas City, there’s the Mummies of the World Exhibition at Union Station. I just took my daughter to it yesterday and they have lots of fabulous human and animal mummies!

  189. If you’re going through Boise, the Old Penitentiary in the North End is said to be haunted. They give tours.

  190. Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe in Seattle is perfect for you! They have mummies and mermaids. You will be overwhelmed with strange and wonderful things.

  191. AHHH Rawlins. Home of drive-thru liquor stores and the VERY popular laundry mat bar combo.

  192. Leavenworth, WA for the kitschy Bavarian vibe but specifically for the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. OVER 6,000 NUTCRACKERS.

    Stop in Spokane and go to Riverfront Park for the historic carousel and to see where they filmed some scenes for Benny & Joon.

    And on your way through Idaho, stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument. See also: Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot.

  193. How many days did you set aside for Yellowstone? You’ll likely be coming in through the West Entrance and Old Faithful is a 50-minute drive from there, so it takes hours of driving from one attraction to another, so plan to spend a couple of days if you want to see much of anything (my son and I spent two days there and we only got the western half of the park done). . Isa Lake is lovely and it sits right on the Continental Divide, so it drains into both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If you get to Canyon Village, stick your head into the “deli” and say “hey” for us. In 2016 there was a Czech guy (like, actually from the Czech Republic) working there, though he probably won’t be there in 2017.

    Also buy as much huckleberry stuff as you reasonably can. I didn’t, and I really regret it.

  194. Seattle Traffic might make you stab yourself in the eye, so be warned about that. And Please take I-90 when you are leaving the city. Highway 2 is way to slow to drive west, even though there is a great reptile zoo just east of Monroe.

    I wish you could see Fremont when it still had the TV sculpture garden and all that. But if you are coming in July you will be in our SeaFair season. Check this website out and see if any of the events line up. Seafair is where we pretend we are an island country that was conquered by pirates. http://www.seafair.com/default.aspx

    Have Fun!

  195. Remember these? From the Robin Williams’ movie Patch Adams?

    I’m pretty sure that You, too, can still visit these legs in a gyno stirrup. After the movie ended they were transported somewhere around here; I’m thinking it was to the entrance of a trailer park. I’m still searching. I know they didn’t leave the state of NC. Will keep looking for them and get back to you. I THINK it was in Henderson…

  196. Sheesh, I just totally misread comment #7 here. I thought they said “cock” medical oddities. I was totally on board for a second there.

  197. If your coming to Colorado then I suggest the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park,Co. It’s all haunted and Steven King was totally freaked out by it so much he wrote the Shining about it. Also Dumb and Dumber was partially filmed there so there’s that..and it’s really just beautiful all over

  198. Just FYI…”Grand Teton” is French for Giant Tits. Thought that would add a bit of sparkle to your day.

  199. I’m having a hard time narrowing down things to suggest for Seattle – all of the suggestions that other people have already left are so good! But honestly, even the less obscure, touristy things are fun. If you end up feeling like taking a trip to Pike Place Market (it can get crowded, but it’s so much fun), you should check out Golden Age Collectibles. It’s a geeky/comic store tucked down inside on the lower level of the market that is absolutely wonderful. It’s a little smaller, so things can get cramped, but if you hit it at just the right time, you can pretty much wander freely and check out all of their cool stuff.

    The EMP is also awesome! It used to exclusively be a music museum, but they added on sci-fi and horror exhibits – and I think they still have a fantasy exhibit, if I remember correctly. And oops, it’s actually called MoPOP now. It’s still the EMP to me. 😀

    Someone also mentioned the Underground Tour – I did that as part of a field trip when I was a kid and it was a blast! Definitely check that out!

    And, of course, there’s always the Space Needle. 🙂

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful time on your road trip!

  200. The website for the wild animal sanctuary mentioned in an earlier post near Denver is wildanimalsantuary.org

  201. Ogden, Utah has some great mountains in the Rockies. And apparently pretty much the whole town is haunted. Also, there are secret tunnels beneath the city that prostitutes used to use to move between brothels back in the old west days (for reals).

    And if you are willing to go a little farther south to Salt Lake City you can check out the victim of the beast grave. This lady died in the 50s and was apparently murdered by Satan. Just Google “victim of the beast 666.”

  202. Yesterday I visited the Phallological Museum in Reykjavik. Yes, Iceland has a penis museum.
    When in Colorado you should visit at least one marijuana dispensary. Will you be doing a book signing while in Denver? I’m currently in Greenland checking out the scenery and ruins fron the Viking Age. Fun fact: arg means angry in Swedish.

  203. Jackson Hole is my happy place. I don’t have any leads on two headed wallaby farms but I enjoyed the scenery all throughout that country and Granite Hot Springs was a great day trip. If you can trail ride, there’s some horse ranches that will take you to some of the most beautiful views in the world.

  204. When are you going? Did anyone mention there is a full eclipse of the sun on Aug 21 that can be seen from the Northwest? Go to: http://www.eclipse2017.org and see if you’ll be anywhere near the trajectory on that day.

  205. okay. i mapped seattle to denver, and if you go the suggest route, you’d pass through ogden, utah fifteen miles east of ogden, by way of highway thirty-nine, is hunstville, where my great uncle’s monastery is. they’re closing it in september. i hope you can go see this land. it’s nearly two thousand acres the monks have preserved and farmed for seventy years. it’s GORGEOUS. also, off that highway is ogden’s george s. eccles dinosaur park.

    i’d mentioned this in your previous post, but when i saw that you were road-tripping it, mapped it and saw how close you’d come to it, i thought it worth mentioning again.

  206. pardon the typos in that last one. i thought of something else… highway thirty-nine goes through ogden canyon, which is pretty. if you go to huntsville, you can take highway one sixty-seven to mount green back to interstate eighty-four. when we’ve gone to visit him, we’ve gone both ways, and i’d recommend doing both because the ride over the mountain is just as pretty as the one through the canyon.

  207. dammit. i thought of one more thing. if you go to the monastery, and the gift shop’s open and is selling clocks, my great uncle made those. you should get you one.

    regardless, i wish you safe and splendid travels.

  208. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K7q_zygRlb8

    Make sure you pull over and stop at the sign that says to change your watch ahead one hour. Then stand at the sign and jump forward, then turn around and jump back again but this time past where you originally started. You just time travelled my friend! Take a video of it. Definitely one of the things I’m gonna do when I make that road trip. Got the idea from the movie Paul with Simon Pegg.

  209. If you’re going to be in Seattle, please drive west to the Olympic Peninsula. You can go to Port Townsend and see all the Victorian buildings, visit Fort Worden where Officer and a Gentleman was filmed. A few more miles west gets you to Sequim where the lavender fields are at their peak, getting ready for the Lavender Festival (please Google it!). Fifteen more miles to Port Angeles, Olympic National Park (another must Google). A two hour boat ride gets you to beautiful Victoria, B. C. Just lots of sites you don’t want to miss if you’re as close as Seattle. Gorgeous mountains, lakes and rivers, ocean beaches. If you continue west 60 or so miles you will go through the town of Beaver (population approximately 200 more or less) to get to Forks, of Twilight fame. I guarantee the Olympic Peninsula will give you plenty of weird everywhere you look. If you let me know you’re coming this way, I promise to buy you the most amazing apple pancake you’ll ever see!


  210. In Seattle, eat at Ivars. Its a staple and next door is Ye Ole Curiosity Shop, home to an alleged baby mermaid carcass. The smell and viewing is free!

  211. The International Museum of Carousel Art in Oregon is a thing. I try to stop at any museum that has “International” in the title. It’s in Hood River, which is also gorgeous.

  212. The route sign on the bus from Butte, MT to Jackson Hole, WY, should say “Butte-Hole”. Just sayin’ . . . .

  213. You are my absolute hero. Looking forward to reading about all your travels!!

  214. So my post went to comment heaven along the way… Maybe using to many returns and starting new lines…. le sigh. Living in Denver I have lots of suggestions: 1) Seriously Casa Bonita… http://www.casabonitadenver.com/ … the food is marginal with not a lot of flavor but the place itself is magical and weird 2) I will agree with the Buckhorn Exchange you can have Rocky Mountain Oysters and have animals watch you eat…. it’s awesome 3) Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys … https://www.dmmdt.org/ … another suggestion above that I will agree with… 4. Mutiny – – a local bookstore, record store and comic book store on South Broadway …. lots of oddities in the store for literature and always something happening… http://mutinyinfocafe.com . I know the owners and they would love to have you sign if you wanted…. I could make that happen…. just sayin’ wink wink….. then we could go to Casa Bonita after… wink wink… Plus Mutiny is the unoffical gateway to the South Broadway district which has some interesting shopping and food. 5. Further out of the Denver Metro area: Buffalo Bills Grave (about 45 minutes west into Golden… it’s a beautiful drive and you can see the Sculpture House in Genesse on your left), the Stanley Motel was listed earlier and also a lovely option, Boulder has an outdoor mall that is pretty popular but middle of the road, if you are here in a couple of weeks they have an arts festival which is ok… July 15… email is linked below so you can always ask for better options… we will keep a running list.

  215. Advice from an actual Park Ranger:
    If your trip takes you near the route of the solar eclipse on August 21st, either make a reservation now or plan to sleep in your car because it’s going to be crowded!
    Also, just as importantly: have fun!

  216. having moved out west from georgia i can say it’s all really different. whut – no trees? whut – no humidity? whut – everyone is one color? but, for fun, the train museum in golden colorado, the taxidermy in thermopolis and saratoga, most anywhere in nederland, colorado; the hissing cockroaches at the bug museum at univ of wyoming – although i think everyone has them now-a-days, the territorial prison at laramie; and julie the wonder dog, part boxer part corgi for something truly weird. the eclipse of course, but likely to be really crowded (roll eyes). there is always something unique and colorful no matter where you go.

  217. Download the “Roadside America” app and prepare for the awesome cheese. Last week I had my picture taken with 15 foot tall whisk (Nashville, TN), the worlds largest sausage roll (Louisville, KY), and the world’s largest drum sticks (Warren, OH). That app makes finding roadside fun and cheesiness so easy.

  218. Oh, there are a few cool things in the Seattle area! In Monroe, at the Reptile Museum, there is a live turtle with two heads. The poor thing can’t figure out which way to go so it mostly sits there. They also have an albino alligator. Then, in Arlington, there’s a kangaroo farm. I haven’t been there, but it sounds cool. Then, if you’re at the Waterfront in Seattle, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop has a couple of mummies, but none of them have two heads. Freemont has a troll under the bridge, but it’s not real, just a sculpture. And don’t forget to go to the Panama Hotel in Seattle’s International District. It’s where they stored a bunch of stuff for Japanese people who were sent to internment camps during WWII. Have a great time!

  219. After you eat at the amazing Casa Bonita in Denver, visit Lakeside Amusement Park. It is a bit run down, but beautiful vintage neon and classic amusement park rides.

  220. Not sure if you’ll be cutting through Northern California, but there’s a cool Bigfoot museum not far from Eureka. We stopped there years ago driving from Portland to Napa, but I’m seeing two on the map and don’t remember which one we went to. There’s a Bigfoot Museum at Willow Creek: http://bigfootcountry.net/ or this one called “Legend of Bigfoot” a little further down the coast: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/21672

  221. On your way from Butte to Yellowstone, stop in Ennis! The history museum has a taxidermy got a horrible beast that you would love! Ennis is full of your kind of crazy – the self proclaimed library nerd follows your blog! the hysterical Ennis woman

  222. MUST SEE:
    If you’re driving from Rawlins, WY to Laramie in daylight there is a bypass that is BEAUTIFUL.
    You go through Saratoga and Wycolo and it cuts through Medicine Bow National Forest.
    It’s an extra hour but it is breathtaking.
    safe travels

  223. If you’re on I-80 heading through Nebraska, stop at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton. Right up your alley: LOADS of taxidermy!! Where else can you eat your meal with a dead giraffe checking out your food? Have a fantastic, safe trip!

  224. If you come through the Dallas area, there’s a wildlife ranch in Pilot Point (north of Dallas) where you can pet a lemur (among other things). It’s at https://www.sharkarosa.com/

    We also have a big cat rescue in Wylie (east of Dallas). You can’t pet the big ones but there are quite a few regular-sized ones wandering around. That’s at http://www.insyncexotics.org/

    Enjoy your trip!

  225. Oh Jenny! How exciting! While you are in my town (Seattle) make sure not to miss the Seattle Underground Tour (it is awesome and funny and creepy) and the Pike Market Ghost Tour (which is largely just very entertaining and not much spooky).

  226. We stayed at the most amazing historic (and cheap????) hotel in Butte! It was called Hotel Finlen, and it had beautiful chandeliers, and lots of awesome historic-ness. Summary: It was pretty, and like $50. You should check it out! Also, sorry if I’m the 500th person to suggest this to you…

  227. So, you’ll probably never get there and you might already know about it but there’s the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta. It’s really the only thing to see in Torrington and it’s kind of in the middle of BFnowhere so you really have to want to go there or be driving by for the thousandth time and think, “WTF is a gopher hole museum” and have forty-five minutes (okay, maybe that’s generous) and $2 for admission. http://gopherholemuseum.ca/dioramas/

  228. hi – very late reply but in Solvang, CA there is an ostrich/emu farm where you can buy feed and feed the animals yourself. Worth a detour, and Solvang itself is worth visiting as there are danish pasty shops on every block plus a very large wooden clog out front of the world’s best clog store.

  229. I should also mention that there are Bigfoot-obsessed areas all over Northern CA and all up to the Pacific NW, and I probably don’t even have to mention this, but you should check them out for sure. I now have a bigfoot sticker on my iPhone case and a birdhouse shaped like bigfoot in my backyard.

  230. When I was about 14, my dad, brother and I drove from Denver to Yellow Stone and it was one of my favorite trips ever.
    After Yellow Stone (which was amazing and beautiful and we saw bison and moose really close up) we stayed a day or two in Thermopolis Wy and I remember it having a really small, strange dinosaur museum and lots of hot springs. Highly recommend!

  231. If you need to find good, not-chain-restaurant-places to eat at, check out http://www.roadfood.com and find all kinds of nifty diners, pit stops, restaurants, and God only knows where else to get a bite to eat–the P&H Truck Stop in Wells River, VT (aka the place where you can get the best pie on earth) is listed there, and I know they should have plenty of good suggestions along your travel route as well.
    On a totally different subject…I’m not sure what it says about me that when I hear the words “dead raccoon,” I immediately think of you, but I saw this on FB and, well… http://wgntv.com/2017/06/29/man-dragging-dead-raccoon-shot-run-over-after-driver-mistakes-it-for-a-dog/ Now, granted, I’ve seen a live fully-grown raccoon up close and personal, so I know they get big enough that they could be mistaken for a dog, but based on the rest of the report, I would have thought that the smell alone would have convinced Mr. Trigger Happy that the critter in question was far, far beyond any kind of help he could have offered it. Yes, I know that you’ve written that roadkill is usable for taxidermy at a point when it’s far too decomposed for any other use, but it’s occurred to me this may be along your vacation route, so please, for the love of God (and Victor and Hailey), don’t go chucking any dead raccoonson the roof of the car with the idea of bringing ’em home for either your dad or your friend Jeremy, OK? They still haven’t caught this yahoo yet, and I don’t think any of us want to find out just how fast Victor or you can drive while being chased by a pissed-off and armed animal lover!

  232. Make sure to stop in Estes Park CO just outside of Denver and visit the Stanley Hotel. The inspiration for Stephen Kings “The Shining” and very haunted. You’ll love it!!!!!

  233. I’ve been through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons….Yes it really does mean big tits…About ten years ago and always wished we had spent more time there. Yellowstone is just facinating and the Tetons and Jenny lake are one of the prettiest places I’ve seen. Go have a picnic there if you can and stay in a log cabin. Enjoy your trip and watch out for bears!d

  234. When you get to Denver, have dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange. Where else can you have a romantic dinner of braised yak under the gaze of numerous taxidermy??????? PS the yak is damned good.

  235. You know, I realized that I forgot the perfect trip suggestion that I had for you: the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, MD. http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/ Despite the grandiose name, this is a very small museum with very few visitors, and it’s free! They have all kinds of examples of weird medical problems in jars of formalin, like elephantiasis and various tumors. They also have a section on bizarre facial deformities and facial wounds on soldiers that service doctors have fixed. A lot of the medical examples are from the late 1800s and early 1900s. I haven’t described it very well, but it’s strangely fascinating and definitely right up your alley – I think you will take that the right way. 🙂

  236. When are you traveling through Wyoming? The solar eclipse is in August and a seventy mile strip trough Wyoming will go dark for several minutes. It’ll confuse wildlife and stuff.

  237. Oh, oh!! Thermopolis in Wyoming is this tiny town that smells of rotten eggs. It’s the natural hot springs all over town. They are fantastic. And the guy that made Curt Russel’so buffalo coat in Hateful Eight has a shop there. I have buffalo throw pillow from him.

  238. You’re heading through Butte?! You should definitely hit up their distillery, Headframe Spirits. They make an amazing bourbon cream liqueur called Orphan Girl that has a eerie/old timey picture of a little girl on it and if you order it with root beer it’s called a Dirty Girl (and it’s more delicious than creepy once you’re drinking it, promise).

    Also, if your low carb lifestyle doesn’t allow for the drinking of any of the above mentioned things right now, I apologize profusely.

  239. YES to the potentially haunted prison in Rawlins- we were suitably freaked out and got to sit in the gas chamber, win! Extra points for un-ironic campy tour guides. Su Casa in Rawlins has some excellent authentic Mexican food.

    The upper entrance of Yellowstone has a rather untouristy (do I get bonus points or deductions for the over use of un-?) oddball stop called the Boiling River. You pull off the road and walk down a path to a spot where the natural springs let out into a river and create this weird organic hot tub thing. Crazy hot water at your back, freezing water at your feet, plus a current! It’s oddly fun and you sit next to people from all over the world- as a fellow introvert I get how that might be concerning but it felt natural somehow. AND the town of Gardiner, MT at the north entrance is funky and chill, the air is crisp and cool, and the people kinda match that.

  240. Curious Nature. In Phoenix, AZ.
    Full of all the stuff you (and I) love.
    If you ever need a place to stay, or a free airport pick-up I got your back.

  241. Oh! And the Butcher Block diner in Denver, CO. HUGE cinnamon rolls and delicious breakfast food- great staff too! And if you’re into the Airbnb thing, there was a glorious, relaxing yurt near Cody, WY that was nestled in a llama farm. They made us homemade blueberry muffins for breakfast and french press coffee and they had a much needed hammock. Perfect mid-trip recharge.

  242. If your trip takes you through western Nebraska, you can do Carhenge near Alliance. The solar eclipse is passing over that though so it’s going to be insane during that. North of that near Chadron is a little museum called the Museum of Fur Trade, that is actually a really excellent museum for all that it’s tiny. Nothing weird there, just a wonderful little museum that people don’t know about because it’s small and out of the way and near a small town in the Nebraska Panhandle that no one much has heard of.

    If you make far western SD, Deadwood in the northern Black Hills, the cemetery has Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane buried in it, and the Adams Museum is an oddball combination of weird (they do have a stuffed two headed calf up on a shelf) and serious western history (artifacts from the Chinatown that was there during mining days, the rock with names and dates showing the white men to have been in the Dakotas, old land deeds (my mom said my dad’s brother spend a couple hours reading those when he was there, which surprised her no end, she had no idea he’d find them fascinating, and I don’t think ever figured out why he had.) Deadwood’s sister city of Lead has a cutting edge neutrino lab doing physics research deep in the old Homestake Goldmine, I think they give tours. Be warded, both Lead and Deadwood tend to have stairways, not sidewalks on a lot of their streets, wear good shoes for walking and be prepared to sit and rest if you need to.

    Hill City, also in the Black Hills, has the Geological Institute who dug up Sue the T-Rex, the largest most complete found. If you’ve seen Dinosaur 13 on Netflix, it’s about Sue. If you have any train fanatics in the family, you can also ride a narrow gauge steam train between Hill City and Keystone. If you head a bit east on the interstate, skip Wall Drug (it’s really cool but also totally overrun with tourists and so likely will kick up your anxiety) and go down to the Badlands instead. You can drive around the wildlife loop and stop and walk down a path on the prairie where there is nothing but you and sky and wind and grass and possibly some antelope in the distance. All the lack of people you can hope for, but also a really cool visitor’s center in the Park where you can touch things like buffalo hide. Take sunscreen.

  243. i vote you don’t feed the little chipmunks at Grand Teton National Park. I feel like at some point, someone is going to get mauled by a swarm of hungry chipmunks and well, better not to tempt fate.

    Taking the cog train up Pikes Peak is A LOT less stressful than riding in the car past all the “hot brakes fail” signs.

    Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver has the best bourbon burger. (this is a chain, but there isn’t one in Texas.) Maker’s Mark® bourbon glaze, gorgonzola and crispy onions – probably great even without the bun

    I hear concerts at Red Rocks are amazing.

    If you go hiking in Yellowstone, make sure you have water!

    Having taken this trip and seen snow fences for the first time, here you go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_fence

    Pack a nice wide-brimmed hat.

    There’s a stained glass museum in Tacoma that sounds cool and is on my list.

    FYI – even though the architecture is cool in and around Pioneer Square, you can’t take a bunch of photos inside a bank without raising suspicions.

    My expectations for the Sci Fi Museum in Seattle were too high. Keep ’em low. The aquarium was small, but I could have watched the otters for hours.

    Do NOT under any circumstances eat Mexican food in Seattle. I speak from experience.

  244. Because I am twelve, I couldn’t help notice you’re going to Jackson Hole and Butt, I mean Butte…

  245. you should skip Rawlins and come to Lander, WY! And there is a great cabin built out of dinosaur bones you should see on the way to Laramie, WY.

  246. Someone mentioned Virginia City and I will second that. It’s between Butte, MT and Yellowstone and it’s the best little ghost town! We just stayed in the Nevada City Hotel last night which was delightfully creepy. We also took the night ghost tour which was amazing AND you can take your beer with you. It was so great.

  247. I never ever comment but I had to chime in and say that during your Seattle visit please do go see Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. Orcas island and Friday Harbor are two specific recommendations. It’s a great day trip, so beautiful, and less crowded than the downtown Seattle stuff. Walk as little as you feel like–the views from the ferry are honestly pretty great by themselves. Also if you go to the Woodland Park zoo in north Seattle on a weekday there won’t be many people and you can spend all day watching the orangutans make blanket forts and playing on the life-size komodo dragon sculpture (my daughter’s favorite thing). And we will all be delighted to know you’re here (but we will probably make limited eye-contact because pretty much everyone in Seattle is very friendly but socially anxious, so know that you are among your people).

  248. This will sound slightly stalkerish, but you will be in my country! I’m from southeastern Idaho and I live in Utah and now I realize that it’s probably a good thing you’re far away because I would probably stalk you, because you are amazing, Jenny! Ok, freaky stalker writing done.
    In Jackson Hole, go see the Wildlife Museum! It has wildlife art, obvs, but also a giant bronze puma staring down the lobby. It’s awesome! At certain times of the day they do a Old West shootout and the ski resorts run this luge-like sleds in the summer. Jenny Lake is gorgeous and Yellowstone is beautiful and amazing! Have so much fun!

  249. I just found out that it you make it past Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you can do the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.

    — Starwefter, aka Dark Star, again, who’s not sure how this will post because she borrowed her son’s computer to post this.

  250. I know a member of the board of that museum and I intend to start softening him up to be ready to accept your gift of strange taxidermy!

  251. If you get to the area of Salt Lake City and want a tour guide for the wacky and weird in this city, I’m your gal!

  252. Someone already mentioned the Seattle underground tour, but it’s definitely unique! There is one at night that includes ghost stories too I think. Also there is a really cool exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum called infinity mirrors until early September.

  253. Rawlins, WY is only a vacation spot if you’re attempting to be ironic. If that is what you’re looking for don’t forget to check out Ron’s Guns and Computers. If you take a drive through the neighborhood (yes, only one), there used to be a modular home that had everything painted robin’s egg blue. Everything. House, deck, dog house, barbecue, fence, lawn ornaments. Either they bought to much paint and didn’t want to be wasteful, or the world’s largest robin laid the world’s largest egg in Rawlins, WY.
    Do eat at Su Casa, which is actually in Sinclair “next door” to Rawlins. Best mexican food ever.

  254. I once drove from San Francisco to Salt Lake City and back. As you leave Nevada on I80 heading east, you drop down onto a big bare salt flat. It’s miles and miles of straight highway with nothing on it–except around the middle, there was a giant statue of someone alongside the freeway on the south side, facing north. I thought maybe I was hallucinating, because we had been in the car some 14 hours by then, but no, I’m sure I saw it again on our way back. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but if you see it, stop and find out what it is, will you?

  255. GO TO GLACIER. I did Yellowstone and Grand Tetons last summer and they’re packed with people and not nearly as impressive. Glacier National Park is probably the most beautiful place I’ve seen in America, and no “here’s the postcard shot” beautiful but “your brain is so overwhelmed by beauty that you no longer care if you exist.” Plus there’s nice toilets and water fountains and free shuttles that drive you up the mountains so you don’t have to.

  256. I FOUND A TAXIDERMIED RACCOON HOLDING CRACKER JACKS ON AMAZON AND YOU NEED TO GET IThttps://www.amazon.ca/Raccoon-Eating-Cracker-Taxidermy-Statue/dp/B00MJ4N99O/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1500087588&sr=1-7&keywords=American+Natural+Resources

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