Blog California

Budget alternatives to actually visiting Egypt

September 22, 2021

Unless a bag of money falls on my head, I’m probably never going to see the Valley of the Kings. So I’ll just tell myself it’s overrated, even though it’s obviously not.

Meanwhile, if you are feeling the same way and are a resident of Northern California, you can simulate the experience of visiting Egypt. I mean, not really, and if we’re being honest you can’t even come close. But you can visit a miniature pyramid with an actual dead person in it, and you can also go to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, where you can see this dude:

This is Usermontu, who died 2,600 years ago and also has a nine-inch metal screw in his leg. The screw was probably used to reattach the severed limb after his death. It’s the first known example of this sort of procedure. 

Anyway, whether or not you think it’s okay to keep corpses in glass boxes for tourists to look at or if you think it’s kind of morally ambiguous that a weird Hermetic/Jewish mysticism/Christian Gnosticism fraternal order brotherhood thingy is in possession of a bunch Egypt’s stuff is not the point (though if anyone has insight on that bizarre relationship I’d love to hear it). Still, if you can overlook all of that and you want to see a couple of thousands-of-years-old dead people plus mummified cats, birds, fish, and the mummified head of a bull, well, the place is pretty cool. Plus, you will have the joy of not being able to actually look at and understand everything because there’s so much of it that after about an hour your kids will go, “Mom! Stop reading everything we want to leeeeeeave!” 

There’s also a walk-through replica of an Egyptian tomb though I’m pretty sure you’re actually not supposed to hang out in the sarcophagus.

I don’t know this kid.

I also want to talk about this place, which we revisited over the weekend:

The final resting place of Joel Parker Whitney.

This is the miniature pyramid that serves as the final resting place for Joel Parker Whitney, who exactly no one would remember except that he’s buried in a pyramid on a golf course.

The first time we went to Joel’s tomb we wandered all over the golf course trying to find it, asked at the clubhouse, and asked a bunch of people in golf carts, the latter of which had no idea even though it was literally like 100 feet from where we were standing at the time. Turns out people on the internet want to talk about this place but no one wants to tell you how to get there and though it was annoying at the time, the hunt was almost as fun as actually seeing the place. This time our visit was a bit anticlimactic because we knew exactly where it was. 

So I’m kind of torn … I could give you directions but it might not be as much fun for you, so I’ll just give you some sort of half-ass directions and preface them with a spoiler alert.

SPOILER ALERT: To get to Joel Parker Whitney’s tomb, park at Monument Park in Rocklin. A wide, dirt trail bisects the park. Go down the dirt trail until you see a large, rusted metal pipe lying on a fence. You’ll be able to cross the fence there. Go left down the paved walkway. Not far down on your right, there will be a black wrought iron fence. The pyramid is visible behind the fence. The gate is locked but it’s ajar so you can pretend like you didn’t notice you weren’t supposed to go in. There is a plaque at the head of the path to the pyramid so I’m pretty sure no one actually cares if you visit. The gate is probably just there so if you cause damage they can say, “Hey, you were obviously trespassing!” 

I guess my directions were kind of better than half-ass. Let me know if you find it. And say “hi” to Joel for the Robins Family.