The Catoosa Blue Whale in Oklahoma is one of the most famous landmarks on Route 66.
Situated on the shore of a pond in the town of Catoosa, the wooden structure has a slide leading to the water and a pair of ladders that allow you to climb up and view the vista from the whale’s head or tail.
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Maintaining the Catoosa Blue Whale
During my 13 day adventure across the country on Route 66, I was fortunate enough to visit the Catoose Blue Whale.
After spending some time wandering around the historical site, I was approached by Lee Davis: one of the seven men who rescued this classic bit of Americana from ruin in the 1990′s and who still helps maintain it today.
According to Lee:
Referred to as Blue by those who maintain him, the Catoosa Whale was built by Hugh Davis in the early 1970s as an anniversary gift to his wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines.
It enjoyed massive popularity during the heyday of Route 66, but after the road was decommissioned the couple no longer could maintain the whale and closed it to the public in 1988.
Catoosa’s largest wooden resident remained closed for years until the late 90s when Lee and his friends banded together and raised the funds needed to restore the whale.
Today, the site is once again open for tourism and a can’t-miss stop for those driving the Mother Road.
A Postcard From Blue!
A few months ago there was a tweet from the official Blue Whale Twitter account asking followers to participate in a postcard exchange.
I sent them a nice one of the Painted Ladies of San Francisco and, two days ago, I received a handwritten reply from Blue himself: postmarked Catoosa, May 26, 2011.
This is what it looked like.