Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve

Although this past weekend's meteor shower was a bust due to cloud cover and a full moon (my father-in-law was the only one to see a shooting star), it was still filled with awesomeness. Awesomeness being buffalo, of course.

Remember Christopher & Katherine's Summertime Adventures that I shared at the beginning of July? On Saturday we crossed Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve off our list. It was a gorgeous day for buffalo watching, and although we were skeptical of the quiet preserve at first, it turned out to be a ton of fun.

The reserve sits on 400 acres of field and woodland and is home to over a hundred buffalo living in two herds. There were also winding trails, a lodge-style Bed and Breakfast, and what appeared to be a vineyard. Our tour truck took us directly into the field with the larger herd, where we met the the oldest buffalo and father of the tribe, Bosco, and were able to watch the month-old babies frolic around. Another favorite of ours was Blackstone, a woodland buffalo who had a huge, curly buffalo 'fro.

The trails leading to Wild Winds' welcome center were lined with buffalo skulls, quartz, and other large geodes. The purple one on the left was almost as long as me, nearly 6 feet tall, and could be purchased for $350.

I wish I would have snapped a few more photos of their gift shop. They sold every buffalo-related item you could imagine -- bones, teeth, skins and meat, as well as many other Native American-influenced treasures. They even have a cafe, which features an array of buffalo burgers, buffalo chili, and "nachalos."

Our tour guide was the real deal, my friends. Silver ponytail, bandana, cut-off shirt and all. And yes, that is a corn-husk pipe in his pocket, presumably a homemade one. He was very knowledgeable, answered all our questions and provided a lot of interesting information about Wild Winds, the herd, and the sacredness of the buffalo within Native American culture. A few fun facts for you: the babies born last month already weight over a hundred pounds. In three steps, a typical buffalo can reach speeds of 35-45 mph. Bosco's head? It weighs 300 pounds alone.

Due to some roadwork in Fremont, we missed our original planned 2:00 tour, which was actually pretty full. The 3:00 tour, however, was just the two of us and our friend Eldridge. Although there were a few awkward silences during the tour, we got a lot of interaction with our guide and the buffalo and were able to ask all the questions we wanted. For being such large and powerful beasts, the buffalo were actually very quiet and peaceful animals. I can see why the Native Americans believe them to be sacred.

Obviously, we gave Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve a big thumbs up. If you're ever in the Fremont Indiana area and enjoy outdoorsy adventures, I definitely recommend a visit. It may not be the most glamorous of stops (the outhouse stench will getcha), but we had a lot of fun. This summertime adventure was definitely a success.


michael ann said...

oh goodness this looks like such a cool adventure!! that tour guide is so awesome, and i can't believe you got to be so close to the buffalo! how neat.

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Awesome photos!! What a cool experience to get to see all of the buffalo up close and personal!

Keitha said...

bermuda shorts! thumbs way up

Katherine Ross said...

Keitha, YES! Also, I'm glad you're commenting on my blog now... I know you read it :)