Have you heard of the strange side road stop – Uranus, Missouri?
I hadn’t either until we recently were driving East on I-64 and on the West side of Rolla started seeing billboards touting this oddity tourist trap. Marketing that included “Uranus, Missouri – Fudge Factory Now Open” and pictures of giant dinosaur statues. The tongue and “cheek” humor peeked my interest and the dinosaur statues are great for any kid. So it worked out that we needed to get “gas” at the same “exit” of Uranus.
Ok, I can’t help myself with all the puns.
Neither can the people that work there. At the general store, almost everyone entering the store was greated with “Welcome… to Uranus!” Their uniform tshirts had so pretty stinky puns. And in the girls bathroom was this sign…
The setup was old storefronts kind of like the set for an old western. There was a town jail, general store, old cocina-isk bar/restaurant, but also included modern amenities like the snow cone trailer. By far, though, my favorite part about the whole place was the Circus Side Show Museum.
After being in the car for over 5 hours with 5 hours to go, gambling $2 per kid and $5 per adult for museum admission seemed like a good idea. It was a gamble that paid off. I have always been a fan of museums like Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Guinness Book of World Records so this was right up my alley.
The kids were not so sure about it.
It was a small museum but houses the largest collection of side show memorabilia which includes marketing banners. There were live animals like a capybara, snakes, turtles, and a 17 year old two headed turtle which was sooo cool. Italso had creapy dead animals preserved in jars, shrunken heads, stuffed animals with two heads or extra limbs, a life sized poster of the tallest man to ever live (which was SO cool!) plus one of his shoes, some fake things like mummified mermaids etc, and other cool naturally occurring anomalies.
By far, though, my favorite was the actual side show sword swallower.
Cat Lady was AMAZING! Not only did she tell some really punny jokes, in my 40+++ years of life I’ve never seen a sword swallower in person (Well, maybe at a Jim Rose Circus show 20+ years ago, from far away at a NIN concert). Her leopard tats and cat ear implants just added to the fun. Anyway, she swallowed a long thin light to prove it wasn’t a trick which glowed in her throat! WOW! For a tip, cat lady drew us a drawing with markers attached to a sword while it was being swallowed by her. CRAZY!
That’s my hand holding up the paper…
So if you are looking for a Strange Side Road Stop along I-64 on a long road trip and need to stretch your legs or are between Springfield and St. Louis for whatever reason, be sure to stop and visit Uranus, Missouri. It’s out of this world! LOL