Thursday, July 29, 2010
Semi-Staycation, Part Two
One of the delights of road trips in the United States is visiting the kitchsy roadside shops, museums, and manmade attractions.
Right on the edge of the Mammoth Cave National Forest is Big Mike's Rock Shop, easily identified by the huge cement representation of "Big Mo," a mosasaur whose real skull is on display inside the shop.
That's one of the weird things about these places: side by side with colorful fridge magnets and "I'm with Stupid" T-shirts are real and amazing items--in this case geodes, fossils, and tons of uncut semi-precious stones.
This shop has attached one of the numerous man-made mystery houses sprinkled across the country, this one quite a good one. Here you see Lois and Eric in their optical illusion room. In reality, Eric is five or six inches taller than Lois, but when they stand as pictured at left, Lois seems much taller.
But then when they change places, as at the right, Eric becomes a veritable giant.
Another part of the house was all built at an angle, so what we felt clashed with what we saw. It was very hard to walk through those rooms, because the sensation was of a vertigo that pulled to one side.
As we love tricks and optical illusions, we had a good time in the mystery house. Of course half the fun is figuring out what is causing the impression that, for example, water flows uphill.
Next time: Dinosaurs in Kentucky
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