Land Of 1,000 Dunces

…wait, that wasn’t the song title

CritterCon 11

Trip Day Three (By Janet)

Hello there! I’m Janet and I’m a skunk. I’ll be writing today’s trip report, but first, I’d just like to thank everyone for being so nice and accepting of me. We skunks tend to keep everyone away via our not undeserved reputation, but Doc & Grace and their canine kids have always been nothing but kind and welcoming to me. It was nice to know that their friends were the same sort of people.

(Silky: You are very easy to like, honey.)

(Roxie: She certainly is!)

Now, I tend to be less skilled at writing on my own and more skilled at organization of other folks writing, probably because my day job is working for the Greater Sacramento NHT Council as a Planning Specialist. That means that my report here will look a bit different. I hope you like it.

7:30 am: We all had another marvelous breakfast together. I really love what the kitchen staff can do with a bowl of worms, grubs and wet cat food. I’m going to have to watch my waistline on this trip.

(Roxie: Oh yes, they do know how to do cat food right.)

(Penny: Smoked salmon in my food? Yes please!)


8:30 am: We left San Clemente and drove down the coast about half an hour, then turned east on a paved road that took us up into the hills. After about 8 miles, we turned onto a gravel road that lead us to Tunnel Town.

(Sasha: As roadside attraction town names go, this one was a 5 on the WhatTheFuck-O-Meter.)

It seems that Tunnel Town is an actual small…very small…town entirely inside old tunnel made by the US military back in the 1950’s and early 60s. Then, a man made plague killed most of the population of Russia and rendered 90% of the land there dangerous to human life, so the Cold War ended just after these tunnels were completed.

(Goldie: Pity poor Donald Trump. On this Earth, he had to marry native U.S. Citizens.)

(Silky: Actually, on this Earth, Cheetoface, is doing a 40 to life stretch in the pen for a variety of crimes, but mostly for losing his temper while arguing with his dad and tossing old Fred off a 15 story building.)

(Max: I hear his name in prison is Onyer Knees Bitch.)

 

As seems to be the case in many of these roadside places, the land was bought up by a person with plenty of money and some strange ideas. Her name was Lucille Statsworth and her strangeness was of a religious nature.

(Sasha: And by that you know that she was human.)

Before you know it, she had convinced 267 other people that God was going to come soon and kill everyone living above ground, so they all moved into the tunnels and started up a town. At it’s most populous, the town had almost 900 people living in the 4 miles of 50 foot diameter tunnels. Then in 1988, Lucille died and things fell apart pretty quickly.

Today, there are still 100 people living in Tunnel Town. Most of them are older folks and all of them are very pale. We toured the town, escorted by a 70ish gentleman named Frank. It was an interesting tour and we all bought t-shirts and things before we left.

(Luke: If Dad ever goes crazy, he’ll probably open up “Roadside Souvenir Town”.)

(Daisy: “If”?)

10:00 am: We left Tunnel Town and continued down the freeway to another stop, Starbase 9. This is a 50 acre television and movie set built on land that in our world would be part of the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. On this world, no Russians apparently meant much less money for defense, so the Marine Base is much smaller.

(Sadie: Like, only 100 billion dollars.)


Starbase 9 was built for the original Star Trek series. It has areas that include an alien jungle, a war ravaged city, strange alien ruins and the interiors to both alien and human homes & offices. Of course, it also includes the starbase. The sets have been used in all 4 Star Trek TV series, as well as the 9 Star Trek movies. They have also been used in many other movies and television shows.

(Daisy: It was like a beautiful dream come true!)

(Sasha: She actually drooled on some things.)

(Misty: And she was in her human body when she did it.)

Now, my best friend, Daisy, is a huge Star Trek fan. So are most of the humans and several of the critters in our group. That will explain why we paid $20 each and spent three and a half hours at this stop, including lunch. We all enjoyed it and Daisy & Max spent a whole lot of money on souvenirs and such.

(Max: By the time we left, my wallet was as empty as a treat bag in a dog park.)


2:15: This is when we got to The World Famous Monster Museum. As with many museums such as this, it is in a very large warehouse sort of structure. The entrance fee was $7.50 and most of our group were very excited to see what was inside.

What was inside were statues, and in a few cases preserved bodies, of monsters from nature, myth, legend and entertainment. We went through the Nature’s Monsters area pretty quickly, with three exceptions: the taxidermied body of one of those huge pythons we saw live yesterday (this one 38 feet long), the preserved body of a “very young” Giant Pacific Octopus (it was 24 feet long and would be 5 times that size as an adult), and the skeleton of “the last Dire Wolf” (killed in Siberia in 1670).

(Sasha: That octopus guaranteed that Mom will never go anywhere neat the ocean on this Earth.)

(Luke: Yeah, she’s twitchy tonight and we are 5 miles from the beach.)

(Penny: She’s not the only one. Screw that 125 foot long octopus stuff!)


The Myths & Legends area was actually the largest area in the building, containing statues that represented creatures from dozens of cultures. Some of them were very strange looking.

(Roxie: All told, I give Asia the nod for most bizarre monsters.)


Naturally, the Monsters from Entertainment area was a big favorite. There must been 300 monsters from literature, radio, television and the movies. Between Doc and the rest of the humans, most of them were pretty well known. That section ended at a door that read “This Way To The Big Guys”. Sure enough, on the other side of the door was an outside area with full sized models of everything from King Kong to the ants from “Them” to Godzilla. There was actual squeeing going on.

(Sadie: I’m pretty sure Uncle Doc said “Holy shit!” at least 30 times.)

(Misty: The statue of Mothra was made even more impressive by the statues of two very little women beneath it.)


We spent two and a half hours there and still had to nearly drag away Doc, Daisy, Max and some of the others. Personally, I found it a bit more worrisome that Sasha spent the whole time there taking notes.

(Sasha: It was all grist for the idea mill.)


5:30: At this point, we parked the van at the San Diego KOA campground for the night. We have since had a wonderful Mexican dinner, after which we played board and card games for three hours. We all had fun.

(Luke: Leon ran a short Warhammer minis scenario.)

(Silky: I won our Unfair game.)


Now, it’s time for me to get my beauty rest. Tomorrow, Leon will be doing the trip reporting.

Good night, everyone!

Janet

Destination Sign When We Started: Under The Sea
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Over The Rainbow

QM Radio Station: Old Time Radio Comedy

 

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