Thursday, July 29, 2010

Semi-Staycation, Part Two

Big Mike's Rock Shop and Mystery House

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.

At one point they had a platform  that was actually level--stand on it, and you appear to be leaning at an impossible angle. Lois decided to do a headstand on the platform, but the visual clues kept throwing her off. When she closed her eyes, she was finally able to do it.

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

Travel Diary Software click here.

Click here for Seven Reasons to Visit India.

My essays on travel with pets begin here.

My posts on Travel and Cancer Survival begin here.

The series of posts on my trip to Japan begins here.

The journal of my trip to India and Nepal begins here.

The series of posts on my trip to Italy begins here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog on York, England is here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog about a fabulous carousel is here.

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