Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bear Sanctuary

Q: Saturday morning started off with the question "what are we going to do today as a family?"
A: I came up with...the Bear Sanctuary in Orr.
Plan of Action:
  1. Put Emmitt down for his nap after lunch
  2. Keep Parker awake so he sleeps a little in the car
  3. Pack a picnic/snack to eat in the car or down in Orr
  4. Bring jammies along to change the kids into so they can fall asleep on the way home
  5. Get home after bedtime, transfer sleeping children to their beds.
  6. You're just busting with curiosity to see if it all worked out aren't you?

Well, I packed up the car, snacks, jammies, diapers, sippy cups, bug spray, camera, DVD player with movies for the ride. I made a "bed" in the back of my Explorer to have the kids hangout in, change diapers, get ready for bed, etc...the whole time I had the thought in my head that we would be viewing the bears from within our vehicle. I have never been to the sanctuary, that I can remember, and thought (apparently) that we were going to the dump grounds where I do remember watching bears extremely close up. Bear had a good laugh at the back of my makeshift bed when he realized what I had done. I had to write about it and own up to it or I am certain he would have busted into the blog and told you all about it. Emmitt wakes up about 4ish we buckle the kids up. We need gas and cash. Get that done and hit the road listening to the Tarzan movie blaring in our ears and tune the kids out and have a nice hour long adult conversation. Just barely out of town and Parker is out cold. He wakes up just before the sanctuary and freaks out that he has to pee and that he wants me to hold him. So Bear pulls over and I get Parker out to pee in the grass, full of mosquito's, and then back in the car. We know now that his mood maybe isn't the best since he only had an hour nap. But we pump him up with talk of big bears. We get to the park, pay our fee, miss the bus by minutes so we take that time to let the boys hang out in the car, put bug spray on and have a snack.

This is the kids sitting in the make shift bed I made for them. After all that work, I figured they better enjoy it, even if it isn't serving the purpose I had planned.

For as much as Parker enjoys playing bear family (mommy bear, daddy bear, brother bear and baby bear) he didn't really dig the whole bear watching scene. I am not sure if it was his mood or that he had something else in mind. He kept wanting me to hold him, but Emmitt wanted that too, so I took Parker, Bear had Emmitt and we watched the bears.

This little cinnamon bear was so cute. Different than any of the other bears around. Almost all the bears we saw were fairly small. Two big ones came out at one point and the rest scattered.

The history of the Bear Sanctuary was interesting. We were one of the few families that raised our hands on the bus as being first timers to the sanctuary. The told us how they feed the bears some of their diet and not by hand any more but by buckets. So there are piles of food around and just about every pile is occupied by the bears.

Parker kept wanting to sit down and hang his legs over the edge. No way! Then he would get mad at us for telling him that he couldn't do that. Then he wanted a snack, which obviously there is no food or drink allowed. Then he said he had to pee and proceeded to have his pants half way down before Bear could get my attention to get Parker to the porta-potty.

The baby bears were so tiny. This picture is way far away, but those little legs hanging out of the tree were absolutely adorable. Emmitt just kept pointing and grunting at the bears. The instructors specifically asked the kids to not run or yell, even though they may want to. But that the bears don't like it. I am not sure if they really meant that babies had to be quiet, but that didn't happen. Bear refused to let Emmitt down because he would run and yell when you did. He liked the sound of his little shoes on the walkway. So by the time we heard the next bus coming up the road we got in line to go back to the landing. This bear was just chilling on one of the cabin's front porches. It was like, "hey, I'm in charge here and this is my property".This is another baby just hanging in the tree. No mom's were around with any of the babies so I am not sure if they are already on their own or if the mom's put them in the tree for safety. Over all the trip was worth it. The kids are still too little to do this kind of stuff but in a few years we'll go back. Bear and I definitely enjoyed it. Lots of driving for a short venture but nice to relax in the car and just sight see. Bear took the scenic route home on Highway 65 through the pine trees. It was absolutely gorgeous. Emmitt fell asleep right away in the car. Parker was fine with his snack and milk and just watched a movie. I read a whole magazine cover to cover, which never happens. Bear showed me the crash site from his awful accident back in August of 97. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday evening. All of our plan worked out for the most part. Both kids were sound asleep when we got home and transferred into their beds.

1 comment:

beanski said...

I'm shocked Parker didn't like it. ALL that Renee wants to do is go to the Aquarium and the zoo and down to the lake to throw rocks :) She just stands there and stares!

We do the makeshift bed in the van all of the time when the kids need a break while traveling. Or to eat lunch!