Our trip down to Cheyenne
We stopped at a roadside parking area which was right outside a very large
ranch so that we could stretch & the dogs could relieve themselves.
|Face Carved Tree|
I don't remember exactly what town it was in but it was in Montana north of of Billings, MT.
Right by the fence around the ranch were two displays, one of which was a very unusual tree that had been carved & decorated. You can see the main carving was of a face & all the little limbs that had the ends of each limb decorated as a face.
Thursday, August 21stThis is the last leg of our summer vacation. We have both been to Cheyenne
The first photo is of the buildings up front which houses the trading post (gift shop), laundry, etc. The next photo is a stuffed buffalo inside the trading post...at least I think it is stuffed ;)
Originally we were going to stay 3 nights but since we have appointments to get some work done on our coach when we get back we decided to stay only 2 nights so we have some time to unpack & gt settled before heading to Albuquerque with the coach. We were mostly interested in checking out the ranch so we will get our Bison tour in the morning & look around so we will be satisfied & we can say we were here.
|Train for Bison Tour|
Since we really only have one full day here we were limited as to what we could do while we were here so we opted to take the Bison Train ride. The photo here is the train we were on which was just a regular tour without any meals. They have a few different ones including a heated one with windows for the winter tours & a train with dining cars for the breakfast & dinner tours. This one also has windows...probably to keep all those nasty flies out...& there are a lot of flies around here & not all of them are on the poor buffalo.
A little about the ranchThe company started in 1993 when Ron Thiel originally bought the Terry Ranch for the purpose of raising Bison. Dan Thiel, the son of Ronald and Janice thought it would be a great idea to start a company that would allow people to be able to get up close and personal to the "great North American Bison". Of course after over 1 year of red tape "Jan Thiel Inc." dba Terry Bison Ranch Resort became a reality.
Back in the beginning of their history they were serving chuckwagon dinners in an old barn called the Wagon Wheel. Now they have the Senator's Steakhouse where they serve meals. The food was good but the price was really pretty outrageous
especially considering they raise the meat themselves. Oh well, I guess it's whatever the tourists will pay.
Friday, 8/22 - The American Buffalo (Bison) TourWe opted for the early morning tour to avoid the 60+ kids taking the later
|Arabian Camel (Dromedary)|
The photos show the animals as we saw them on the ride. The best part of the ride is the buffalo & those were the last of the animals we saw....yes, they save the best for last!
While I think that overall this place is a tourist trap & highly overpriced this train tour was well worth the $12.00 per person price. It was amazing.
Not only did we get to see the Buffalo up close &
We certainly learned a lot. The Ranch maintains a herd of 1400 buffalo. Every year when they send some to processing they "back fill" from the newly born calves that year so they always maintain 1400 at a time. If they have more calves than
Our tour guide knows his stuff. He gave us a
|Me feeding a buffalo|
Everyone on the train was very pleasantly surprised at how easily the buffalo came up to the train. I think we were all a bit nervous about feeding them but our guide told us how to do it & once we each tried it once & saw how easy & painless it was we just kept feeding them Alfalfa until we all ran out. Some of us originally said we didn't want to feed them but once we saw one brave person feed, almost everyone suddenly wanted to do it but only those who opted to before leaving for the ride had Alfalfa to feed the buffalo so the others jut had to watch.
|Licking my fingers|
The buffalo were so calm & they gently took the alfalfa out from our fingers. The saliva mixed with the Alfalfa was getting all over my fingers covered & one nice Buffalo decided to link my fingers to clean them off. You can see in one of the photos that my hand was almost all the way in his (or her) mouth & it was so gentle I was amazed. It wasn't the least bit scary & was actually a lot of fun. I kind of wished I had more to give them. A man next to me hadn't gotten any Alfalfa because he didn't want to feed them. Hi partner said "look at that buffalo licking her fingers". Next thing I know they are snapping photos of me feeding the buffalo & we were all laughing. I had a great time! Would I do this again...absolutely. This train ride was worth the the trip to the Ranch.
About The American Buffalo
Like their close relatives, domestic cattle and sheep, buffalo are cloven-hooved. Both males and females have a single set of hollow, curved horns. The male buffalo, called bulls, are immense, often weighing a ton or more and standing 5 to 6 feet high at the shoulders. The huge head and great hump covered with dark brown
In the spring, buffalo begin to shed their heavy winter coats, and soon their hair hangs in tatters. To hasten shedding and possibly to relieve their itching skin, buffalo rub
|Close-up Head Shot|
With the arrival of the breeding season in mid-to late summer, the herds become restless. The bulls, aloof most of the year, now drift among the cows and calves. Noticeably quiet at other times, the bulls bellow hoarsely and become quarrelsome. Many fights occur over females, and the combatants, with lowered heads, paw the earth defiantly.
Cows give birth usually every year to one tawny to buff-colored calf. Most of the calves are born between the middle of April and end of May, but some arrive as late as October. At birth, the calves have only a faint suggestion of the hump they will develop later. Buffalo begin grazing (primarily on grasses) while still very young, although some may continue to nurse until they are nearly a year old. Buffalo may live to be about 20 years of age. Among the small herd of Buffalo that were greeting us there were several calves. Buffalo calves are born weighing between 35 to 50 pounds. Bulls will grow to 6 ft at the hump and may weigh as much as 2,400 lbs. Cows (female) will grow to about 5 ft at the hump and can weigh over 1,000 lbs.
When buffalo (bison) are born they do not have horns, but do have buttons, which will grow into horns on both males & females. Unlike antlers on deer or elk, bison only get one set of horns.