Friday, April 27, 2007

Baby Bison and the state of Washington

We lived in Washington from Aug 1994 - May 1996. I had just gotten out of the Navy and BN was finishing his tour in dry dock and at the sub base. Bangor sub base is a gorgeous base because of course it is in WA. Not a lot of cement, but plenty of trees. Glorious trees. I remember the drive up to WA from San Diego when we were apartment hunting before our transfer and I was in total awe from somewhere in northern CA through OR and into WA. I could see stars again and green trees and grass. I hadn't seen these things in four years.

Even though it rained 3 fricking quarters of the year, it is one of the prettiest states I've seen or lived in. Everything is so lush and I consider it an "outdoor state", meaning anything worth doing is out of doors.

We learned to cross-county ski in the Cascades, hiked the Olympics right after a forest fire, visited Mount St. Helens where even 15 years later the devastation was still so fresh, watched the people catch fish at the famous Pike Place Fish Market, ate at Benihana (the original Japanese Steakhouse mmmm), meandered through fields of tulips - did you know WA is a major grower of tulips?, rode our bikes for miles and miles and visited the Dungeness Spit. I'm sure we did more, but some of those memory cells passed through my placenta to my wee ones-gone forever. sigh.

I love the Spit. It's about 5 miles long and due to lack of interest on BN's part, we only walked about a 1/2 mile of it. Huge logs wash up on shore and there is driftwood galore. I wish we'd gone the distance and had a look at the lighthouse and the natural wildlife refuge - one avid hiker of the spit claims to have observed over 96 species of birds! I love birds. Maybe next time.

And finally, I would feel like I was depriving you of a complete WA visit if I didn't mention the Olympic Game Farm. Here you can drive your car through the park and interact with the animals. So we purchased loaves of bread and headed out and the animals were so friendly and they walked right up to our windows. We fed zebras, deer and American bison. This was a lot of fun until one of the baby bison approached my window. I dutifully held out the slice of bread and when he tried to grab it, his huge black tongue glanced my hand! I let out a squeal and flung the bread. BN and I shared a laugh and then I glanced in my side mirror. That seemingly harmless baby bison was now on a mission. Apparently upset that he didn't get that slice of bread, he charged after us. I'm yelling for BN to STEP ON IT!! and he's laughing uncontrollably at the situation and I'm rolling up my window praying the mama bison doesn't see how upset her baby is and come charging too. The baby catches up and looks as if it is going full charge into the side of our truck...

...well, dear friends of mine, it seems that when the baby tried to get the bread from my hand and licked me causing me to fling the bread, the bread was also licked and made wet enough that when I flung it, it stuck to the side of the truck. Poor baby wasn't charging us, he just wanted that piece of bread. I don't remember any other part of the park because every time BN and I looked at one another, we began laughing hysterically all over again. I'm glad that memory cell stayed with me.

Here's a picture of that ferocious beast (shiver). This picture is captured just moments before it all went down.

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