Route 66 #1

Route 66 #1
Route 66 Museum

Friday, August 16, 2013

Route 66 Kids Picks - #1 The Blue Whale of Catoosa

A kids opinion - James 10 years old

"I really like the Blue Whale it reminded me of the story of Jonah and the Whale, and getting swallowed up by the whale. I also thought it was really cool that it use to be a waterpark, I wish it still was. I also liked climbing around too, the holes on top are really neat to look out of"

As you can tell my son loves the Blue Whale. It feeds kids imaginations in many different ways, in everything from pretending to be in Jonah and the Whale, to trying to imagine what this place was like as a fully functioning watermark in the 70's and 80's. It's a great break off of 66, and lets everyone take a respite from the travel and have some fun too. By the way there is a geocache here too, if you want to make to most of your stop. 

Follow a later 4 lane section of Route 66 between Claremore, and the urban sprall of Tulsa to an interesting site near the town of Catoosa. Here you will find hidden on a picturesque pond, and behind some trees from 66, the famous (To Route 66 travelers) Blue Whale of Catoosa. 

Unlike a lot of other sites on 66 the Blue Whale is a new comer, built in 1972 after 66's heyday but before its decommissioning. But the Blue Whale is as big a part of Route 66 as the Wigwam Motel, or Gemini Giant. The Blue Whale was built by hand on the property of former owner Hugh Davis, who came upon the idea through divine inspiration, and we glad that happened. 

Eventually the Whale became the center of a small waterpark, and many reminders of it are still there till this day. Although it was primitive by today's wave pool, 200 foot drop water slide comparison, many residents of Catoosa, Tulsa, and other towns nearby remember the fun they use to have there many a summers day. 

Visit this link to Tulsa Channel 9 News to see a story about the Whale in its heyday and its current restoration

The site closed in 1988 after the owners health deteriorated. Shortly after the Blue Whale began to fall into disrepair, until 1997 when Catoosa, and Route 66 enthusiasts started a restoration effort that has restored the Blue Whale "Ol' Blue" to is former glory. 

I hope someday that the bring this place back to being a waterpark and/or add even more kid friendly attractions like a playground. 

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