Thursday, January 31, 2008 ;
Hardware Ranch Elk
It's been quite some time since we last had a family drive and outing.
This Sat, since it was not snowing hard and the skies were blue, we set off for the Hardware Ranch.
It is near Logan, north of Utah, about 2 hours away from where we are. The distance is not that far, but because towards the ranch, there is a canyon and the roads up the mtns are narrow and very winding, so that took a longer time. Also, the roads there were not plowed and thus we had to be careful.
Scenery along the way: mtns at Hyrum, and Logan area.
The drive was truly scenic. Beautiful rock formations, mtn ranges, farms, trees and creeks. Below: nearing the ranch, the road meanders alongside this pristine creek. Lovely.
When we reached the ranch, we first went to the Visitor's Center to buy tickets for the sleigh ride and also view the exhibits there. Not bad, they had activities and worksheets for kids. There were stuffed animals, telescopes and a sand tray for kids to make animal tracks in. They had a real preserved elk foot there for the kids to handle. a bit scary looking to me, but the kids had a blast holding it and waving it around (the limb).
Below: the guys (dh, ds) walking down from the visitor's center.
At the foot of the hill, we boarded the sleigh. It is a horse-drawn sleigh. ds1 kept refering to it as Santa's sleigh, haha. ds2 thought it just looked like oversized skis.
Above Left: me and kids climbing up the sleigh.
Then we rode to the elk herds. We went right amongst them. Some were eating hay, some were just sitting around and "communicating" to each other. 2 bull elk were having their antlers locked together, but they didn't look too fierce, so I guess it is a "friendly match".
We just sat in our sleighs and watched them. For about 20min. The guide talked to us about elk management and conservation in this area. And about elk behavior.
The bull elk naturally attracted much more attention from us with their huge majestic antlers.
Above left: you can click to enlarge and see this one. so funny! He was sticking out his tongue. So cheeky.
Above right: then he licked his lips! Like, oooh yummy. Either that, or he was eyeing one of the females in the herd.
The kids were enthralled and they enjoyed the sleigh ride a lot, especially how it glided across the snow. ds2 kept watching the "ski" part moving on the snow.
However, ds1 fell into a huge puddle of muddy slushy snow on the way back to the car. I was walking in front of him. He got very angry at me for "leading" him through that way. Cos it was very slippery. And he doesn't like to be messy and dirty, so now, with his whole body (really! pants etc all soaked through) with muddy cold water, he was really upset and cried for the first part of the journey home.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow