Tuesday, July 19, 2011

at Bemidji - day two - off the the animal farm

Now that I have sort of caught up to recent days I need to do some serious back tracking.  So here we go, back to Bemidji....
One key piece of our week at the lake was cabin inspection.  I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of it.  Shame shame on me.
You see, Maddy, Alex and Lauren shared one room and Mia, Brooklyn and Timaya shared another room in the big cabin with Grandpa and Grandma Rose, Uncle Chris and Auntie Jann and Auntie Jodi.  It was quite a privilege that they weren’t banished to the noisy small cabin.
In order to keep up the standards, someone in their wisdom (I am informed that it was Alex), established a cabin clean up competition for the girls.
They neatly folded their clothes and even rolled their panties.  They made sure there wasn’t any garbage laying around and made their beds with hospital corners (okay, maybe not quite that good).
Uncle Chris was the main inspector.  He was thorough, tough yet fair, even going so far as to take photos of any discrepancies.  Each morning he had an assistant (one of the other adults in the cabin).
The level of competition rose every day.  They made decorations some days with the final day (Thursday.... as all those adults had to leave by then) culminating in a dramatic performance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
How that ties into a clean cabin, I’m not sure, but it was in response to Chris’ request to take him on a journey, a story if you will, of room cleanliness on the final day.

Tuesday morning we headed off to the Paul Bunyan Animal Park.
The whole clan of us essentially make an animal farm ourselves, so I wasn’t sure why we should go spend good money on seeing how other animals live.  
They have an indoor critter observatory, so to speak, in which we saw snakes, insects, birds and rodents (including one of the most horrific looking creatures God created - the hairless rat - I didn’t not include photos as I would not want to mentally disturb any readers even more than I already do).
There is a small trout pond where you can feed the overfed trout.  Also is an area with various animals in much too small cages (almost, but not quite, as bad as the zoo in San Jose, Costa Rica) where they all bow in subservience to the white PVC pipes from which their sustenance comes....again, tourists overfeeding the animals who have little space or desire to work up any appetite.  But you can get up close and personal with them....
There were the cutest little baby deer that could be pet.  We hope that when hours are over they were allowed to go back to their mommas, as they were very young (and probably needed milk much more than carrot chunks or dog food).
The fun section was really when you got to go into the field with all of the deer who were just roaming around.  The greedy ones waited by the gate for all the visitors who came with food, but there were plenty who were actually enjoying their space.
One deer, an albino we figured, was rather obnoxious.  You can see him virtually accosting poor Rose as she tried to get through the gate. Perhaps being the underdog and realizing he probably would have died if left in the wild made him feel that he had to fight (not for his right to party) for any food available.  We were not really his biggest fans.

They also had an alpaca.  I wasn’t sure if I should tell my family that the blankets we gave them where made from alpaca, as they don’t look quite so soft and cozy out in the wild.
Cade was more thrilled with the bone he found on the ground that most of the living creatures around him.  I was most thrilled that I found him laying on the ground close to deer poop.

The afternoon was filled with a trip on the pontoon boat.  With Brent as our skipper, we were off for a fun fill two hours cruising the lakes of the interlake Bemidji area.
The kids were anxious to “critter dip” as we made our way through the narrow channel of the Mississippi.  Yes - THE Mississippi (I have not trouble spelling that name, by the way).  It starts near there and doesn’t start of quite as grand or large as it ends up being in other parts.
Lovely food on the teeth Auntie Jodi!
Glenda took this picture of me with settings on her camera that were not quite idea - very overexposed.  But because of this, I love the picture.  I got it off her camera and threw a few fun effects on it.
This is one of my favorite pictures.  The big blue sky with a few puffy clouds, the eager anticipation with the net and the cute little bathing suit bums.
We entered another lake, halted and asked if any of the kids wanted to swim.  No one was really motivated so I threw out a “we’ll by slurpees or ice cream for anyone who jumps in” (this had worked very well for Glenda back on the rope swing).  Sure enough, all but one jumped on in there.  Not to be outdone, I joined them.  It was rather invigorating, but definitely difficult to heave myself back into the boat.... hadn’t really thought that far ahead before jumping in.  Once I observed Eric having to help all the kids out, I knew I was in trouble.

After the dip in the water, everyone mellowed out and we had a relatively relaxing ride back.

After dinner and saying goodbye to Auntie Jodi (she had prior commitments), we headed off to the pool for a bit more fun before bed.

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