Saturday, May 28, 2011

Terry Bison Ranch

By Patsy

I can’t remember ever writing about an RV park that we have stayed in, but I haven’t gone back and checked my notes to see if I’m right. This time, though, I will make an exception. Now through the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Utah and Colorado we have stayed in some pretty nice RV parks, we have also stayed in some that make you want to lock the door and keep a close eye on the children while they sleep. There are some really great state parks that have had amazing views and animals to see and there have been a very few that looked a little like a barren waste land. We have even stayed in our share of parking lots. But of all the places that I have stayed, none has been more enjoyable for our family than this place.

It is just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming and it’s called Terry Bison Ranch. Now, if you know me, you know that I have a thing about buffalo, so that is probably why my husband first chose this place. However, the huge herd of buffalo has only been a side note for our stay here. (Yes, they are out there where everyone can see them. Ben Affleck must be done shooting his film.) But the real draw for us was the fact that this place is really a working ranch. And guests are allowed to roam around and enjoy all the animals and wide open spaces.

They also have a store, café, Laundromat, wagon rides, horseback rides, train rides, and a giant jackalope. Yep. It’s here and it’s gigantic! In fact, I have to say that in all my years of stuffed jackalope sightings, I have never sighted one this large. It’s a beauty! Also the Laundromat is one of the cheapest we have found since we hit the road and that makes me happy…happy…happy. Sadly, the boys are not interested in the laundry facilities. They are impressed with the two playgrounds located in the midst of the campgrounds. No little pre-formed tubes here. These are big, unique and fun. I can hardly keep the boys off of them. (Including the big boys.)

One of the things that we read about in this place and wanted to see was something called a chicken bus. Having no idea what this thing could possibly be, I went into the office to ask where it was located and if I could take the family to see it. Dan (whom I believe must be the owner of the ranch) told me that it was a school bus converted into a large chicken house for the 150 chickens they have. However, the chickens are too young to be on display to large crowds. I was just about ready to thank him and be on my way when he smiled and suggested that our family wasn’t large enough to be considered a “large crowd” and he would be happy to take us to the chicken bus so the boys could see it firsthand. First of all, that was one of the only times our family hasn’t been referred to as a “large crowd” and secondly, I was blown away by the fact that this man was willing to make exceptions and take time out of his schedule for a total stranger. But I happily took him up on his offer.

We planned our tour of the chicken bus to co-ordinate with some pony rides for our three youngest boys. We realized they had never been on a horse or pony other than the ones that are tethered to a pole and walk in a circle and this pony ride was going to be taken through the open fields. They were ecstatic. We got our tour of the chicken bus (which was so adorable) and then we were asked if we had seen the baby camel yet. (We didn’t even know they had a baby camel.) We were taken to the pen where the mother and baby camel were staying and loved it when the baby came right over to the fence to visit with us. Then we had to see the peacocks, lamas, cattle, horses and miniature horses. The baby miniature horse was absolutely the tiniest, cutest little horse the world has ever known. It also stood on its wobbly little legs and came over to sniff the boys’ hands. They were all amazed that its little nose felt like velvet. Then they were all giggling when we were told its name is Booger.

Next two ponies were trotted out and our little boys were given helmets and helped up into the saddles of Rainbow and Teddy. My husband and I were allowed to walk along with the boys as they took turns getting their rides. Chase was slightly on the cautious side. He wanted to know everything that his pony was doing until he was comfortable with his ride. Brendan never said a word, which is really a testimony to his excitement. He is never quiet. David did talk about his pony, which says quite a bit about his attitude, because he is usually the quiet one. All three loved the ride. But what were their big brothers doing?

Well, it seems that there was a pen with some interesting goats that caught Blake and Tanner’s attention. They wandered over to get a better look at the goats. It seems that while they were looking, Tanner accidentally touched the top wire of the fence for a split second. He wondered if he had felt a little shock, or if the wire was just rough, so he asked his brother Blake if he thought it was an electric fence. This was a mistake.

Blake does very few things half way and this fence was no exception. He decided to give it the “real test”. At this point he says he grabbed it with both hands and held on. (The guy that was walking Rainbow with Chase happened to see the episode and claimed that he had never seen anything so funny in his life.) It would appear that even though Blake’s voice is changing and getting much lower, he can still scream like a little girl. I believe he also did a little dance number that was quite a hit. I didn’t see this first hand, and it’s probably a good thing. With my son, I find that the saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” has become something of a life motto. It is best that I find out about most of his episodes after the fact, when he is safe and I can’t have a heart attack watching. But, by the time I saw him, he was laughing and rubbing his elbows.

But despite the electrocution, we will all be sad when the time comes to move on. This is really a great place. It’s good for tents as well as RVs and also had cabins to rent. If you are ever vacationing in the Cheyenne area, this is a place you will want to look up.

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