Atomic Raceway, Atomic City, Idaho (1992)
Atomic Raceway, Atomic City, Idaho (1992)

Northwest Jitters: 3,000 Miles of Desperate Destinations

[This road trip dates back to 1992. Though tourist attractions and quirky landmarks have closed or disappeared, many are alive and kicking. We've updated where necessary. A shorter version of this hypertour was published in Seattle Times Pacific Magazine.]

When Buddha or Confucius probably once said "The journey is the trip," they must've been thinking about hitting the summer road. But what to see?

Dull historical sites and tedious vistas? Ack! A lovely mountain stream is fine for a minute, but then what? "Is there a laser show later? A stuffed two-headed calf nearby? What are we still doing here?"

Well, don't worry, After childhoods spent as unwilling captives on trips to the Grand Canyon, Disneyworld, and countless living Colonial towns ("Look, kids, they're dipping candles."), we decided that enough was enough. We have spent the past ten years seeking out and exploring oddball, offbeat, and oft weird vacation destinations. Alligator farms, giant peanut statues, the world's largest twine balls: that's the kind we like. The country's best were garishly celebrated in our book, New Roadside America.

We left Seattle, WA, on a six day, three thousand mile voyage which proved that the Pacific Northwest was Chock-Full-Of-Nuts jammed with great stuff. The excuse we made to our homebound wives was that we just had to see the fabled "Oxen Statue That Pees," in Three Forks, MT. But by rising early, not stopping at dusk, and driving as fast as the law allows, we managed to visit 50 other skewed attractions, too.

Route Map

Northwest Jitters

1WA | 2 WA-MT | 3 MT-ID | 4 ID-OR | 5 Portland | 6 OR-WA



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June 1, 2020

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