Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vintage Roadside Visits: The Prehistoric Gardens

We're huge fans of dinosaur attractions here at Vintage Roadside. We've dug for fossils at The Petrified Creatures Museum in Richfield Springs, NY, smiled for days after seeing the animated dinosaurs at Stewart's Petrified Wood outside Holbrook, AZ, and stood in awe at the feet of the world's largest dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA. But until recently we'd been missing out on what has become one of our all-time favorites - The Prehistoric Gardens near Port Orford, OR.

The dinosaurs in the attraction are the work of sculptor E.V. Nelson. He began work in 1953 and based his dinosaurs on "extensive research at the larger natural history museums of the United States: the American Museum in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Denver Museum and many others; and at the Geology and Paleontology Departments of the University of Oregon."

We visited on a rainy, gray day in early March and found the weather fit the setting perfectly - water dripped off of the moss-covered trees and the creek bubbled noisily through the woods. Here's what the brochure has to say about the setting:

"These Rain Forests are different from other forested areas, and are due to several localized conditions...our average rainfall is over 6 1/2 feet per year. This heavy rainfall makes it possible for the Rain Forest vegetation to grow so abundantly: here the ferns grow to gigantic size, many types of mosses hang from the trees, and even the common skunk cabbage develops huge tropical leaves."

The brochure also includes this handy map:

Here are a few of the photos we took on our visit - remember to follow the tracks.

Stinky used to demonstrate how large a dinosaur track would be compared to a full grown human.

Gigantic turtle

Armor plated

Baby Triceratops

No surprise this guy never survived

All of the displays have these great informational signs

Even though it was still early March you can see how tidy the Gardens and trails are as well as the dinosaurs

Stinky once again demonstrates scale

The parrot-beaked Psittacosaurus

A short video we filmed on our visit

If you find yourself heading along the southern Oregon coast we'd highly recommend a stop at The Gardens!

Jeff & Kelly

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vintage Roadside Visits: Aquarama Aquamaid Marion

We're pleased to share our most recent Aquarama interview as today we catch up with Aquamaid Marion. Without further ado here are some of Marion's memories of her time as a mermaid.

Vintage Roadside: Do you remember how you first heard of the Aquarama?

Marion: Liz Nelson was a good friend and she encouraged me to audition. I was a year younger. Liz lived close to me and drove a big, white Blazer type machine called a Scout but it had a special nickname. We drove to Eldon a lot in the big Scout because it was the place to shop. Very little shopping at the lake. Sometimes we drove to Jefferson City...that was a BIG trip for a little girl from the lake.

Marion 4th from right and Liz 3rd from right. Photo courtesy of Marc

Vintage Roadside: Did you know any of the others from the cast that summer?

Marion: Yes, Liz, Mary, Alice and Michelle. Michelle was a year younger and her brother Bob and I were an item for a short time in high school.

Vintage Roadside: Did you have any water training or experience before the Aquarama?

Marion: Yes, I had lifeguard certification.

Vintage Roadside: It seems everyone who performed at the Aquarama had a favorite routine. What was yours?

Marion: Eating the banana underwater - it was a challenge! I also liked the clown outfit.

Vintage Roadside: A vote for the clown outfit! If you had to choose another favorite which would you go with?

Marion: Besides the clown outfit, the white go-go outfit was awesome.

Vintage Roadside: We've heard stories from most of the Aquamaids that it was a bit of a battle to keep their hair in good shape. Any memories of the effects on your hair?

Marion: I have curly hair and it did a drying number on my hair. But I was young...what the heck, I wasn't worried at the time.

Please note the photo above is a few years after the Aquarama, but we love it and Marion was kind enough to let us post it on the blog. Thanks again Marion! :-)

Vintage Roadside: Any memories of things not going exactly as planned in the performance?

Marion: We liked to pinch the air hose and cut off oxygen and watch each other squirm.

Vintage Roadside: Ah, practical jokes! Any others you remember?

Marion: If I remember correctly, we used to place small buckets of water on top of the door so they would fall over and get you all wet after the show. If memory serves me correctly we did something to Mary one night. Mary was very pretty and always looked perfect before she left the show. One night we got her all wet. She was pretty mad because she had a date that night.

Vintage Roadside: Do you remember Nola Johl?

Marion: Nola was bigger than life. I was in awe of her.

Vintage Roadside: How did your next job compare with being a mermaid?

Marion: Nothing compares to being a mermaid. It was the best job in the world!!!! It was the closest thing to being in "Show Biz".

Vintage Roadside: Not many people can say they were a real-life mermaid. Do you still think about those times?

Marion: I do professional development for teachers and my favorite creation and Powerpoint presentation is called "Don't Judge a Mermaid by the Color of Her Fin." It's about at-risk kids and their special needs. I presented this district wide last month.

Vintage Roadside: When we first talked you mentioned that you had a team leader name that gave a nod to your time at the Aquarama. What was that again?

Marion: At school, they call me "the Mermaid."

Vintage Roadside: Thanks again Marion, it was wonderful to hear about your time at the Aquarama!

Do you have memories of the Aquarama? If so we'd love to hear from you! Click here for our contact form.

Jeff & Kelly
Vintage Roadside

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2011 Modernism Week Vintage Travel Trailer Show

A recent addition to Modernism Week is the Vintage Travel Trailer Show. In only its second year the show has more than doubled and the quality of the trailers on display is truly amazing. The setting for this year's show was the Riviera Resort.

The line-up for the 2011 show was as follows:

1935 Bowlus Road Chief
1960 Airstream Caravel
1959 Airstream Globetrotter
1962 Airstream Flying Cloud
1962 Airstream Globe Trotter
1961 Airstream Bambi
1960 Holiday House
1950 Airfloat Landyacht
1973 Airstream Safari
1969 Airstream Tradewind
1948 Airstream Trail Wind
1948 Spartan Manor
1958 Airstream Caravanner
1936 Airstream Clipper
1948 Westcraft
1965 Airstream Caravel
1955 Spartan Manor
1948 La Cosse Vacationer

1935 Bowlus Road Chief

Bowlus Road Chief detail

Bowlus Road Chief interior

1960 Holiday House

Whenever the guys from Funky Junk Farms show up you're guaranteed to see something cool.

Stove inside the 1948 Spartan Manor

1960 Airstream Caravel

Interior of the 1950 Airfloat Landyacht

Exterior of the 1950 Airfloat Landyacht

We had a great time at the show and wanted to say thanks again to the organizers, the trailer owners, and everyone that stopped by the Vintage Roadside booth!

See you again next year,

Jeff & Kelly