Bears and Wolves, Oh My

I have memories when I was little of going to NW Trek. I had always meant to take Ford there when he was younger and it never happened. Kirk had the day off so we loaded everyone in the van and puttered down. It is on the way to Mt. Rainier, in an area that was once very rural (still is, but the suburbs keep crawling out). It is more a park than a zoo, with a round 5 miles of paved and unpaved trails. The paved ones just happen to go by animal displays. The walking is nice, under a canopy of trees so it is cool. Admission also includes a ride on their trams, a 50 minute ride through the back of the park where animals roam free (non-predator ones).

Walker walked the entire way, through all the animals. His favorites? The bears. He was very, very excited to see the black bears (which run free in Washington State and are glorious to watch in the wilds while hiking) –


The Grizzlies were interesting, they were smaller ones. My photo wasn’t the greatest – Kirk got some great shots, including video, of one of them scratching its backside on a tree. Beautiful creatures. Grizzlies are finally making their way back into Northern Washington State, in the most remote sections of the North Cascade Mountains after being killed out years ago. While I love seeing black bears in the wilds, I can take Grizzlies at a very, very far distance.

We had taken the double BOB Jogger stroller and I wasn’t to hot on the idea of leaving it in the stroller lot at the tram. Most likely nothing would have happened to it…but gah, it costs so much! An unguarded $600 stroller? Oh heck no. (Thank you REI Dividend for nearly buying it for free this past spring!). I stayed behind with Alistaire while Kirk, Ford and Walker took the tram. It was actually quite nice.

My view was this –


Horseshoe Lake, with Swans and Ducks floating on it, a view of Mt. Rainier, a cozy park bench and shade/breeze. Alistaire got to play, have lunch and then tucked in for a nap. It was super relaxing. A small dragonfly landed next to me. It had a neat orange pattern on it. No photo though, I didn’t want to move!

After the tram ride we walked the rest of the parks paved trails, although it was getting late so that meant no unpaved hiking. Oh well!

We visited the wolves. all the cats – the cougar was taking a “nap” in the sun, occasionally stretching and yawning. I have seen Lynx and Bobcats in the wild, although Walker was fascinated to see them.


The not-threatened masked robber. It cracks me up to see Raccoons in a zoo. Most of my life we had 1-2 families living under our home, no matter where we lived. When I lived on the Island, the raccoons were so comfy they’d walk up to the house and cut through it if windows or doors were open. They would bring their babies up to show them to me every year, as if to present them. I have a soft spot for them, even though they are greedy little pigs.



Ford and Walker –



Walker playing on a tree stump –


It was a great outing – they all had a good time. Even The Teen was happy. I’d say he really enjoyed it. Up next? I think Walker is ready for the small zoo near us that is all about cougars…which for me is fun, fun, fun!




  1. Waw! What a beautiful scenery & wolves & bears in the wild! Waw! Aren’t you at all afraide of those wild & special animals? Very cool pictures too! We don’t have them in Belgium! Only in a zoo!

    • I respect the bears but am not afraid of them – mostly because the black bears, when on all 4 legs, are about to my knees. We live on the edge of the foothills so they are pretty common 🙂

  2. What a great day!

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