Colorado Gators, a set on Flickr.
Welcome to the first post of Wunderplatz! As you may gather, this blog will focus on “wonderful places” and what makes them interesting to visit, with an emphasis on historic sites and history museums.
That said, I will begin with a place that is not concerned with the past. It is, in fact, a reptile zoo — a roadside attraction off the highway in rural Colorado.
Colorado Gators Reptile Park began as a tilapia fish farm back in the 1970s. The owners purchased alligators to dispose of dead fish. Before long, they also began to rescue unwanted exotic pets, animals that might otherwise have been euthanized. The farm became a menagerie of gators, snakes, tortoises, tarantulas, and at least one ostrich.
By virtue of its location near the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the farm attracts many dune-bound visitors, including myself and my partner Erik. (I’ve put together a slideshow to give you a sense of the experience!)
Certainly Colorado Gators is rough around the edges compared to the typical museum. Yet as an aspiring public historian, I found much to appreciate about it.