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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 7 of 10: Total Texas Taxidermy

Moose and Us!

The oddest thing about this moose photo op is that I have no memory of the shirt IM’ wearing in it. Once I started regaining lost weight in the years ahead, it was probably first into the Goodwill bag.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

As you get older it’s always interesting to look back through your old photos, recall past occasions spurred by visual stimuli from the photos you saved, and kick yourself for the pics you either lost over time or never took in the first place. Searching our personal archives in preparation for this remastered miniseries got a bit annoying when I realized we had five times as many dead-animal pics as we did live-animal pics. The disparity between this entry and our San Antonio Zoo visit was no intentional slight on our part against the Lone Star State or its perception of animals.

Or maybe at age 33 I just thought stuffed animals were more fascinating than live ones like what we have back home at the Indianapolis Zoo. Honestly, we’ve been to our own zoo so many times, we probably have enough shots to make our own flipbook of the animals aging in real time. But creatively posed ex-critters? That’s, like, different. I guess?

* * * * *

Our last San Antonio tourist attraction was right across the street from our parking space — the Buckhorn Museum. It comprised maybe 30% cowboy/Western/true-crime memorabilia, some of which was unusual and/or compelling: actual guns and bullets, icky gunslinger autopsy photos, a newspaper front page with a gruesome photo of Bonnie Parker’s bullet-ridden corpse, furniture made entirely out of animal horns, busts of famous personalities in Wild West history, stuff like that. Another 10% is a so-so wax museum. The other 60% is taxidermy-a-go-go, stuffed and mounted animals and animal heads from wall to wall to wall.

Here in 2017 it’s apparently split into two separate museums, the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum and the Texas Ranger Museum. Back in 2005 ’twas one and the same. For archival purposes we focused our cameras more on the former wildlife than on the Western Forensic Files souvenirs.

Kimba the White Lion!

I imagine my son was reminded of Kimba the White Lion.

Deer Gorilla Warthog!

Before The Lion King, Pumbaa had his own vaudeville revue costarring Mighty Joe Young and John Deere.

Elephant Solo!

No, the elephant didn’t come to life and shower him. I think he was still soaked from playing in a La Villita fountain.

Cougar RAAAAAR.

Some residents are NOT HAPPY TO BE HERE.

Lion Pouncing!

It’s best to let kids get all that taunting out of their system now so they’re not still doing it when they come face-to-face with the real thing.

Elephant Profile!

No matter where you walked, eyes were watching you.

Two-Headed Bimbo!

I can’t think of any pleasant reasons why this two-headed sheep was named Bimbo.

Horse + Stuffed Animals!

Want your own stuffed animals? Here’s your chance to win a colorful keeper from their reject pile!

Beyond what you see here, the Buckhorn had several bears, but no rugs of any kind. They had stuffed versions of just about every kinda of four-legged American wild animal I can think of. A separate room was dedicated to mounted fish from around the world, though some of them looked plastic. Fur looks more natural and less shellacked in this state.

Buckhorn Museum!

Their main lobby, which contained zero Humane Society “No animals were harmed” disclaimers.

We finished up by 4:30 and decided our day had been full enough, so we returned once more to the hotel, dropped off our loot, and rested a bit. We all decided we needed a break from the rental car, so dinner was next door to the hotel at an overpriced Chinese buffet whose only saving grace was that it was within walking distance. For that price we could’ve had our first genuine Texas steakhouse experience. Next time we’re down that way, that’ll be the first oversight I correct.

To be continued!

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email signup for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

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