I was having a poke around Roadside America the other night, and every now and then, I’d beckon Claire to come and look at something. The next morning, she suggested we go and look at one of the attractions listed. Ice scraped off the windscreen with a credit card, big paper cups of coffee in the cup holders, and a fresh pack of cigarettes, and we were heading south down I-5, and chucked a left at Burlington onto some other road. Nice crisp day. Pretty hills.
First stop, the small town of Concrete. Named after the Pet Shop Boys’ 2006 live album. Population 845. All names of things amused me there: Concrete High School, Concrete Antiques & Collectibles, Concrete Theatre, Concrete Airport. And for such a small town, there seems to be an inordinate amount of churches.
We stopped on the outskirts to have a look in a little pottery shop where we chatted to yet another English person. She moved here with her husband – the potter. It really is amazing to me how often one comes across fellow Brits over here. The other day, in my local store, there were three of us. The Sauk Mountain Pottery woman was the bearer of bad news, though: the thing we were on our way to see was broken.
Just a few miles down the road, past some lovely snow-dusted hills and cute little farms, is the town of Rockport. Just as you pull into the town, there’s a Shell petrol station. And under a collapsed wooded roof, is the Self-kicking machine. This is (in hindsight) rather pathetically, what we’d come to see. We looked at it, took a couple of photos, and bought petrol and snacks from the incredibly unfriendly woman in the Shell station.
We kept on trucking, and a further few miles down the road in Marblemount was another thing to look at, the tiny tiny Wildwood Church. It can seat about 12 people.
After giving a mountainside road a go, but only getting a short way before the snow on the road got a bit too much for Claire’s Subaru. We did have time to look at, break off, and throw around some icicles, though.
Back to Marblemount to get some food at the Skagit River Resort. Makes it sound fancy, the name; like a golf/spa-type thing, but no. Aside from a few nice local artifacts, it was rubbish. Shitty food and – considering we were the only customers – really shitty service. And shitty spelling of cappuccino. And for a country that has such a hard-on for its flag, you’d think that they’d have a proper one, or at least point out that the one they do have has never officially existed.
A brief detour to have a look at a dam near Lake Baker, and the rather lovely Mount Baker on the horizon, and then we were heading back.
It was a lovely day, and getting to know Washington state is something I’m enjoying very much.