The Weirdest Damn Building in Tacoma, Washington

I have no idea what the place is.

I have no idea who built it.

I have no idea what purpose it serves, if any.

I only know that, just outside the south side of the Tacoma Dome parking lot, north side of Bull’s Eye Indoor Shooting Range, there stands a building advertising dentistry for 25 cents.

It is, in short, the most beautifully bizarre and weirdest thing in the city of Tacoma. The only possible competition I know of, in fact, is the mysterious suspended bike of Ruston.

As you can see in this photograph, there’s a blue door, a tooth promoting 25 cent dentistry, and a dental chair perched atop an overhang. I don’t know whether the dental work is done on that chair or whether it’s purely ornamental (I hope for the former).

I imagine an old man with a twisted spine and a lab coat two sizes too small for his body scrambling up to the chair at night and performing dental surgery by moonlight. For all ailments, the same solution: removal of every tooth in the mouth.

And yes, that is an enlarged toothbrush just above the door, as well. Let’s not forget that bizarre piece of evidence.

The door is always locked and, far as I can tell, gives no indication as to what is inside.

Also, on the broad side of this most bizarre of buildings is another strange sight, facing an alleyway with a crumbling warehouse on the other side.

Several “windows” are marked out with blue tape, but no actual windows are there. I would say that the tape had been put there as outlines for carpenters to cut actual windows into, but that doesn’t make sense. You don’t cut windows into a building from the outside, far as I know.

Besides, these tape-windows have been on this wall for at least three years. I recall first seeing them that long ago.

There’s no way this oddity is accidental. Somewhere out there is a beautifully mad surrealist who has turned this building into a work of psychotic art.

I’m throwing this story out into the Supreme World Net to see what kicks back. Someone out there, surely, knows the story behind this place.

Contact me. Tell the Northwest Nomad from where this strange place comes, and why. I’ll buy you a beer, and if I buy you one, it’ll probably become twelve.

Is 25 cent dentistry any good? I must know.

Until then, thank you, Weird Architect, Builder of the Strange, whoever thou art who made this mystery a reality. Tacoma owes you a debt of curiosity and wonder.


Whitewater Rafting the Sauk with Triad River Tours

Earlier today, the Northwest Nomad rafted the Sauk River with Triad River Tours. Short version of my experience: it was awesome. Long version: keep reading.

I wasn’t able to get any pictures on this tour because any phone or camera taken on the rafts is basically guaranteed to get destroyed. So ye, my fair readers, shall have to get by with my textual account only. I shall strive to use an inspired pen with which to charm your optical ears.

I’ve rafted Washington whitewater twice before. Both experiences were fun, but a little tame. When I read that the Sauk would be Class 3–4 and that there was some degree of legitimate danger, I assumed it was being exaggerated as a way to boost appeal. I was wrong about that.

Portions of the river were tame, and those were nice because I got to take in the beautiful scenery surrounding the river. The North Cascades are awe-inspiring mountains. I’d be tempted to say the trip would even be worth it just for the views.

Between the tame portions or river were stretches of rapids with names such as Jaws and Whirlpool. These rapids were a lot of fun and had enough wild parts that it got my adrenaline flowing. I bent forward at the front of the boat, howling like a jack ass and paddling euphorically.

Some of those in the back of the raft told me that they were slightly less thrilled. They had fun, too, but if you’re looking for the biggest rush, you want to go to the front of the raft.

Our guides were laid back, fun guys, but also professional and knowledgeable. I never doubted their expertise They shared plenty of whitewater-rating-guide insider jokes, such as this:

“What do you call a river guide without a girlfriend?”


“Homeless.” (Badoom doom!)

The highlight for me was when we were allowed to jump out of the raft and into the water to float down a short stretch of rapids. This situation was far hairier than I expected it to be, and I swallowed a lot of the Sauk.

It was invigorating, though, and I’m sure will be my best memory.

This experience was the best whitewater rafting experience I’ve had. I definitely recommend it.

You can check out Triad here: