Thursday, July 01, 2010

The "I must be crazy" Chonicles - South Dakota Edition - Bear Country, USA

Bear Country, USA

There are a lot of reasons to visit Bear Country USA.  There's the bears of course.  The many, many, many bears.  More bears than you can shake a stick at.  There's the otters, the leopards, the foxes, the peacocks, the sheep, the goats.  The list just goes on and on.  I think the real reason you should visit Bear Country, USA though is to see  the autofellating raccoon.

Bear Country, USA is an attraction that you drive through.  Sort of.  You drive through part and then walk through the other part.  I can't think of a good, short way to describe it.  So I'll just continue to ramble on about it.

First you drive (on a paved path) through some large animal exhibits.  The brochure we picked up for the park promised that we would see reindeer, coyotes, bighorn sheep, wolves and more.  When I decided we would visit Bear Country, USA I imagined us sitting in our nice air conditioned car and ooohing and ahhhing in wonder as all manner of animals approached our car like we were some sort of modern day Snow Whites.

In reality our time on the wildlife loop was equally divided between the following four activities:
1. Getting annoyed at the person in front of us for stopping in the middle of the road when there were no animals around whatsoever.  Then getting more annoyed when they would see an animal (like a sheep) and then sit there for for five minutes or so just staring at it while cars piled up behind them.
2. Ignoring the annoyance of the people in the car behind us as we sat in the middle of the road for five minutes on the rare occasion we were able to spot an animal.
3. Trying to spot animals.  "Oh!  Look!  Back there behind that tree!  I think I see something!" "That's just another stick." "Yeah but it's a stick that kind of looks like a horn!"
4. Trying to get the kids to see the animals we managed to spot.  "Look kids!  Look out Elle's window!  Right now!  Hurry and look! It's walking away, hurry and look! OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE SHEEP YOU GUYS! Um... never mind, that was a stick."

I guess it's possible that the drive-through part is a little better on a day when it isn't so hot and the animals aren't all hiding out behind trees and in their air conditioned break room.  It doesn't really matter though since the real reason you do the drive through part is to see the bears.  That's right at the end and they make sure you really get your fill of bears.  There's really a lot of bears is what I'm trying to say.

When you drive into the park they warn you to NEVER open your window and I suppose that's pretty good advice but I'll admit that as we drove through the bears I was tempted to roll down my window and stick my arm our and touch a bear.  They seemed pretty harmless.  And soft!  They looked so soft.
Some of them seemed kind of bored so maybe a new arm chew toy would have livened things up for them.
But mostly they seemed happy.
Or perhaps dead.  It's really sort of hard to tell.

So to sum up the drive through portion of Bear Country, USA.
Pros: no walking involved, bears aplenty
Cons: animals appear to be able to transmogrify into sticks
The other part of Bear Country, USA is the walk through part.  You, um, walk through it.  This is where they keep the smaller animals that, without the protection of their exhibit walls, would doubtlessly leave Bear Country, USA smeared on the car tires of the park visitors.

To kick off the walking tour we had the kids pose with a statue of the park founder.  Or something.  I assume that's who it was.  I didn't really look I guess.  I just like for my kids to pose with statues of old men.
Then we went and looked at the animals.  First we saw a fox.  It was cute and bored looking and (according to Joseph) invisible.  I nearly fell into the exhibit trying to point it out to him.  I probably should not have put so much effort into it.  In the great scheme of things your dignity is probably too high a price to pay to get your son to see a tiny, uninterested looking mammal.
Then we saw a bunch of other animals that I didn't take pictures of so I no longer remember what they were.
Then we saw the bear cubs.  There were like 80 cubs and if you want to talk about things that are small and cute and soft then you should talk about bear cubs.  Because, you know, they are those things.  We were all admiring the bear cubs when I spotted one that was sort of blond.
I came to the conclusion that this bear was not only an albino but that he was also blind.

Me: Jesse!  I think that bear is blind!
Jesse: Why do you think that?
Me: I think albinos are blind.
Jesse: I don't think that's true.
Me: Well, maybe not.  I saw Powder and I don't think he was blind.  It was a really stupid movie though.  Maybe just albino animals are blind.
Jesse:  I don't think that's true either.
Me: I think it is.  I remember seeing a movie about a bunch of little baby foxes and one of them was blind and I think he was also an albino.  He died because he walked into the ocean.
Jesse: ...
Me: It was really sad but I wonder why he was even by the ocean anyway.
Jesse: Let's get you a drink of water.

Then we saw the otters.
Me: I love otters!  They're like the prairie dogs of the sea!
Jesse: These are river otters.
Me: They're like the prairie dogs of the river!
Jesse: We really need to get you out of the sun.
Me: But I just really need you to know how much I like prairie dogs!
As we were headed inside to get something to drink something caught our eye.  (Our collective eye.)  It was the summation of all things glorious and wonderful and terrible with a little bit of porny on the side.

It was a raccoon giving itself head.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking that I'm being a dirty bird and that the raccoon was just cleaning itself.  That's what I thought too at first.  But no, after observing it for a moment I realized that this was not a cleaning session.  This was a full on, head bobbing, mouth all the way around the you-know-what tongue lashing.  As proof I offer up the following picture.  I have let the raccoon retain some of his dignity by covering up his naughty bits with a picture of a patriotic hot dog.
I made that hot dog a lot bigger than I needed to.  If you get what I'm saying.

I tried to get a better picture but it was difficult between struggling not to laugh and trying to answer Joseph's questions about what was so funny and what did I mean I would tell him when he's older and why is Daddy turning bright red?

We thought it was funny.  The raccoon's exhibit-mate didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal.  Probably because he was blind.
I have no idea why everyone in South Dakota uses lolspeak all the time.

After all that business we headed into to eh gift shop to see if they had any blowjob raccoon souvenirs.  They did not but they did have a bear skin rug.  That seemed not totally kosher given that we were in an animal "preservation" park.  Although I guess making an animal into a rug is sort of a way to preserve it.  They also had a large stuffed bear that provided Joseph with another chance to practice his acting frightened skills.
Yeah.  Can't you just feel the terror jumping off the screen?  Elle managed to look adorably terrified.
I know what you're thinking (again) but technically the bear was touching Elle so we were still following the rules.  Phew!  We were able to retain our asshole status.

Having seen everything Bear Country, USA had to offer we decided it was time on to move on to some decidedly less cuddly animals.  Stick around because next time we visit with some snakes and Joseph makes a questionable fashion statement.  And, as always, flickr holds the key to more picturey goodness.

One year ago today google hurt my feelings.
Two years ago today I hated a commercial.
Three years ago today I liked Deadliest Catch.

1 comment:

Stimey said...

So much good stuff here. You are so funny.

1. We went on one of those drive-through things once only the animals came right up to your car and put their heads in your window, including the bison who stuck his face, horns and all inside my window and wouldn't take it out even after I screamed and threw food at him.

2. I think that most albino cats (or at least white cats) are deaf. Although Jesse may have something to say about that.

3. I can't even discuss the raccoon.

4. Elle and the bear? You should frame that and hang it ON your front door. So awesome!