Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Update from Fossil Rim...

We finally made it home yesterday afternoon.  We made a detour after leaving Fossil Rim and stopped at the Vicksburg National Battlefield in Vicksburg, Mississippi and Shiloh National Battlefield in Tennessee.  Both are beautiful parks and rich in history.

From Shiloh we made it to Miner, Missouri where we found the Holiday Inn Express all filled up so stayed at a America's Best Value Inn which was large but badly in need of maintenance.  We had two rooms, two TVs and the beds were comfortable with good pillows but there was mold in the bathroom and a hole in the sink.  The bathroom reminded me of a shabby Motel 6.  I hate to think I've become a hotel snob but that bathroom was pretty bad.

I have some pictures for you from Fossil Rim but it will take a couple of days to show them all so let's get started.

By far, the sweetest and most gentle animals were the giraffes.  On some of our drives through the park (and we took many of them over three days), the giraffes were up close to the road. The tour guides encourage you to feed them to keep them close to the road to the delight of everyone who sees them.  You can purchase food at the visitor's center and the Overlook.  The animals seem to love it.  Some of them wait for a car to stop and then rush it but not the giraffes, you'll need to coax them over.
I resisted feeding the animals because I really didn't want to get all gunky (and, trust me, some of them are seriously gunky).  But these guys are so beautiful I finally had to do it.  Their muzzles are as soft as velvet and they are so gentle.  Amazing creatures.
I sent this picture to our good friend, Rich.  My message to him is always a Bronx cheer so this picture was especially perfect, eh, Rich?

This is a European Red Deer and responsible for keeping me awake so many nights while we stayed at the park.  Between the Fallow Deer and this guy grunting, coughing, bugling, I hardly got any sleep the three nights we stayed in the Safari Camp.  In his attempt to lure the girls in, he urinates in dirt and rolls in it (apparently this is attractive to the ladies).  We were early in the rut, soon he will be covered with mud, dripping little balls of it and he is the first to run to a car to be fed.  If you want to keep all of your nose hairs, roll up your window before he gets there, you will be glad you did.
This is a male Fallow Deer.  Fortunately they were always way too tired after a night of cavorting with the ladies to come to the car.  In fact, it was rare during the day to see their eyes open.  Just completely sacked out.

We keep talking about going back in May to see the babies.  They are expecting a baby Grevy's Zebra in the spring (a huge deal since they are endangered).  They also had a baby White Rhino born last October (her name is Ursulla) and they've had 125 Cheetah cubs born since 1986.  This park isn't just a lot of fun to go through but a dedicated nursery for animals that are struggling in the wild.  Kudos to the volunteers that lead the tours, the interns that take such good care of the animals and the scientists and doctors who keep the animals healthy and breeding.


  1. Fabulous pictures, Cindy!!! I'd love to visit Fossil Rim some day. I'm looking forward to more pictures. The Male European Red deer sound as gross as male goats. I recently learned that male goats urinate on their own faces to attract the females and it forms a hard crust on their face that smells beyond awful. Oh yeah, that sounds attractive. lol

  2. OMG! I just about DIED when you said you visited Shiloh that's not that far from me!!! I sooo would have loved to had the chance to meet you!!! These are some great pictures and I so LOVE reading your posts about your trip!! I'm glad you had a good time but you BETTER email me the next time your remotely close to me so we could meet!!! Hugs, Leanne