So yes, I said the 'Other Innsmouth'. For those not in the know, HPL based his description of Innsmouth on Gloucester, as well as the nearby port of Newburyport. I wasn't originally planning on going to Newburyport, but as I said, I had a random desire to drive so I went ahead and did it. Drove through various towns in Essex, if I'd had more time and more of a plan I'd have stopped at various museums I passed, along with various cool old buildings. Next time (and yes there will be a next time) I'll have to make more stops.
Got to Newburyport, and I got an odd vibe. Not bad, but definitely more
touristy and 'hipsterish' than Innsmouth Prime. Drove around a bit,
stopped to find some lunch and a bookstore, found the bookstore but
nothing lunchy. Pulled out the Shining Trapezohedron and tried to find a
place that didn't charge $20 for a basic cheeseburger. I was not successful.
I widened the search and found a place on the way back that looked tasty,
didn't use ingredients that I had to google, and was reasonably priced.
So I turned back around and found the Choate Bridge Pub. Your basic
local place. Got a burger than was perfectly cooked and tasty, fries were
good, and the service was great. Definitely worth the driving. Then I
decided to go visit yet another Innsmouth...
In the story 'Shadow Over Innsmouth', HPL doesn't say exactly where the
town is, but he gives a lot of clues. There's a river, it's near Newburyport
and Rowley, it's past Plum Island by some amount, and there's marshland.
And I've spent more than a little time on Google Maps trying to puzzle out
a location. And as luck would have it, I'm just a smallish drive from
the location. So I decide to see if I can get there. So I drive down
winding roads, and some nice views of the water...and my GPS says it's
right ahead...and there's a sign saying 'No thru traffic, private' and a
security guard/suit. Now it could just be a private community, or Innsmouth
could have some secrets it wants to keep, even from a cultist like me.
So I decided discretion is the better part of valor, so I turned around and
drove a bit away to a public beach. Could see part of the community, but
not much. Was a really nice view of the water, I will neither confirm or
deny the presence of shapes in the water. Also, keeping the location to
my self. First Oath of Dagon all that jazz *wink*
From there I headed down to Manchester-by-the-Sea for another bookstore
that came well recommended. I also met a very friendly dog and his family.
Gave pets, then said something about 'Ok, your Mom has places to go' and she
came back with 'Oh no, we go on his schedule'. So more petting was had.
*laugh* From the bookstore I headed back to the hotel, and had a quiet
night of book, snacks, and early to bed. I had to be up early next
day to go sailing.