Jackalope’s Journey

By Theresa Williams

Hello Friends, Fans and Strangers,

Slackjaw Sally here with news of JackalopeJackalope and I became friends working and relaxing in the Main Lab on the Atlantis where she told me her story.  Her first memory is being hauled from the University of Wyoming Geology Department to the UW Lab School by Tanner and Chris along with Mike and Bobbie.  It was a little bumpy, but she was well packed and didn’t mind.  Next thing she knew, she was engulfed in bright light as her box lid was removed and a dozen young faces were looking down at her.  They quickly pulled all her parts out of the box, excitedly checking off the packing list and commenting on how cool she was.  That was a happy day for Jackalope!

Every Tuesday and Thursday for a month, the 7th and 8th grade students came and worked on her, filling her keel, sanding, gluing, caulking and finally painting her.  It was a lot of fun getting so much attention.  The discussion of what to name her and how to decorate the sail was especially heart-warming.  The kids chose a mythical animal, a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope, because it was more interesting to draw and especially because jackalope is fun to say.  

October came and she was hauled back to Geology and onto a truck.  Mike and Bobbie drove her to Oregon and stored her on the Atlantis until this group of scientists arrived.  After the installation of her GPS and some final gluing and caulking, she was set up in the Main Lab to hang out with me.

Saturday night she made her big escape!  Catfish and Kevin lowered her over the back of the ship and set her loose.  She just gave us one last look, turned around and sailed away.  I felt a pang of sadness for losing her company, but a swell of happiness for her to finally be on her long-awaited journey.  I’m living vicariously through her now by following her GPS pings on the internet.  Jackalope is moving mostly west and a little south.  She made 52 kilometers that first night, 89 km the following 24 hours and another 74 km in the last 24 hours, so she’s moving right along for a five-foot sailboat.  Her location is posted each day at 9 AM Eastern and you can follow her here!

We can all learn a little about currents and winds in the South Pacific Ocean by following Jackalope’s adventure!