Lots of photos.
Thursday 21st June
Summer is having second thoughts about being in Washington State at this time of year. After discussions with winter they decided to share the day. The first half until midday belonged to Winter and the second half of the day is then shared between spring and summer.
Linda, Donnis, the children Jaxson and Emma and I went to Olympic Game Farm https://olygamefarm.com/ in Sequim (Skwim) a bit over an hour away along some very scenic countryside with occasional lakes and views of the ocean. It began to rain and got colder but somehow by the time we arrived it remained fine and even turned into a near nice day.
This place looks a bit run down and cheap and nasty but somehow it all seems to work. Basically the grazing animals are free to roam throughout most of the park and you can feed them slices of bread purchased at the gate. You drive around the park in your own car. There are signs reminding you to keep doors and sunroofs closed and to keep fingers inside.
You are also reminded not to stop at the bisons.
There is a reason for that as bison will stop in front of the car while another sidles up from the side or even the rear.
Their horns rub against the side view mirrors and their heads brush along the side of the car. Any fingers silly enough to be outside the window could get badly injured. Yeah, lots of signs to remind us the rules but it is not as if as if the bison can read. They know how to set up a roadblock and ambush you. We got mobbed by llama,
peacocks – yes peacocks –
and a bunch of other animals we are still trying to identify. The larger animals all managed to place their heads inside the open windows to the delight of Jaxson.
Emma felt terrified when one large elk licked her and slobbered over Linda’s arm as she yelled at me to go, go, go.
The park speed limit is 10MPH but the animals can easily maintain that speed and will happily walk beside the car with their head in the window.
Bears, which are also sort of grazers are in open grassed pens with the addition of a short wire fence and an electrified fence.
You can also throw bread to them but do not get out of the car.
The other animals classed as animals of prey are kept in small enclosures. Lions, tigers, more bears,
wolves, cougars, lynx and a bunch of others appear bored and pace around their small enclosures or simply sleep. Of the entire experience we really felt badly about these animals and their small enclosures with nothing to keep them occupied. Each enclosure is about half the size of an average house block. I would be bored walking around that all day. It was certainly a good rule you did not leave the car as technically the animals could escape but strangely the front gate was not a gate at all. An escaped animal could run straight through the open entrance.
In the afternoon we stopped at a wolf enclosure which also had a black bear pacing. Other wolf enclosures had groups of wolves nearby. The lone wolf climbed onto a high point and started a wolf howl. Soon the howl was taken up by the other wolves. This went on for some time then stopped suddenly.
This entire area was once owned by Walt Disney Studios and many adventure type movies were filmed here on sound stages and within animal enclosures. In a large barn are some of the sets of wilderness cabins used in various movies are still in place along with posters and other memorabilia.
A small petting area which included a few billie goats and a very fat pig had children chasing animals to pet them.
There was also a fresh water aquarium and a reptile room.
Over all it was an interesting experience but honestly it gave the impression of being run down, short of money and not enough staff and certainly not enough room for some of the animals and not enough activities to keep those animals busy.
The amazing low entry fee…in our case $13 each…entitled us to an all day pass. We drove back through the grazing area but by now the animals were laying around sleeping except for a few who still wanted bread.
Even the bears were no longer interested in the bread except to dunk a slice in water.
It was an interesting experience.
On our way home we stopped briefly at a small pretty town called Port Gamble. It seems to be a typical American town of the 1950’s era. Complete with the usual USA flags and white picket fences.
Friday 22nd June
Today we drove back to Vancouver. Donnis has been unwell since yesterday morning. In fact I seem to have similar symptoms but she is not well at all. We brought Silver and Jaxson with us. Somehow Jaxsons passport was left behind and we had Emmas passport instead. The Canadian Border officer asked a lot of questions and it looked like we were facing a long drive back to Poulsbo for the passport. He directed us into a side holding area and instructed us to leave the car unlocked and walk inside the border control offices and wait to be called. We wondered about what might be the outcome but were pleasantly surprised when they told us to continue our journey. Perhaps Jason, at age 4 does not need a passport.