Another field trip! I know, we’ve been on quite a few lately and there are still more to come. For the last three weeks we’ve had one field trip per week, and next week we’ll have another. As I’ve said before, I’m so grateful to have such an active homeschooling community that plans so many fun learning experiences. Lately there have been many group events to choose from, and we certainly don’t have time to participate in them all, but it’s been fun looking through them and picking our top priorities to attend from the list. When I saw there was a field trip to Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, I signed us up right away. Then I wrote to my dad and stepmom and asked them if they would like to meet us there because we had talked about going there with them for years. I knew Bracken would really enjoy having his grandparents join us on a field trip!
Luckily, they were able to clear their schedules for the day and meet us. We were so glad they came, it made the day so special for Bracken to have them there. Our group rented a bus at Wildlife Safari and not only was it fun riding on one big bus together, we had a guided tour. Our tour guide had a microphone and all along the drive through the park told us about each animal. She shared so many interesting tidbits with us and we learned a lot. Did you know that zebra stripes are as unique to each zebra as a human’s fingerprints are to them? After a baby zebra is born the mother separates them from the herd for a period of time so the baby can learn to identify the mother’s unique stripes and later find mom amidst the group. I thought that was so fascinating!
Wildlife Safari is the only drive-through animal park in the state of Oregon and was created to save rare and endangered species from around the world. From their site: “Almost 50 years later, Wildlife Safari has grown into an internationally recognized non-profit wildlife park dedicated to conservation, education, and animals in wide open spaces.” “And it isn’t just a drive-through animal park. Wildlife Safari boasts one of the top cheetah breeding research centers on Earth and is the number one cheetah breeding facility outside of Africa & number two on Earth. Scores of students enter Wildlife Safari’s internship programs each year and an international veterinary medicine program resides on Safari grounds. Hundreds of young students are reached each year by education programs for school-aged children and some high school students even attend ecology, English and mathematics classes on site.”
Bracken and I had been to another drive through animal park in Florida a few years ago, called Lion Country Safari, while we were visiting my mom. Bracken was newly four at the time and still remembers it fondly. (I did a much better job of narrowing down my pictures in this post than in that previous one.) When a friend read that post and told us about Wildlife Safari in Oregon, and then my dad and stepmom saw a sign for it and mentioned all of us going together, it’s been on our must-visit list ever since. Wildlife Safari was described as being nestled into the picturesque hills of Southern Oregon. And it was picturesque indeed.
The only downside of our day was the fact that I had eaten something the night before that upset my stomach. When I woke up that morning to get ready and head out the door, my stomach wasn’t ready to eat any breakfast. By the time we made the drive down to Wildlife Safari and were nearing the end of our bus tour, the hunger hit me. There was plenty to eat for lunch, but by that point I had waited too long to eat and started feeling nauseous and could hardly eat a thing. (I always find that so strange, at a time when you are so hungry your body can hardly eat.) Luckily my dad and stepmom were there to walk around with Bracken and they made things fun for him. I had to go sit in a shady spot with my bottle of peppermint essential oil for awhile, breathing in the scent to help ease my nausea. Skipping breakfast is not something I do very often, and apparently for good reason!
On the drive home, I chewed on chunks of ginger to help my stomach feel well enough to make it home. I had packed ginger for Bracken in case he got car sick and then I ended up being the one who needed it, which I certainly hadn’t expected. But regardless of that not-fun low blood sugar part, I’m very glad we made the trip down. We saw so many animals that day and Bracken had fun with his grandparents. I had intended to take a picture of the three of them after we finished eating our lunch, but by that point I didn’t feel well and stopped taking pictures. Oh well, next time! I’m sure we’ll be going back to Wildlife Safari again. If you’re in Oregon, it’s a great place to visit!