Tales From the RV Park: Gnome Homes

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There is a phenomenon in Pennsylvania: Gnome Homes and Gardens.

Most RV parks in Pennsylvania are closed for the winter, November through April. May through October is known as “the season”. Much like the RVing snowbirds who flock to the southern states for the winter, northeast locals flock to a nearby RV park for the season. The difference between them and the winter snowbirds is that most of them have a stick-and-brick within several hours’ drive. Many only come out to their RV on the weekends during the season.

They keep their RV in one of the few RV parks over the winter, often paying the monthly rate but never going to visit it. The RV is usually covered and shuttered for the winter.

But come mid-April or May, everyone flocks to their RV. They unwrap the RVs, gazebos go up, TVs come outside, fountains go on, flowers are planted, and gnomes invade the park.

Yes, I said gnomes.

Along with the gnomes, goes every possible item one could put in a yard. Most of these yards have a variety of lights to rival Christmas. In fact, the decorating style is “everything but the kitchen sink, with gnomes”…. But, wait! There’s more…

He claims he swapped legs with a jaybird and got cheated out of a butt.

I went to the Pennsylvania Cabela’s.

In case you’ve never been, I’ll describe the Cabela’s experience: It’s like going to a zoo, but all of the animals are dead.

Wait, what?

Pennsylvania Cabela's

Pennsylvania Cabela’s

Before I go on, I should explain the title since, unlike my usual title/post combinations, this one isn’t self-explanatory or related to the topic of this post. I merely needed a catchy title so here’s the connection: I went to Cabela’s with a friend who claims he doesn’t have a butt. While I disagree and think he has a cute butt, I chose the title in deference to his claim, and because I enjoy teasing him. Unfortunately, he rarely reads this blog so he’ll probably never know.

It seems almost all men claim they have no butt. And, if I may speak for my gender, we pretty much think most men’s butts are cute. In general, you like ours, we like yours, and neither gender would look as good with the other’s butt. 

But I digress, and probably need a dose of meds, so I’ll move along now…

About Cabela’s in Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Cabela’s comprehensive display of dead things isn’t as gruesome as you might (naturally) think. It looks just like the zoo – all the animals are in “pens” decorated like their natural habitat. Other than the pens being inside a building, and the lack of a “poo” smell, there is no difference between Cabela’s and a real zoo.

Except that everything is dead. The animals But, wait! There’s more…

Leaving Brooklyn Fuhgeddaboudit

Leaving Brooklyn - Fugheddaboudit

Leaving Brooklyn Fugheddaboudit

This is the sign you see as you are leaving Brooklyn, New York. I can now officially add New York to the list of states in which I’ve set foot.

Additionally, for the first time since I was two years old, I set foot in New Jersey, the state where I was born. I plan to go back to both just to do touristy things before leaving Pennsylvania.

What brought me to New York and New Jersey, you ask? A chauffeured limousine. Lest you think I’ve won the lottery or married a wealthy man, I should tell you I was the chauffeur.

Yes, folks, this is an episode of Jobs I’ve Had, as well as another of Tales From the RV Park. 

To remind you where I last left off: But, wait! There’s more…

Random Giant Texas

This is a short post of a few random giant things in Texas: Giant Spurs in Gainesville, Giant Chess Knight and Castle Wall near Gainesville, and a Giant Chessboard in Giddings. In case you are like me and want to know the “why” of things, I’ll include what little I know about these items.

Giant Chessboard in Giddings, Texas.

Giant Chessboard in Giddings, Texas.

This giant chessboard is at a camp on the outskirts of Giddings. I’ve seen a few of these around the country, just a fun way to play chess. But, wait! There’s more…

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Even though it’s as green as the Emerald City, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Pye and I are cruising around southeastern Pennsylvania. When it snowed in early April a friend asked, “What do April snows bring?” At that time I had no idea what weather to expect in May, but now I know: April snows bring May showers. Lots and lots of May showers. We’re all developing webbed feet and hands.

As I’ve said before, it’s absolutely stunning! Everything is a lovely shade of bright green (from all the rain): the gently rolling hills dotted with farmhouses and silos, the tall trees with new foliage… much like The Emerald City in The Land of Oz must have looked like to Dorothy and Toto.

Dorothy and Toto - still in Kansas.

Dorothy and Toto – still in Kansas.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, but late last year I stopped at Dorothy’s House in Liberal, Kansas.

There’s a little museum, some statues of the characters, and a few buildings to walk around. They offer a tour, of what, I never got to see… But, wait! There’s more…

The time I met the Hooker Police

Oklahoma’s panhandle, long called “No Man’s Land”, is a 170-mile-long stretch of flat farmland interrupted by a handful of small towns. It’s dry and barren in between the towns. And the towns are small; there aren’t many men, or women, living in No Man’s Land. Big shock, right? If you think a dearth of inhabitants is how No Man’s Land got its name, you’d be wrong. It was so named while people fought over who got to keep this dust-blown, winter-frost-bitten, tornado-swept bit of nowhere…

From Wikipedia:

When Texas sought to enter the Union in 1845 as a slave state, federal law in the United States, based on the Missouri Compromise, prohibited slavery north of 36°30′ parallel north. Under the Compromise of 1850, Texas surrendered its lands north of 36°30′ latitude. The 170-mile strip of land, a “neutral strip”, was left with no state or territorial ownership from 1850 until 1890. It was officially called the “Public Land Strip” and was commonly called “No Man’s Land.”

In the middle of No Man’s Land sits a town named Hooker. Hooker happens to be just down the road from Beaver City. No shit. (I was going to visit Beaver City too, but that seemed, oh… I don’t know, like double dipping. Or redundant.)

Do you know what I think? I think naming a town “Hooker” and placing it smack dab in the middle of No Man’s Land was a clever marketing ploy.

Think about it. If you wanted to bring men to a place called No Man’s Land, what would you do? You would name a town Hooker, and another nearby town Beaver City. If a town named Hooker attracted women, perhaps “working gals”, along with the men, all the better!

Of course, it might attract horny guys willing to pay for sex, but whatever. The likely goal was to increase the population, and it worked.

Then came the Hooker Inn. Obviously.
The Hooker Inn.

The Hooker Inn.

This, uh-hum, spawned the Hooker Horny Toads… But, wait! There’s more…

Slicker than two eels humpin’ in a bucket of snot.

After visiting The Cadillac Ranch, I drove to the top of the Texas panhandle.

Perryton, Texas, the Wheatheart of the Nation.

Perryton, Texas, the Wheatheart of the Nation.

There isn’t much to see or do around the top of the Texas panhandle, at least that I saw. (Note the landscape in the background of the above photo – it’s like that as far as the eye can see.) But, tucked away in Perryton, Texas, on the side of the highway shortly before entering Oklahoma, is one of the better museums I’ve seen in a long time.

From the outside, The Museum of the Plains in Perryton, Texas, looks small and nondescript. I had passed it a couple of times on my way somewhere else, before I noticed it. Mainly for lack of anything else to see or do in the area, one day I decided to check it out.

Holy Tardis, Batman! It’s bigger on the inside!

Much like Doctor Who’s Tardis, the museum is deceptively small-looking on the outside. However, But, wait! There’s more…

Bucket List Item: The Cadillac Ranch

O.M.G. The. Cadillac. Ranch!

One of my top three Bucket List items is officially checked off! (The Largest Frying Pan and the Largest Ball of Twine being the other two top items.) The Bucket List exists because of these three items.

Do you all realize how looong The Cadillac Ranch has been on my Bucket List? No, of course you don’t because I haven’t been blogging as long as it’s been on my list. If I tell you how long it’s been on my list, you may not believe me when I tell you all I’m 27.

Let’s just say it’s been decades and leave it at that, mkay?

Yes, I’m still 27, dammit! (Although, another Anniversary of my 27th Birthday is rapidly approaching. Nonetheless, I will still be 27. Forever. 27.)

The Cadillac Ranch. (I thought it would look bigger.)

The Cadillac Ranch. (I thought it would look bigger. Really, I did.)

The Cadillac Ranch

In 1974 in Amarillo, Texas, a group of three artists, Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, created the Cadillac Ranch art installation, with the financial backing of Stanley Marsh III. The artists were part of a group called Ant Farm, and as such they created several architecturally unique installations around the country. This installation, ten used Cadillac cars buried ass-end up in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid, is slightly west of Amarillo on the former Route 66.

One good thing about taking photos in flat, desert landscape like parts of the Texas panhandle: there’s never anything to get in the way of your shot. No trees, no plant life, no wildlife, no big rocks, nothing really. There weren’t even clouds in the sky to block the sun. All of which helped accent the cars, and helped the colors turn out sharply. Now, about the colors… But, wait! There’s more…

Dream Catcher and Metal Men

Or should that be Metal Dream Man Catcher?

Because I would really like to have a metal Dream Man Catcher. What woman wouldn’t, right? If you hung it over your bed at night, you would wake up in the morning to find your dream man inside. You could let him out, have your way with him, and then put him back to save him for later.

Or have him go make breakfast.

Somebody get to work on that right away.

Back to reality: the Giant Dream Catcher, and Metal Men Climbing a Feed Mill Silo.

Yes, believe it or not, those two things are more real than my Metal Dream Man Catcher. Such a pity.

In Marble Falls, Texas, (north Hill Country) on the side of the highway that runs through the center of town is a Giant Dream Catcher. No, I don’t know the significance. It didn’t have a sign explaining its purpose for me to take a photo of for you all. You folks know I rarely read those wordy signs.

Giant Dream Catcher in Marble Falls, Texas.

Giant Dream Catcher in Marble Falls, Texas.

 

In nearby Johnson City, there are metal men climbing But, wait! There’s more…

Kernut and BluzDude Do Baltimore

This is how rumors get started.

The cat is out of the bag: BluzDude is the fellow blogger who invited me for crab cakes a long time ago. Bluz used to live in Pennsylvania but has called Baltimore home for many years. Those of you who follow his blog know he is eloquent and possesses an enviable wit. If you don’t already follow him, check out Darwinfish. 

A hearty Welcome! to any fans of Bluz who’ve ventured this way from his blog.

Here’s how Kernut and BluzDude Doing Baltimore got started: In a simple comment on one of my posts, he offered to buy me crab cakes if I ever made it to his neck of the woods. I was in Texas when he made the offer a few years ago. I don’t forget offers of food, especially from good-looking bloggers.

But here’s the odd part – I can not find the email or comment. Anywhere. Now, we all know I have a memory like a goldfish… once around the bowl and I’m thinking, “Oooh, that rock’s new!” But, I forget things – I never make them up. At this point, I can only assume Bluz was gentlemanly enough to agree he had once promised me crab cakes.

I digress. (To those of you who are new, if you stick around you will come to find that this is a common occurrence.)

The area of Baltimore Harbor done by Kernut and BluzDude.

The area of Baltimore Harbor done by Kernut and BluzDude.

BluzDude and Kernut doing the Stad Amsterdam in Baltimore Harbor.

BluzDude and Kernut doing the Stad Amsterdam in Baltimore Harbor.

The Tour of Baltimore Harbor

I spent a day in Baltimore and got The Official BluzDude Tour of Baltimore Harbor. It was great – he could charge tourists for that tour! We did But, wait! There’s more…