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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Big Blue Whale

This past November I had a chance to go on an awesome roadtrip across the South and out to Texas.  I had the pleasure of seeing Route 66 for the first time in my entire life.  One true pleasure was to finally get to meet the Big Blue Whale.


Found in Catoosa, OK the Blue Whale is one of the most well known of examples of roadside fiberglass architecture.

An interesting thing about the whale is that was at one point the center piece of a lost roadside attraction.  The attraction was known as the Animal Reptile Kingdom or A.R.K. a roadside zoo contained in a replica of Noah's Ark.  The dilapidated Ark sits quietly off to the side, almost completely forgotten.


There are a few other relics of the old Zoo such as this cage.....


And these strange mushrooms.....


According to these vintage postcards I bought, this place looked awesome......


And they even had Alligators!


Don't get confused either.........As I have previously discussed, alligators DO live in Oklahoma.....

The whale itself used to be a huge local draw as local children jumped off and swam in the lake.....


Now the lake is a little bit murky and gross.  I asked the lady that ran the small gift shop if anyone swam in the lake anymore.  She said there was only one person that did:  a lady from Wisconsin.  She explained that the lady accidentally dropped her keys in the water and spent four hours slopping around trying to find them.  She never did.


Its still a blast to crawl around inside the whale.





The Carpetbagger

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4 comments:

  1. This is so cool! How was the gift shop? So, is this just totally abandoned and anyone can walk up to it, or are they still charging admission to see whats left?

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    Replies
    1. Its free, but it is maintained by a small group of locals that seek to preserve the whale. The gift shop was decent.

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  2. i love that whale so much! on my must see list for sure

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    Replies
    1. It was pretty cool, I have been waiting a very long time to see it

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