Mythical and mysterious places of the Northwest?
May 14, 2009 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Have car, seek roadtrip and adventure! What are some secret/mythical/mysterious/epic places in WA state (or nearby states), that would be a destination fit for pilgrimage? Centralia / Silent Hill is in PA. The Abyss is in SC, Area51 is in NV, Mesa Verde is in CO, Barringer Crater is in AZ, etc etc. What mysterious secret places can be pried from the Northwest?

I'm fit and able, so the destination doesn't need a road right up to the front porch (and is perhaps better if some element of challenge is involved), but the vehicle is a (very) low street-car, so the first challenge is not being able to use offroad/rough/4x4 routes. (Of course, if 4x4 is required but the destination is mysterious enough, then it will be appreciatively filed away for future adventure)
posted by anonymisc to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Ape Cave and the Maryhill Museum [across the street from the world's second largest Stonehenge] should be on your list.
posted by jessamyn at 7:02 PM on May 14, 2009

crater lake's pretty cool, no?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:10 PM on May 14, 2009

About the only place like that I can think of in the NorthWest is the Oregon Vortex.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:40 PM on May 14, 2009

Odd vacation places usually cause me to pull up Roadside America first...

Things that sound oddly fun? 1. The Twin Peaks Town (Northen Exposure too - but it isn't anywhere near as creepy as anything David Lynch did). 2. Hanaford Science Center (used to be a manhattan project site). 3. Atomic City (In Idaho) 4. Evel Keneivel's Jumpsite across the Grand canyon (In Idaho). 5. Tour the World's First Atamic Powe Plant in Arco (In Idaho)
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:53 PM on May 14, 2009

The fumarole caves on Mount Rainier's summit:

The lowest, point mapped [elevation 13,870 feet (4,228 m)] is in a large room that is connected to the perimeter passage by a side passage that is 120 feet (36.6 m) long. The room measures 120 by 120 feet (36.6 by 36.6 m) and is 70 feet (21.3 m) high; it lies directly over a platform-like bench of rock that has a very precipitous down slope face. The crater wall continues to descend beyond the junction of the ice wall and floor. By projecting floor slopes from this point toward the nearby crater center, a maximum ice fill of 500 feet (152 m) was estimated. Two rather unusual objects were found in this deep room. Lying on the floor was a badly decomposed shore bird, tentatively identified as a greater yellowlegs (Totanus melanoleucus), and protruding from the ceiling ice was a red woolen glove. Both objects were originally deposited on the surface and gradually worked 260 to 300 feet (79 to 91 m) downward as ice was melted from below. The glove was probably dropped less than 50 years ago by a climber, and the bird could have been a storm casualty. The frozen remains of a similar bird were found on the snow of the crater surface. The neck and head were missing from both animals, and we can offer no reasonable explanation for this...

(is that off-road enough?)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:55 PM on May 14, 2009

The Channeled Scablands provide some nice roadtrip destinations, and they are mysterious if you don't buy the theory that they were formed by an epic flood. The Mima Mounds are mysterious and interesting, but I'd rate them about as epic as a nice stroll through a park.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:59 PM on May 14, 2009

Take I-90E from Seattle to I-82. Follow I-82 towards Yakima. Just north of the Fred G. Redmon Bridge is a rest stop. Look east down the hill & you can see the NSA's Yakima Research Station/Echeleon listening post. You're advised not to try to get a closer look as you risk arrest for attempting to infiltrate a National Security sensitive site.
posted by scalefree at 8:25 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

You had me excited, but according to Wikipedia The Abyss sets were demolished in 2007 and a new nuclear power plant is being build on the site.
posted by PueExMachina at 9:57 PM on May 14, 2009

Crack in the Ground and Hole in the Ground in Oregon. Mel's Hole in Washington (good luck finding that one). There are also so many wonderful hot springs in the Northwest and all that I have been to are epic places.

Nanukthedog: It is Hanford Science Center -- and that is just a museum in Richland, WA dedicated to the Hanford area which is actually out of town about an hour. Also, the Grand Canyon isn't in Idaho so perhaps you are thinking of Evel Keneivel's attempt to jump across the Snake River Canyon.
posted by fieldtrip at 10:21 PM on May 14, 2009

I'll second the Scablands as a destination, especially if you watch that episode of Nova first. Massive channels & 50-foot potholes carved into the rock in a matter of minutes by a 200 foot wall of water, it just staggers the imagination.
posted by scalefree at 11:16 PM on May 14, 2009

You're right next to Vancouver. Go get your X-Files on.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:43 AM on May 15, 2009

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