Tale of the Orange Moose

In early January of 2010, I was driving west on Interstate 94 in a 25 foot rental truck full of my daughter and her belongings in the state of Wisconsin on our way to North Dakota.  Needing fuel, I told her we would stop at the next exit.  As we came around the bend slowing down to exit, this giant orange moose came into view.  We both started laughing and I knew I would have to get a photo to share with my family.  Otherwise, who would believe us?

Orange Moose roadside attraction off of Interstate Highway 94 at the Black River Falls, Wisconsin exit 116. January, 2010 on the left, July 2012 on the right.  Both photos taken with an Apple iPhone using the Pro HDR app.

Orange Moose roadside attraction off of Interstate Highway 94 at the Black River Falls, Wisconsin exit 116. January, 2010 on the left, July 2012 on the right. Both photos taken with an Apple iPhone using the Pro HDR app.

The exit was for a place called Black River Falls.  It had a couple of restaurants, a truck stop and a Best Western hotel.  Across from the hotel is the Orange Moose Bar and Grill. Ah, you say, the orange moose is just a form of advertising.  Not so fast, my friends.  There is a legend which accompanies the large ungulate.

About a hundred years ago, an old Norwegian bachelor farmer Torvaald Kjorvak found a wounded moose calf in the northern part of the Black River Forest.  He nursed the young moose back to health by feeding it an experimental grain mixture.  This grain caused the moose to grow and grow and turn a bright orange color.  There is more to the legend and you can read the full account here: The Legend of the Orange Moose.

As you can see, when I was again driving with Krystal back from North Dakota a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at the Black River Falls exit.  This time we did not need fuel.  I only wanted to photograph the Orange Moose one more time.  This time in warmer and dryer conditions.  I even got out the Nikon D700 digital SLR camera with 28-300VR lens and had Krystal pose next to the moose to show its size.

Krystal next to the Orange Moose at the Black River Falls I-94 exit in Wisconsin.

Krystal next to the Orange Moose at the Black River Falls I-94 exit in Wisconsin.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 36mm focal length.

I may never again visit the Orange Moose but he will be forever a part of the stories I tell of my travels around the United States of America.

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8 Responses to Tale of the Orange Moose

  1. Mike Criss says:

    That is one huge moose! Well worth the stop.

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  2. What a great story and lovely picture ! thanks for sharing your memories of this trip.

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  3. sybil says:

    Hey Scott, if you’re looking for more moose statues, we have one here in Nova Scotia. My friend, Amy-Lynn (of Flandrum Hill fame) posted about it back in 2009: http://flandrumhill.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/the-cow-bay-moose/

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  4. Karma says:

    While not as big as your orange moose, there’s another moose statue worth a visit: the life sized chocolate moose at Len Libby’s in Scarborough Maine. We didn’t visit him this year, but we have in the past. I’ll see if I can scare up a shot for you! 🙂

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