In your travels near and far, you may find weird and wonderful sights.
Sometimes you find a weird sight when you’re driving down the highway and look it up later. This is the Smith Mansion, located in Wapiti, Wyoming, halfway between Cody and Yellowstone.
Lee Smith, a former builder and engineer, began constructing this structure from locally harvested logs. However, he became obsessed with adding on to the building, which led to his divorce. For 22 years he continued construction so that eventually it was 5-stories tall. One day, unfortunately, he slipped while working and fell to his death. His daughter owned the house for many years until it was sold to a neighbor in 2020.
For a better look at this amazing structure inside and out, watch this video by Scott Richard.
At other times you’ll go a little off the beaten path in search of a good meal. This delicious barbecue dinner is from the Apple Valley BBQ in Parkdale, Oregon. Parkdale, at the base of Mt Hood, is a small town with a population of about 650. Fruit orchards fill the valleys in this part of Oregon and the restaurant incorporates fruit into their meals. The coleslaw pictured contains slices of fresh pears. They use local cherry wood to smoke their meat. Yum, definitely one of my favorites!
Weird and wonderful beach find
Sometimes you pick up something on your wanders and cannot figure out what it is. I found this skull near Totten Inlet in Washington state, where I used to live. I did a little detective work and figured out it was from a scoter sea duck. The unusual bulges at the base of the bill were a good clue. I thought this find was both weird and wonderful.
Wonderful sea art
At other times you pick up something because it brings you joy. This otter carving, by an unknown artist, was at a local gift shop called The Silver Otter in Bend, Oregon. Sadly, the store closed, but I used to enjoy perusing their shelves full of handiwork from all over the world. They also carried an impressive selection of rocks, stones, and dazzling jewelry.
Sometimes you find a weird exhibit at a museum. This display, at the Buffalo Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, shows a skeleton of a bighorn sheep about to but heads with a furred mount. I think this exhibit shows you how their bones are adapted to this type of activity.
Then, out of nowhere, you might find a real life version of animals you just saw in a museum. We spotted this group of bighorn sheep crossing the road in front of us about an hour after leaving Cody. Wow, lucky us! These bighorns looked like they were on their way to Buffalo Bill Camp, a Boy Scouts of America facility.
Sometimes you see something weird in a weird place. A throne of swords? It couldn’t be very comfortable to sit on, could it? Of course I, and all the other tourists, had to try it out. This recreation of the Iron Throne, from Game of Thrones, was in the middle of the busy The Fullerton Arms pub in Ballintoy, Northern Ireland.
Wonderful bowlful of summer
At the end of the day, you’ll often think back on some of your favorite moments and mementos. This little green Depression glass bowl is one of my favorite finds. I found it in Snohomish, Washington. Snohomish is a town full of antique stores where visitors like me regularly seek out hidden treasures.
You never know what weird and wonderful sights you’ll find when you’re out and about.