Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Grave of Satan

Looking for the grave of Satan? Well look no further, Satan is buried right here in the Keystone state. In fact, he's been buried here since 1979. Lying nearby in the cemetery is also Muffin, Sparky, and Corky. There's even a horse buried nearby. So are these the hounds of Hell and one of the 4 horses of the apocalypse? Well considering they are buried in a pet cemetery, I guess it's plausible. Giving the good Samaritan deeds that take place in the nearby animal rescue mission, it's doubtful.

The St. Francisvale was opened in 1909. The founders, Dr. and Mrs. George McClellan had a soft spot in their hearts for pets. While driving home one day in a blustery snowstorm the couple spotted a puppy freezing along the cold streets. The family brought the dog in and named him Francis. Shortly thereafter they started the Vale and Rescue Mission.

They mainly do rescuing of dogs and cats, though occasionally they get horses and other animals. What separates this place from the other missions is their no-kill policy: they will take care of the creatures until they find a home. In this day and age of puppy mils and dog fighting, it's nice to know there is still some compassion for these unwanted animals, even ones named Satan!

More on Satan's Grave and nearby Outta the Way spots

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Outta the Way! on YouTube

A little more then a year ago I was getting ready to celebrate another birthday, certainly a time not many look forward to. In my opinion it's all pretty much downhill after 21. I greatly appreciate all the wisdom I have learned from that point on, but how many people say I can't wait until I'm 40, think of how much I will have learned! But no matter what age, birthdays are always an important milestone that need to be celebrated. My girlfriend has been particularly amazing in this category, due to the fact that my birthday falls shortly after the New Year it's quite easy to forget through all the stressful festivities that precede it. She's never been one to make me feel forgotten. As the days to my birthday drew closer I still had no idea what I wanted for a present, I'm usually just as overwhelmed as everyone else is during this time. Finally after seeing numerous Flip video commercials, I jokingly, but with seriousness asked for this new gadget. I'm not the type who has to have all the new electronics as soon as they hit the market, just take a look at my VHS collection, but I felt this would be a great marketing tool for my business.

Quickly after getting the Flip camera I began to travel to places I had already visited so I could document my trips in a whole new format. I found making the videos became an integral part of our explorations, it allowed me to show my fans and followers a more fluid journey along with us. Film and cinema have always played an important role in my life, now I felt as though I was the director of my own little adventures.

In slightly over one years time I put together nearly 90 movies of our mysterious journeys. During this time I have been able to discover the marketing power of YouTube as a social network. I have found my videos get shared quite often and some have reached over a few thousand views, and have helped to contribute to more sales in my shop. Thanks to the magic of Flip video and YouTube, I have found a more exciting way to network my business, and help generate a bit more income.

Our YouTube channel

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum

Located west of Gettysburg in the small town of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, a unique place catches your eye. The 9 1/2 foot tall elephant along the road is a good indication you're in for a special treat. This elephant will even teach you about the area, tell a few jokes, then gets ready to go back to napping. Her name is Miss Ellie, she's operated by an electric eye and has moving eyes and ears. Her owner, Mr. Ed Gotwalt has become sort of fascinated with these docile creatures.

Ed received his first elephant in 1967 as a wedding gift. Elephants are thought to bring good luck, particularly if it's trunk is in the air. Ed started out in the peanut business - in fact he still is. Guess who ever got Ed this gift had quite a sense of humor. Ed then began collecting elephants himself, figuring it would help to promote his peanut business. Ed's collection began to grow and in 1975 his wife made him open a museum, as they were beginning to overcome their home.

Inside the museum you'll find over 6,000 elephants. Included are toys, pins, stuffed animals, and collectibles. Mister Ed's has the distinction of being one of the largest and most unique elephant collections in the world. Though on a somber summer day in 2010, some vandals found enjoyment in destroying one man's passion. Mister Ed's Elephant Museum became a target of arson. The fire destroyed nearly 1/3 of Ed's collection. Thankfully lots of community support helped to liven the spirits of Ed. More than 1,000 elephants were donated to help build the museum collection.

Having never been dissuaded helped Mister Ed to re-live his dream, a brand new elephant museum has recently opened. Complete with two new elephant sculptures created out of the salvaged pieces and remains of the former collectibles that were destroyed.

Mister Ed is even sort of a celebrity in the area as he's been featured in the offbeat comedy "Route 30", and will make a return in the upcoming sequel. After enjoying all of Mister Ed's elephants be sure to visit the candy room, one of the largest in the area specializing in candy from the 5 and dime days. And of course Ed still carries his famous roasted peanuts, what better way to celebrate a day of elephants and a man's passion than with a big bag of peanuts.

Inside look at original Mister Ed's

Return look at New Mister Ed's

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Nicholas Coal Breaker

The St. Nicholas Coal Breaker, outside of Mahanoy City, is an imposing abandoned industrial mammoth to behold. One time it was the largest coal breaker in the world. Now it lies empty as if the world around it just ended. The place is still in decent shape, despite 45 years of being forgotten. Reports from those who have been on the inside say it looks as though everyone just left one day and never returned. Aside from a lot of broken windows, the place has seemed to not be succumbed with the normal graffiti that happens with places like this.

The breaker started operation in 1932 and was owned by the Reading Anthracite Company. The breaker is so large that half of the village of nearby Suffolk was relocated to make room.

A coal breaker does just what its name says: breaks coal into various sizes to be used in furnaces. During its heyday, the breaker would produce 12,500 tons of coal a day. The setup was so efficient it took only 12 minutes for the raw coal to pass through the entire production process. The breaker was in operation for 31 years before closing in 1963. The breaker consists of 3,800 tons of steel, 10,000 cubic yards of concrete, 1 ½ miles of conveyors, 20 miles of piping and 118 miles of wire and cable. Quite an impressive feat of engineering, if you ask me.

Outta the Way recommends getting a glimpse of this massive factory before it’s sure to meet its demise, the wrecking ball.