Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coast Vacation 2: Safari and Prehistoric Gardens

Many of the bridges on the Oregon coastal highway have the same graceful arches and gateways.

Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport

They were part of a big project and designed by the same man, Conde McCullough. I loved the feeling of entering the gates of heaven.

bridge gates in Newport

That was the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. We also travelled over the Rogue River, the Isaac Lee Patterson, and the Coos Bay bridges. I may be missing some. When we crossed the state line into California, the bridges definitely lacked that magic.

After the aquarium we drove on to Bandon, Oregon. I should say Steve drove on to Bandon. He's a swell guy. We got there too late for the sunset.

view from Bandon Inn hotel

Our first stop after Bandon the next morning: the West Coast Game Park.
On the one hand I was in awe for seeing such animals so close...


I actually petted a rare white Bengal tiger cub. The caretaker fed him by holding her arm up with a bottle. The cub hugged her arm, following her along the platform, allowing us to pet his back as he went by. He was so quick, just a blur on the ground.

I petted the white bengal tiger cub

...on the other hand I wondered what my vegan friends would have to say about cages and conditions. The caretakers seemed to love their animals, but the animals seemed tired of being a show. This chimp was so unhappy.


The petting zoo herd was quite friendly. Too friendly, if you had food, and shy of petting if you didn't. I didn't have food, having met a mom cleaning up her kid in the bathroom.
petting zoo herd

First we saw the foxes.

white fox

When the camera came out, they often moved too quickly for a photo. This lynx just wouldn't let me.

desert lynx desert lynx

This lynx only just tolerated petting when the caretaker brought it out. Steve declined petting, but took my photo.

But this white skunk absolutely loved petting, making pleasure noises like a cat. She's fat and happy.
white skunk

Steve especially liked this primitive deer. It was about 3 feet tall. He took this photo:

See the complete slideshow here.

We continued on down Highway 101.

While we found the game park via travel brochures in the cafe in Bandon, I'd planned many of our destinations with the help of Roadside America. Our next stop, the Prehistoric Gardens.

Today I just watched a Science Channel show that asked whether T. Rex deserved its nasty reputation, or was a scavenger that hunted carcasses. Interesting thought. Large olfactory cavity, tiny arms, round rather than steak-knife-like teeth...seemed convincing to me.

Tyranosaurus rex

The animals seemed to be in their element:

Trachodon behind Steve

See the full slideshow here.

On we went to Crescent City.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I've missed your posts. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us.