I decided to take them all on Saturday, the last weekend of their season. I happened to hear on the radio that you would get a pretty good discount if you went during their last couple of days, so I told the fam......
I knew David and Emily and their boys would want to go and I was fairly certain that Joni would want to take Ledger. Beyond that I wasn't sure if anyone would bother.
Boy was I surprised! Lisa AND Tyler came (I was kind of surprised about Tyler) Joni, and her 2 little kids, and shockingly, at the last minute, Mike and Andy decided to also go. (We really felt badly that Abby, David and Asher were not in town and therefore unable to come.)
We piled into 2 cars, both filled to the gills. As the 2 cars play a part in my little story I have to tell you who was in each car.
David's Explorer with David driving.
Also inside: Emily (front seat) Sorren and me in the middle seat, and Nathan and Zach in the back.
Joni's car, with Joni driving.
Also inside: Mike (front seat), Andy, Ledger, London in the middle seat, and squishily seated in the very back, Lisa and Tyler
We arrived at the gate with Car A in front. I was quite impressed with the lady who sold us the admittance tickets. I told her I was paying for both cars. She asked how many people total and the ages of each. She worked her magic and we all got in for less than a hundred. I was amazed.
She told us to go ahead and drive through the animals and that we could go as many times as we wanted until 5:00. Having never been there before I wasn't really sure what she meant, but we headed through the gate.
It was pretty awesome! It was so fun to see the white elk and buffalo, all the deer and other animals just lounging around. In our car (Car A) Sorren was so excited! We let him get out of his carseat so he could stand up next to the window and really look. He kept making really cute little growly noises. Nathan and Zach seemed to also love looking around and commenting on the animals. It would have really been a fun relaxing time, but David happened to notice, as soon as we drove through the animal gate, that he was almost out of gas!
Meanwhile back in Car B they were having their own kind of fun. I wasn't actually IN car B so I'm just related the facts as I heard them. Ledger was also let out of his carseat, I presume so that he could also have a closer look. He promptly began to climb all over the place, including the front seat. Mike was starting to get agitated because of Ledger's acrobatics. At one point in time Ledger was actually climbing around on the dash in front of Joni, the driver.
In Car A we finished driving past the tamer animals and then proceeded through another more secure gate, (which kind of reminded me of the entrance into Jurassic Park) into the bear enclosure. It was very exciting to see bears everywhere we looked. They had lots of little "caves" for them, but mostly the bears were out in the sun watching us as we drove past. I guess there were signs all over showing which way we were to drive, but at one point we saw a great big bear ambling across the next road over, so we skipped an entire loop to drive directly over to where the bear was to have a closer look. The entire time I'm thinking in the back of my head "this would not be a good place to run out of gas, but I'm sure we're okay".
Meanwhile, back in Car B Ledger also got very excited about all the bears and wanted to take a closer look. He kept trying to open the car door to do just that. Mike was pretty calm about that little development. Just kidding.
When we finished driving through the bear enclosure I was kind of surprised to see that there was a kind of amusement park with activities and a petting zoo up ahead. I had no idea that was there. I was ready to stop and check things out when we got a phone call from Car B. "We're going around again cause we didn't see everything." And I could see that they were already heading through the gate back into the animal enclosure. Without a second's hesitation David put Car A into gear and we were through the gate right behind them. It was only after we went through the gate that I remembered, we were out of gas!
The second time around was pretty similar to the first with 1 major difference.
There was a Bear World truck right in front of us, with the back full of paying customers, that kept stopping for long periods of time while all the people in the back threw out food to the bears.
This time Car A kept speculating about if we ran out of gas who would come first, Bear World employees with a gas can or hungry bears wanting a human snack.
Car B was having there own excitement. Since the bears were all being fed they were out on the road and surrounded our cars. Ledger thought this was an extremely good time to see one up close and personal and actually opened the door! Mike was very calm. Ha. Ha. Ha. His agitation rubbed off on Joni who tried to escape from the herd of bears by putting her foot on the gas pedal. She's pretty sure she might have run over a bear toe or two.
All's well that ends well, though. We made it out of the bear enclosure without running out of gas (Car A) or getting eaten by a bear (Car B).
This time we actually did stop and enjoy the fun at the petting zoo. A few of us used giant slingshots to catapult potatoes at some targets out in the field, a straw maze was run, animals were petted in the petting zoo, rides were ridden in the amusement park.
It was a very fun outing. I can't wait to do it again next year. This time I'm going to ride in Car C.