Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Petted a Buffalo!

There is a big bison ranch just off I-25 near the Wyoming/Colorado border called The Terry Bison Ranch. The whole ranch looks ancient, and some of the buildings are actually from the 1880s. The Ranch boasts an RV park, a restaurant, gift store, and other touristy attractions. We were told the ranch had the second largest herd of bison for meat in the U.S.  The largest herd is owned by Ted Turner, a name everyone knows. (By the way, the terms bison and buffalo are synonymous for these North American animals.) We'd stopped here before, just to look it over, but this time we decided to take the train ride out into the fields "where the buffalo roam". This is the cute little train we boarded.

We had an excellent driver and tour guide. I was tickled to see this unique "chicken house", an old bus. The photo doesn't show too well the myriads of chickens resting in the shade underneath. This type of chicken house can be moved from place to place, always giving the chickens a secure home and at the same time fresh ground. I think it's a great idea!

 As our train made a loop around the field we were suddenly surprised to see this sign.

 A moment later, around the loop, we were back in Wyoming!

Finally, we came upon the bison we'd been seeking. This is the biggest guy, the head honcho of the herd.

And this lady was the sweetest and the most adept at begging. We'd all purchased bags of special green (alfalfa?) pellets, just for feeding the bison. All these critters knew to approach the train, and fully expected their treats. Out would come their big, gray tongues and the pellet would disappear, leaving behind a very slimed hand. We all fed them till our bags were empty. What fun!

Just to prove my title, here I am petting a buffalo! The fur on this one's neck was curly, and very soft and deep and cushy. Guess that's how they can withstand the harsh, snowy winters on the prairie.

We had to try this! Ride 'em, Cowboy, Mr. Keith!

My turn! I'm "out on the lone prai-rie"!

And last, a jackalope! We had a great time here, seeing the bison, some camels, llamas, horses, cows, chickens, a mascot turkey, goats, alpacas, and maybe some other critters I'm forgetting to name. We plan to go back with our friends and fellow workampers next week to eat at the Senator's Restaurant, which boasts the best bison burgers in Wyoming. Gee whiz, I feel a little guilty wanting to eat a bison burger after petting a bison!

1 comment:

Forry and Char said...

It looks like you had a VERY fun day. I'm not sure I would like cleaning that chicken house... (I don't have very good memories of that task!)