We woke to a beautiful morning, packed up, filled with water, dumped our tanks and we were on our way heading north on the prairies:
The road goes on forever:
Trains, trees, river, rock formations – all in a row:
We made our way to Douglas and got settled in their little city park (free):
With the North Platte River in our backyard:
After setting up, we took a walk around the park area, had lunch and then headed off to see the World’s Largest Jackalope:
Isn’t he just the cutest!
From the internet:
History and legend of the Jackalope:
“The jackalope is an antlered species of rabbit, unfortunately rumored to be extinct, though occasional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, suggesting that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in its native home, the American West. The jackalope is an aggressive species, willing to use its antlers to fight. Thus, it is also sometimes called the "warrior rabbit."
Jackalopes possess an uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. Jackalopes become especially vocal before thunderstorms, perhaps because they mate only when lightning flashes (or so it is theorized). When chased, the jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture. For instance, when chased by people it will call out phrases such as, "There he goes, over there," in order to throw pursuers off its track. The best way to catch a jackalope is to lure it with whiskey, as they have a particular fondness for this drink. Once intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt.
Jackalope milk is particularly sought after because it is believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac (for which reason, the jackalope is also sometimes referred to as the 'horny rabbit'). However, it can be incredibly dangerous to milk a jackalope, and any attempt to do so is not advised. A peculiar feature of the milk is that it comes from the animal already homogenized on account of the creature's powerful leaps.
Douglas, Wyoming has declared itself to be the Jackalope capital of America because, according to legend, the first jackalope was spotted there around 1829. A large statue of a jackalope stands in the town center, and every year the town plays host to Jackalope Day, usually held in June. Jackalope hunting licenses can be obtained from the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, though hunting of jackalopes is restricted to the hours of midnight to 2 a.m. on June 31.
The Warrior Rabbit
Douglas Herrick, a long-time resident of Douglas, Wyoming, is often credited with popularizing knowledge of the Jackalope. In the 1930s Douglas and his brother Ralph began selling mounted Jackalope heads to the public, and these became wildly popular. Examples of their work can be found in many bars and homes throughout the United States. Jackalope postcards also became a popular Western souvenir. Douglas Herrick died on January 6, 2003 at the age of 82.
The jackalope is now most commonly sighted in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. However, the jackalope does appear to have a European cousin, which in Germany is known as the wolperdinger. In Sweden, a related species is called the skvader. “
The best part of finding the world’s largest jackalope was that he was located at the Douglas Railroad Interpretive Museum.
This is the original train station:
The center had nine vehicles and we were able to go into 5 of them – how impressive!
Even a potty!
What a great outdoor museum. We stopped inside the train station which was also the visitor center for the area and talked to the folks there. They took us in the back and showed us their model train setup – Such detail!
And shared with us some great stories about the jackalope and the town:
What a gem of a place!
From there we went to the World’s Second Largest Jackalope (a few blocks away). This one was the World’s Largest until they built the one at the train station – .
This one had whiskers – :
Our next stop was the Ayres Natural Bridge:
The way to the Bridge:
The park – so beautiful:
The Natural Bridge:
People cooling off in the river:
And the red rocks surrounding the bridge:
The view on our way back to the interstate:
On our way back, we stopped at the local American Legion and talk with the folks there. Back home we relaxed the rest of the evening.
Today it was 97 degrees here – very hot. We have no hookups so for a few hours we ran the generator to power the AC. We were going to stay another day here but not sure with the heat. Will decide tomorrow so stay tuned.
Stats for today:
Miles Traveled: 63 Miles
Wyoming: 8th Street, GilChrist Street; 9th Street; I-25; West Yellowstone Highway; Grant Street