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Blue Whale2705 N Highway 66, Catoosa, OK
The happy smiling Blue Whale in Catoosa is one of the most recognized icons on Route 66, grab a camera and snap a few photos of this wonderfully light hearted attraction.
So how does something like this show up in a pond in Catoosa, OK? Well, the late Hugh Davis built it as an anniversary gift to his wife Zella, who collected whale figurines. OK this is a bit larger than the average figurine, and apparently so was Hugh's imagination, enthusiasm and ambition, which is good, because this was a huge project.
The spring fed pond surrounding and the Blue Whale was originally just a Davis fun spot where the family and friends hung out fishing and swimming and from what I've read just generally enjoying themselves. Then Hugh built the whale.
OK, here's the deal, if you build a 20 foot tall 80 foot long Blue Whale with water slides for gills and a diving platform for a tail in a pond on the side of a famous highway, it's pretty much bound to attract some attenion.
So over time picnic tables were added and the public was invited to join the party. That party was long over before we found the Blue Whale, but it's still easy to imagine the joyus laughter of children sliding down the gills and diving off the tail.
It took 2 years and the help of a very good friend, but the whale was completed in July 1972 and after what must have been a billion or so laughter filled splashes it closed in 1988.
Happily in the mid 1990s the whale was refurbished and in 2002 a group of whale lovers helped do more updating. This was also the year it received its Roadside Attraction sign. Lights were added in 2010 and in 2011 the whale was repainted.
A lot of work has been done to update this attraction. Davis family members still manage the site.
When we were last there you could still take a walk in the whale, but swimming and diving were no longer allowed.
But WAIT, there's more!
There's this relic of the Ark" that Hugh also built for his beleved wife. Actually the ARK came before the whale. Tha ARK was adorned with cutouts of various animals and was filled with gift items for sale.
Wait WAIT ... THERE'S MORE!
There's a mushroom garden behind the ARK.
To top it all off ....
This photo shows the marker for the Will Rogers Memorial Highway and the old Mail Route at the Blue Whale site.
I love this place!
Photo(s): 2009. 2012, 2016