A Landing a Day

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Douglas, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on December 5, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2465; A Landing A Day blog post number 901.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N42o 38.670’, W105o 35.131’) puts me in Cen-SW Wyoming:

Here’s my local landing map, showing my proximity to titular Douglas:

My streams-only map puts me in the watershed of the wonderfully-named Wagon Hound Creek (aka Wagonhound Creek):

As is obvious, Wagon Hound Creek flows into the North Platte River (33rd hit).  Although not shown (you’ll have to trust me here), the North Platte unsurprisingly flows into the Platte (72nd hit) which unsurprisingly flows into the Missouri (436th hit) which even-more-unsurprisingly flows into the Mississippi (952nd hit).

From the Wagonhound Land & Livestock Co. website, this about the name of the creek:

Named for a hazardous creek crossing notorious to Texas cattle drives in the 1800’s known to have claimed many a drover’s wagon, the Wagonhound Creek flows just yards from today’s ranch headquarters.

From their website, here’s a picture of thirsty horses drinking their fill from the Wagonhound:

And I found out a little more about the name from author Henry Chappel’s website:

Wagonhound Creek, named for a rough crossing where pioneer wagons often broke their tongue-axel junctions, called “hounds.”

Heading over to Google Earth, I couldn’t get the Orange Dude any closer than about 3.5 miles:

And here’s what he sees:

I had to go a good distance east to find a suitable crossing of Wagonhound Creek:

Here’s a downstream shot:

And a cross-stream shot:

So what about Douglas?  I’ll start with this early 1900s Main Street shot:

The modern version of Douglas has a very classy website.  Here’s their homepage (OK, a portion of their homepage):

Look at the very stylistic critter below (and blending in) with the mountains.  Look closely.  There are obviously antlers, but what about the curved line streaming back just behind the antlers.  Just part of the mountains?  No.  All of the mountain accent lines are straight.  Hmmm.  Rabbit ears?

Let’s look at the entire page:

We get to see a couple of Canada geese, but more importantly, note that it says “Home of the Jackalope.”  I’ve heard of a jackalope, but was not quite sure what it is.  From the website:

MEET JACK

Let the rest of the world take notice. Douglas, Wyoming is the one, true home of the rare, mysterious and elusive fearsome Jackalope, also known as the “warrior or killer rabbit.”

The jackalope is the result of an auspicious mating of the jackrabbit and a now extinct pygmy deer. Though their range once spread across much of the American West, their only remaining range is in the vast high plains surrounding Douglas. These antlered creatures are otherwise similar in appearance to a jackrabbit, yet capable of speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

[I was kind of ready to believe what I was reading, but 90 mph???  Continuing . . .]

Their rarity is ensured by the fact that they only breed during lightning flashes.

[OK, it’s grain of salt time . . .]

They are known for their other unique characteristics: their fondness for whiskey and their uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. This latter quality is often demonstrated by their mimicking the singing of cowboys around the campfire; and has often aided them in eluding potential captors by calling out “there it goes” to divert them in the wrong direction.

Their milk is known to have amazing aphrodisiac qualities as well as a wide range of medicinal powers. However, the females can only be milked when lulled into sleeping belly up, generally as a result of a whiskey induced stupor.

Fortunately, jackalope milk may be obtained at the Douglas Visitors Center along with hunting licenses. However, those seeking licenses should beware of the difficulty in bagging a jackalope. Besides their innate ability to blend in with their natural surroundings, licenses are only issued to those with a demonstrable I.Q. of less than 72 and are only valid between the hours of midnight and 2:00 A.M. on June 31st of each year.

While the traveler is unlikely to have the opportunity to have an actual sighting of the rare and ferocious jackalope, they will witness

its strong impact on the community. The jackalope is the prominent feature on the City seal and

logo, which testifies that “We know Jack”.  We embrace the wild and independent nature of the jackalope, and welcome visitors to share in the fun.

So anyway, it turns out that two taxidermist brothers from Douglas (Ralph & Doug Herrick) invented the Jackalope in1934, and sold an antlered rabbit as a joke.  Pretty soon, they couldn’t make enough Jackalopes to keep up with the demand, and the legend was born.

I noticed a cluster of GE photos not far north of my landing.  They were pictures of Ayres Natural Bridge.  Here’s a 1950s postcard of the bridge:

And a more recent shot, from Trip Advisor:

I’ll close with this shot posted on GE by Claude Bougeois, of a cattle drive along Wagon Hound Creek:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2019 A Landing A Day

One Response to “Douglas, Wyoming”

  1. Cheryl Nash said

    Hey Greg,
    It’s nice to know that with all the political noise going on in this country, that the Orange Dude faithfully attends to his duties, caring not about which way the water flows or if the state be red or blue. What do you think? Orange Dude 2020? Cher

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