Washington: Day 17

Seattle airport at sunsetLast day!  It clouded over at last, and I got a glimpse of my first Washington rain.  Which suited my gloomy mood.  Everything that morning seemed to go wrong.  Each direction I turned was either full of traffic, or the wrong way, or construction.  When I reached the zoon in Seattle, there was not a single parking place in any of the lots, and parents with their children were flocking in from off-street parking.  Obviously, something big was going on, and I fled the scene, not wanting to spend my last day in Washington stuck on long lines. 

Instead, I went south to a smaller wildlife park near Mt. Rainier.  And happily, the rain had stopped by the time I arrived.  The Northwestern Wildlife Park had just the right number of visitors to be bustling without the crowds.  The tram tour through the wildlife free roaming area was a lot of fun, with moose walking right up to the windows, mountain goats playfully blocking the road, bison grazing majestically on the grassland pastures.  Nice!  And the animals were in naturalistic exhibits with – and this is rare – clear, unblocked access for those of a photographic turn of mind, so you can take great pictures. 

There were just enough free moments at each exhibit that I was able to connect with some of the animals.  The Coyotes hid whenever guests came in, and came out to stare at me in wonder/alarm when I was alone in their area.  The river otters chattered at me, obviously hoping I would give them food.  And the sleepy raccoon woke up and came out of her hole to blink at me and sniff the afternoon breeze awhile.  And the wolverine – frankly, that crazy beast posed for the camera!!  It was hilarious.  As soon as he saw the pop of my flash, he turned this way and that, popping his head over a fallen log, turning first to one side and then the other, and finally resting both paws on the log to look right into the lens before retiring from his impromptu photo shoot.  What a ham! 

I drove home through the dusk and dropped off the rental car.  What an enjoyable, informative, just plain fun trip I’ve had! 

Goodbye Washington.

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