Jun 242011

Yesterday started with a walk on the beach. So how bad a day could it be, right? As it turned out, it was a very good day.

A trail leads from the Long Beach Thousand Trails campground to the beach, about a half mile walk, in soft sand. Just getting there will take care of your exercise requirements for the day. Along the way, beach grass and driftwood provide Miss Terry with good photo opportunities.


But the walk was worth it, when we were rewarded with views like this.

Beachscape 2


Greg, Jan, and I found a comfortable log where we could sit and enjoy the day, and the fresh ocean air. Well, fresh except for the dead seagull, or whatever it was that added a putrid aroma to the day.

Jan Greg Nick

Back at the campground, Greg’s cat Mister greeted me. Mister doesn’t know he’s a cat, he thinks he’s a dog, and nobody wants to disabuse him of that notion. As dogs go, he’s several steps down the ladder from a German shepherd, but way above poodles and other yappy little mutts.

Nick and Mister

Our friends Bill Joyce and Diane Melde had told us about a neat place in nearby Ocean Park, called Jack’s Country Store, so we drove up to check it out. What a neat find!

Jacks Country Store

Jack’s reminded us of the old time general stores we have seen in the Amish communities of Indiana, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Jack’s carries everything from antique Aladdin lamps to hardware, fishing gear, tools, and groceries.

Aladdin lamps

The aisles are narrow, and the shelves are piled high with things you probably haven’t seen in years. There were old time kids’ toys, handheld augers, fan belts hanging from the ceiling, and a hundred kinds of hard to find widgets and doodads, that I have no idea what purpose they serve.

Hardware aisle ladder

Hardware aisles

Miss Terry liked the kitchen section, where she found a couple of goodies she couldn’t live without. Jack’s is one place we’ll go back to again while we’re here. If you need it, they probably have it, and even if you’re not looking for anything, you’ll probably find that too.

Kitchen aisle

Driving back to Long Beach, we stopped at Marsh’s Free Museum, which is a combination curio shop, tourist trap, and museum of the macabre. Besides selling everything from post cards to saltwater taffy, souvenirs, and t-shirts, Marsh’s has a neat collection of oddball things on display.


This lion greeted us at the door, setting the tone for our visit.


They have a bunch of antique peep show machines, arcade games, and tools on display.


They also have this two-headed calf, and a horrible looking shark that made me want to stay out of the water.



But the main attraction is Jake, the Alligator Man. Jake is a sideshow attraction from the glory days of places like Atlantic City. It’s worth the trip to Long Beach just to stop at Marsh’s and see Jake. The delicious salt water taffy is just icing on the cake. 🙂


All of that sightseeing made us hungry, so we stopped at the Lost Roo for dinner, on another recommendation from Bill and Diane. It was excellent, and another place we’ll be going back to while we’re in the area.

Back at the campground, I took a nap, and then wrote a new post for my self-publishing blog,  titled The E-Book Explosion. Meanwhile, Miss Terry made another one of her delicious strawberry pies. Did I ever mention that I’ll never be a thin man?

Thought For The Day – When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then mix it with vodka.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Jack, Jake & A Two-Headed Calf”

  1. Spent a couple of weeks where you are last year so interesting. Did you check out the big frying pan in Long Beach and the Lewis & Clark statue and history. Its on one of the corners. Ilwaco has an interesting market on Saturday mornings. Had a good breakfast in the only restaurant that was open that early. Astoria has their market to, but can’t remember what day. Cape Disappointment is a very interesting museum with the Lewis and Clark history of the area and the rescue boats that are used to rescue boaters that get stuck between the ocean and the Columbia River. Oysterville if you want oysters is an interesting drive. Thanks for the memories of where I was before I got sick. Hopefully will get back and finish the 101 south to San Diego.

  2. Well you in my country. My daughter has a beach house within walking distance of Jack’s. They have the best meat you can buy anywhere, We always buy extra to take home. A couple of places you would love are: If you turn right on Bay Ave. (corner of Jack’s) and follow to Sandridge, turn left (Sandridge is the end of Bay) and go about 1/2 a mile or so, you are in Nahcotta. On the right is the Post Office and adjoining is BAILEY’s. They serve breakfast and lunch and they’re Scones are out of this world. They are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s a very small place but so worth it. Then you should follow the signs to Historic Oysterville. It is a fabulous photo opp and the fresh oysters can’t be beat. Finally, if you feel like hiking. Ledbetter Point is the place. Have fun and see you down the road.

  3. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “knots on a log”

  4. Jack’s, the first place I was introduced to on the Long Beach Peninsula. Years ago, when we owned a vacation home there, I was trying to find antioxidant grease for some electrical connections. I called stores in Vancouver, WA, Portland, Or and could not seem to find anyone that had it or knew about it. A friend suggested that I call Jack’s since it was close to where our house was. I told him that I would try, but they probably would not have it either. Imagine my surprise when the gentleman that I talked to at Jack’s not only asked which brand I wanted, but what size of container I needed. After that, if I needed anything Jack’s was the first place I would go. They got a lot of my money over the years we visited there.
    The Peninsula is great great place to visit and even live.
    There used to be a cabinetmaker there that was building custom cabinets for bus conversions. Lived in Ocean Park think on Avenue U. Did some great work.

  5. Hi Nick, Don’t miss the World Kite Museum while you are there in Long Beach. Here is their site http://kitefestival.com/ A great take. They also have a nice boardwalk along the beach so no slogging thru the sand.

  6. Not sure I’d ever be hungry again after seeing Jake! Yuck!

  7. We liked the oyster stew at the restaurant (Rose something) and yarn store in Ocean Park, just down the beach street by Jacks. We stay in Long Beach every year, enjoy the Chinese food too. Are you headed to Aberdeen, Ocean Shores? We recommend Sunrise Resort at Copalis Beach. The Green Lantern had great food, will meet you there if the house closes in a week…..going full time! Husband says Cape Disappointment is a great day trip from Long beach.

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