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?
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.
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.