The famous members of Team Rocket don’t spend every single minute of their existence hunting a small yellow Pokémon that can be found practically anywhere. No, these three soldiers of fortune do their fair share of world-traveling, and this off season, Team Rocket visited only the best, most important tourist traps across America.
Visiting the World’s Largest Tire in Allen Park, MI, was first on the docket. The tire actually reminded the gang of a Snorlax, until they remembered that tires don’t really look anything at all like a Snorlax and don’t tend to eat four hundred pounds of food at a time.
The Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson, KS, was one of the trio’s earlier stops. No one knew that Meowth was a particularly huge fan of salt, as Pokémon of his breed tend to favor sweet pickles over the regular variety. This underground saline extravaganza is actually quite spacious compared to the usual salt mine, and James almost got lost wandering around in the caverns!
Team Rocket “stopped” by a truck stop in Mitchell, OR — the only fueling station for 30 miles around, in fact — to visit Henry the Bear, the official mascot of Little Pine Truck Stop. Of course, the gang snuck into Henry’s cage, Pokeballs a-ready, to capture the 800-pound black bear, not realizing that he wasn’t a rogue Teddiursa. Unfortunately, they were caught by the truck stop owner Hugh Reed, who promptly threw the trio out on their ears, and still made them pay for their gas, to boot!
Jessie wanted to take a stop by the Fountain of Youth in Lewes, DE, which is supposedly where explorer Ponce de Leon actually found the legendary spring in the 17th Century. Despite the fact that the “fountain” itself has since dried up and there is nothing under there but grass, the red-headed member of Team Rocket still got rejuvenated to age six once she accidentally tumbled into the tourist attraction, and the other two had a madcap adventure trying to solve the problem that was entertaining, crazy, and far too long to be recounted here.
Meowth also insisted the team visit the World’s Largest Six Pack in La Crosse, WI. On the site of the old G. Heileman Brewery, the tanks now could hold either beer, soda pop, or energy drinks depending on the day of the week. Imagine Meowth’s disappointment upon diving into the tanks, only to discover they were filled with iced tea! Still, the gang got some good photos, including one with the “King of Beer” outside the plant.
Team Rocket finished up this year’s vacation at London Bridge. No, not in London, in Lake Havasu City, AZ. See, this really rich guy bought the actualy London Bridge back in the 1960s and had it shipped over to Arizona and reconstructed. Since Arizona is notoriously dry, the dude also had a trench dug under the bridge and turned into an artificial river. There’s also an abandoned “Little England” tourist attraction nearby where Wobbuffet got lost and, since he tends to stand still a great deal, it took pretty much all afternoon to find him.
Graphics work by M. Noah Ward