Starting the Day in Long Beach
Long Beach Travel Blog› entry 3 of 7 › view all entries
We got off to a fairly early start this morning (8:30am) from the beach house. The wedding was not until 4:30 in the afternoon, so we had a good amount of time to explore the area today.
We stopped at a great little coffee shop in Long Beach called the Cottage Bakery and Delicatessan for coffee and muffin (made with locally grown cranberries). I think Paul and I were the only tourists in the place and it was full of locals. When we walked in, one of the ladies behind the counter asked Paul if he had been out digging clams. We were not sure why she asked him, as he was dressed in fairly nice clothes -- definitely not clam digging attire. We got a good chuckle out of that. We sat down to drink our coffee and eat our muffins next to a table of 5 older men doing the crossword puzzle from the morning paper.
One of the places I had read about in the local travel magazine called "Discovery Coast" was called Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach. The Museum is famous in this part of the world for having "Jack the Alligator Man." Jake is evidently the mascot of the Long Beach Peninsula. With all the noise in the magazine and billboards I had seen in town, I had to go get a picture of Jake! As we walked into the Museum, one of the proprietors looked at Paul and asked him if he had been clam digging! I busted a gut laughing as it was the second time that day he had been asked.
Jake is a strange looking thing -- the body of an alligator, the head of a man, and arms that are part alligator, part human looking. It's very leathery and dry looking -- rather mummified in appearance. It is almost black now. They claim that Jake was originally a valet in a New Orleans brothel. Others claim that he was in a side show carnival in the 20's, appearing with the fat lady, the two headed calf and the amazing swami. Whatever his origin, he is certainly something of a conversation piece! Marsh's is full of lots of other things as well -- siamese twin lambs, pirate paraphenalia, Theda Bara's headband, and lots of touristy kitch for sale.
I did have to get a couple of refrigerator magnets with Jake on them, as well as a shot glass with him for my shot glass collection. Guess the Free Museum isn't really free after all since 99% of the people end up buying something in the store!
We also had to check out a local artist who carved large statues out of logs with a chainsaw.
From there, it was off to Ilwaco and more exploring.