Monday, January 14, 2013
One lot of slides from 1960 had quite a few photos from the then-brand-new Nature's Wonderland attraction. Maybe the photographer rode it twice, because there were near-duplicates of most of the views... you'll see those in a separate post.
As the little Mine Train crossed a trestle bridge, guests could look down into Bear Country and observe the antics of a few animatronic critters. It seems as if there are fewer bears (I only see two) than we might get to see in later photos.
Our train has been in the desert for all of 20 seconds, so it is a real relief to see that oasis. All that salty popcorn made me thirsty, just like the pioneers! The placid spring is surrounded by crunchy, delicious prong-horned antelope - they go great with rattlesnake and wild boar.
Right near the bears in the first picture, you would see two large elk, antlers locked in combat over some females. I love the dated non-PC humor of the original spiel: "Now there's a real struggle for survival; two stags are battling for them cow elk. Maybe you folks can tell me, though - does gettin' two women-folk mean your the winner, or the loser? Never could figure that one out." I guess they already used a mother in-law joke on the Jungle Cruise.