“In the Pines Where the Sun Never Shines”

My feet crunched over the covered ground beneath me. Peering down, I saw the trail of crushed twigs and leaves scattered throughout. I had forgotten I was inside, lost in this fantastic world of fantasy.

My wide eyes whizzed around the room, taking in all of the creatures that I had read about as a kid. The Princess Bride’s gown glistened in the glass case next to Inigo Montoya’s silver sword. Robin Hood’s tales of robbing the rich echoed throughout the halls. Everything appeared enraptured by Tinkerbell’s fairy dust. What more could a 5 year old at heart ask for? Oh, but there was more…

Weapons from the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Brad grabbed my hand and I saw it: the slender cane, drenched in the deepest black, holding up Saruman’s stone that gleamed in the light. He had used the staff to destroy almost all of Middle Earth. Legend. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’d understand, and if you’re not, don’t bother reading the rest of this blog because it’s about to get way nerdier.

I glanced over at Brad, who looked like he was about to break into the case and start flailing Saruman’s staff around. Seriously though, I didn’t think he was going to be able to control himself. What a nerd, right?

The Terminator

Well, we better get the hell out of this room before one of us goes bonkers. Also, we were on a time limit. I forgot to mention that. This fantasy land was about to close in an hour, and there was so much more to see. We had rushed here, just before closing time. And where is here, you ask? The Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum nestled underneath the Seattle Space Needle. This is not just your regular museum; it is the perfect culmination of pop-culture, featuring exhibits on Nintendo, music, horror, sci-fi, and more. Thank you, Paul Allen, for creating the most magical museum in all the land. And, big thanks to the guy in the tie-dye shirt at Three Sisters Café in Pike Place, Seattle, for encouraging us to venture to this stellar museum in the first place.

Gizmo is dead

Anyway, we continued through the museum, stepping through the wormhole a little further with each room. I felt like little Alice, lost in Wonderland, waiting for Absalom to come blow smoke in my eyes, riddling words of wisdom that would dance around my dome.

Walking the halls, horror stories came to life. Meandering Martians, gremlins, human butchers, predators, terminators, and everything terrifying glared down at us from their glass cases. I had to remind myself that they weren’t real, or at least they were in captivity now.

Scurrying away from the scary stuff, we hustled to the hall of music, featuring

An  image painted by Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain

Washington’s own Jimi Hendrix & Nirvana. In heaven, we read everything about the local rock n’ rollers, listening to their tunes, and excitedly turning to each other in wonder. We couldn’t contain our excitement, burying our minds in their music, until the security guards came to tell us EMP was coming to a close. Bummed, we begrudgingly left the exhibit, but stayed in their gift shop until forced to leave. We didn’t want the fantasy to end, so from there, we trekked further into Washington, toward Olympic National Park, the ominous home of Bigfoot. Would we find the mysterious Squatch? I don’t know, but we were willing to find out. And on we went, to find Bigfoot’s den.