October 25, 2008

A Day of Fun...

So today Justin and I decided to do something completely out of the ordinary for us... I just felt like getting away for the day, and I remembered hearing awhile back about this place called Arbuckle Wilderness up in Oklahoma. I looked it up online, and found that it was only about 2 1/2 hours away, so at about 10am, we were on our way!! We arrived there at 12:30, and were soon enjoying an amazing "safari", only about a mile off the highway in the middle of Oklahoma!!

We weren't exactly sure what to expect, and honestly, I was a bit nervous. According to the website, there are "hundreds of wild, exotic and rare animals – most roaming freely in habitats similar to their own." Hmm...and we drive through there habitats in our car, with no guides or animal experts anywhere nearby. We even saw many signs like this...But on we went, and I'm so glad we did! I can honestly say that I have never been so close to any kind of animal that wasn't a domestic pet or fit for a petting zoo. Thank goodness some of the most dangerous ones were behind glass or chain-link fence! Enjoy these pictures and videos of our drive through 'the wilderness'!!

We drove under this sign, and through the entry gates...
and here was our greeter! Nice haircut, huh?! I haven't yet figured out if this is a natural hair growth pattern, or if they are groomed. (But I honestly can't imagine anyone giving these llamas haircuts, so I guess it's natural!!)
You buy cups of food before you drive in so you can feed the animals. We bought three cups, and could tell pretty quickly that the animals know you are there to feed them. Your car literally gets swarmed with giant animals peeking in your windows, waiting for their food!!

Here is Justin feeding our llama greeter...

He was a bit mad when Justin rolled up his window. So then it was my turn, and the emus came up to my window. No problem...I thought.

Emus peck for their food...and that is really scary when you are holding the cup of food inside of your car...about a foot from your head. They also make quite a mess of the food pellets!


This guy was just too cute!
I had to give him a bit of food--he was nice and gentle!

Then came the camels....

Sorry for this sideways video, but the camel was practically on Justin's lap to get some food!

And then they surrounded us!

(They did finally move once they realized we weren't rolling our windows back down!)

Then we saw these wolves--they were very beautiful, especially when they are behind 2 layers of chain-link fence, with barbed wire on top! (This is where there were about 5 signs saying don't get out of your car--one even said that they think we taste like chicken! Ha!)

Then came some adorable donkeys. I know they're not considered "wild animals", but they were cute!

This little one couldn't quite figure out what he was supposed to be eating! I'm not sure what this little guy was, but he was a cutie too!
These guys were beautiful too!

This white tiger (also behind two fences with a bunch of signs!) was just enjoying the nice day! Isn't he beautiful?

This is the only time we were even near another car...just had to take a picture--gazelle, buffalo, and ostrich...I don't think I've ever seen those animals together, and this close to a car!!
Then they came to visit us! After my emu feedings, I decided that I would just look at the ostrich with the windows up.

My husband was much braver than I though, when this big guy started towards us...

Justin actually opened his window to feed the buffalo... His head was much bigger than our window, so I figured it would be okay. His tongue was gigantic, and as you watch this video, watch the end very carefully--Justin was left with a slimy little treat----yuck!!


We could not stop laughing, even as Justin was wiping buffalo slobber off his hands and lap!

The next animals were my favorite!! There were about 5 giraffes in a gigantic pen, and I thought we would just have to look at them from afar. But one was smart enough to lower his head under the rail and stretch out to get some food!

One of the others was just content to munch on the fence!

Here was the smart one who actually got some food!
After the drive through part, there was also a walk through part. Thankfully, all of these animals were in cages, or behind fences!
Here are two crazy animals!

Some tortoises...
Adorable pygmy goats--this one was just a baby!

Lots of different kinds of monkeys and lemurs

And my least favorite things in the world (don't ask my why I took pictures of them), snakes. This was a 19 foot python--not quite sure what he was doing--and this was less than half of his body length!!!

What a fun day--Justin and I both decided this was much better than just a normal zoo! I would recommend it to anyone nearby who wants some random fun!
It was only 2 when we were done, so we decided to drive on to Oklahoma City to walk around and find something to eat. We went to Bricktown, and area downtown that they are refurbishing. It is really pretty, and has a river through it, kind of reminiscent of San Antonio's Riverwalk.
Neat looking place to walk around...

They have a big ballfield, with Mickey Mantle Plaza out in front with a statue. My dad loves baseball, so this one is for you, Dad!!
Justin was just thrilled to have this picture taken--can't you tell by his fake smile?

We ate some really great mexican food, and then were on our way home. What a great day--so much fun just to get away and do something completely different! We are now determined to find random things to do/places to explore at least one weekend a month. Any suggestions of other great things to do within a few hours of Dallas?? =)


Diane said...

How much fun! What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day! Thanks for all the pics...and videos! For those things you just can't explain...log it for the blog! =)

Robyn Kitchings said...

That was hysterical! We went through there before and it was just like you blogged (even down to the gigantic slobber mess!). I can't believe you went on to Oklahoma City! What a spontaneous, fun trip!

Lianna Knight said...

Oh fun!! You guys looked like you had a great time! And buffalo slobber was quite hilarious!

Candie said...

What fun Alyson! I want to go there!!! However, I'm not so sure some of those crazy looking friends weren't just a little too close for comfort!! They must not of heard that 3-feet of personal space rule!

Amy said...

HOW FUN! Didn't even know that was close!

Ronni said...

That looks like so much fun!! Thanks for sharing, we'll have to check it out sometime.

I miss seeing you, hope to see you soon :)

Ryan Moore said...

I saw the pictures and videos, and I laughed when I saw Uncle Justin getting slobber on him! I’m going to the zoo tomorrow on a field trip, I hope I don’t get slobbered too!

Riley Kai said...

How fun! I love spur of the moment trips:)I think San Marcus has a similar park. Your pics are great and made me want to go soon!

Joy said...

Oh my goodness! I just got home last night so I just saw this video! Hilarious!!!!!! You guys are a couple of cuties, too. :-)

Tena said...

Too funny! We like to do those little trips, too. I'll work on a good list for you but consider these: Dr. Pepper plant in Dublin, Ranger museum in Waco, Turner Falls in OK.
Missing seeing your face!