Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down
In 1984, a ten-year-old boy encountered a mysterious 20-foot-tall fiberglass statue named Louie in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Eight years later, he spotted an identical statue in Tucson. A third sighting outside a run-down convenience store made it a trend. Thus began a scavenger hunt to discover the origins of Louie and his brethren. Only one rule applied: No searching for them on the Internet!

Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down

The Log of a Cross-Country Scavenger Hunt by Gabriel Aldaz

Meet the Characters

This page is devoted to the Muffler Men in the order that I encountered them in my scavenger hunt. The names of most statues are widely accepted, and the numbers roughly correspond to the book chapters. The map and descriptions were accurate in 2009, and are being updated in 2023 with your help! Click on the numbers on the map or the names on the right to learn more about each one.
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7 Route 66

Louie II

Flagstaff, Arizona

Louie II

While Louie guards the entrance to the Skydome, his brother Louie II is in charge of security inside. It’s a quiet job, where the biggest hazard is getting hit by a stray pigskin during football season. Certainly, Louie II sees less action than during the days when he stood outside the Lumberjack Cafe on Route 66.

Location: Inside J. L. Walkup Skydome, Northern Arizona University (NAU)
Type: Bunyan
Accessories: Axe
Spotlight: While standing outside the Lumberjack Cafe, appeared in Easy Rider (1969)
Damage: Rumored stolen (see below)
    Louie II

Before retiring to the Skydome, Louie II led an eventful life outside the Lumberjack Cafe. In the 1970s he was rumored stolen, along with Louie and the fiberglass bull from the Red Bull Cafe, and strung up from the Santa Fe Railroad overpass. The incident is known as the ’Jack Hijack.

2023 Update

Louie II came out of retirement! He now stands in front of the NAU Skydome, specifically the barbeque area of the Skyjacks Pavilion, built in 2001.

Louie II 2023
Louie II is in great shape, except for a couple of small holes in the back of his legs. His boots seem a little scratched on top. Perhaps there is a new tradition to rub his boots – maybe the left one in particular – to bring good luck. Photo courtesy of Michael Gaud.