Today we woke up late-no construction!
We all had various showers and what-not, breakfasted for those of us who thought of it and then headed to the Nature Station for the eagle program at 11.
Suzette talked them into letting us back in on the pass we bough Wednesday, which was very nice. We saw the eagle program and the possum program at 11:30, both with Brooke, who had been the one to stand out and answer all our questions Wednesday until they had to close.
I bought some goodies at the gift shop, most notably some sun paper! I have been looking for that all over the place. Before we left, they gave us posters and stickers! And that was after they let us back in free, I really have to rethink the whole 'crabby employees'.
We headed to Cadiz for lunch and after a false start at Patty Sue's-which smelled like an ashtray and had issues with being not clean-we ended up at Uptown Steak and something just off the main street in Cadiz. It was really good, we had deep fried pickles, Matt had a Gyro and I had a shish-ka-bob pita, the boys had a burger and grilled cheese and Chan had a Greek chicken sandwich.
The weather was great until we left the
restaurant, when the bottom fell out. We scuttled next door to the bookstore
and I snagged a couple used books. I did not bring anything to read!
Suzette and Dave and their guys headed to the planetarium during the next break in the rain and we went with the Lackey's to the local art museum, which had a display of Mitchell Chamberlain's work and I really liked the rock paintings. Afterward, we went on down to a cemetery I had spotted while the Lackey's went back to camp.
We headed back to camp to see what everyone else was up to. It was raining again. Matt and the kids went off to get a geocache, I uploaded pictures and the next break in the rain, we opted to go back to the Elk and Bison Prairie.
We all piled in Dave's truck once we got there and looped the prairie, seeing elk and bison again-which I only bring up because several times Matt and I drove through in previous years, we only saw one or the other.
We looped again and a single male bison
crossed the road in front of us. We stopped and watched him for a long time
as he milled by the road and grazed.
We did a third loop, intending to go through quickly mostly so the kids could have a ride in the back of the truck at more than 6 miles per hour. The single bison was still by the road. We stopped again to watch him for a while as he docilely grazed and looked up now and then.
Here begins The Bison Incident
Ah yes, so we are in Dave's truck, all the kids in the back except Cody, who was getting chilly and decided to sit with Bobby inside for the final loop.
Gina was out the window, taking some pictures from her side, I was leaning out my window on the driver's side backseat. Matt was behind Gina and Suzette was in the middle of the front seat, Bobby and Cody in the middle of the back.
Suzette turns to face me and mouths "I want to pet the bison" with this Zachary twinkle-eye look in her eyes. The one that says "I have decided my course of action and nothing will dissuade me." The difference in her and Zachary is this: Zachary has the smarts to plot, but lacks the common sense to keep his yap shut and outs himself about 90% of the time. What Zachary would have done is say, out loud, "I want to pet the bison". then he would have started to climb out over Dave or Gina to get out the window to pet it. Being told it was not a good idea would not have stopped him, he would have needed some physical restraint.
Suzette did not say it out loud, but she
DID make little-kid clapping and twinkle-eyes while looking at the bison.
Dave said, "Suzette, do NOT go near that bison."
Now, I need to point out here that while I always refer to her as 'Suzette', her best friend for 25 years calls her 'Suz' or 'Suzie'. I have never heard him call her that before.
Gina got out of the truck to get a better angle, standing on the running board and shooting over the top. Suzette did a scootch over toward the door.
Gina moved down to the road surface to shoot over the hood. Suzette bolted. Dave yells after her, "LEAVE THAT BISON ALONE." She says something to the effect of she's not doing anything to that bison.
She never did touch it, but she moved a little closer than the bison liked and he ran at her.
I have never, in my 2+ years of knowing her, seen her move like that. Or seen an expression of, "I really shouldn't have done that" on her face-not even when she killed her transmission hauling a 3,000 pound camper with her minivan. Gina dove in the front of the truck and Suzette was right behind her.
The bison did not look as large while grazing as it did while running. That was something to see, I just wish I had not seen it. That was so scary, even though my science brain was saying, "Oh, he is doing a bluff charge" my other brain, and likely my mouth, was screaming "RUN!" I can't really say what anyone said, it was SO fast and though we all laughed (not Dave, though) when it was over and she was okay, it was just a hysterical response to the stress, it was scary!
The bison's temperament is often unpredictable. They usually appear peaceful, unconcerned, even lazy, yet they may attack anything, often without warning or apparent reason. They can move at speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour and cover long distances at a lumbering gallop.
Their most obvious weapon is the horns that both male and female have. But their head, with its massive skull, can be used as a battering ram, effectively using the momentum produced by two thousand pounds moving at thirty miles per hour. The hind legs can also be used to kill or maim with devastating effect. At the time bison ran wild, they were rated second only to the Alaska brown bear as a potential killer, more dangerous than the grizzly bear. In the words of early naturalists, they were a dangerous, savage animal that feared no other animal and in prime condition could best any foe.
Bison can exceed over 2,000 lbs and cause more human injuries
than any other wildlife combined in Yellowstone Park. Given their docile nature
(except when in rut) visitors lose precaution when approaching bison and that's
when they become gore victims.
That night, we ate dinner at the Lackey's camper and of course, we talked about it. And teased her about it. Dave said he was tired and I said, "You should be! You saw your entire wife flash before your eyes!" Which, I have to say, is the wittiest thing we have come up with so far. That is until I find a way to get the 'Buffalo Girls' song into a conversation. Gina did crack me up doing the hooked finger horns that Suzette was sporting just before the charge (yes, she was teasing a one ton bison) and she said, "Does this buffalo make my butt look big?" hehehe!
Poor Suzette, she will never, ever live that down.
Sunny and HOT all morning, scattered showers all afternoon and evening
Gift shop: $30
Book store: $9
We headed to the Nature Station first thing Friday morning.
Claw and Ben's hand-which is the same size as my hand!
Cody and Zachary show the wingspan of the eagle we were looking at
And of a lesser-sized male!
We got to look at an eagle feather, which
are very illegal to pick up in the wild.
There is a wait list for American Indians to get one.
This guy gave me the creeping willies
The great horned owl was not part of the show because she is so crabby.
Cadiz was doing pigs in front of most of
the businesses. This was the one at the police station.
You have to love that they went with it.
I think this one (above) is upside down...
Back at the Elk and Bison Prairie: