Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vacation Time!


In Northern California, there is a tourist attraction that has been in business for at least 40 or 50 years...

I saw it many times as a kid, with my brother and sister and 4 cousins, thanks to my grandparents. This is in the middle of some of the most beautiful Redwood forests on earth.

This tourist trap has a huge gift shop, an enormous parking lot, some interesting naturescapes called The Trees of Mystery, and these fantastic statues of Paul Bunyon and his faithful companion, Babe, the Big Blue Ox.

Paul and Babe are classic characters from American mythology.

Paul, like so many other timbermen, is a giant logger who cuts down enormous trees and hauls them to the mill with the help of his trusty companion Babe, who is, well, a really big blue ox.

Few people know that the Grand Canyon was actually created by Paul walking along the Southwest U.S. dragging his axe behind him.

And Mount Hood, in Oregon, was formed when Paul piled rocks on his campfire to put it out.

There are other statues of Paul and Babe in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Maine, and statues of just Paul in many more places, including Arizona, Idaho, Washington, New York and Oklahoma.

There is a good one in a neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, and another, as one would expect, is on top of a Vietnamese restaurant in Albequerque, New Mexico.

These particular statues are the best, because they most accurately show what Paul and Babe looked like when they were living, in the early 1900's.

And because they are the largest (as far as you know). You can actually see them from Google Earth. They are on Highway 101, the Redwood Highway, about 2.5 miles North of Requa.

And the most important reason they are the best is because Babe is anatomically correct.

Babe, like all giant oxen, has big blue balls.

And a humongous blue dingus.


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