Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam

As if the feeling of accomplishing a goal wasn't an awesome enough reward - total type A personality over here - I realized on Sunday that my 25 while 25 list is giving me the opportunity to create some seriously awesome memories. 

Brandi and Jilly (enthusiastically) agreed to go on the road trip with me to search for buffalo. We loaded up the car and headed out for the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. 

We stopped along the way and Brandi picked up some beef jerky for a snack. Apparently, Love's has the best jerky... ever. Y'all, I'm not exactly proud of my first reaction when she opened up her snack. (See top left picture.) I have a sensitive nose, ok?! 

Well, when I mentioned that I'd never tried jerky - and was totally fine being "that person" who said she hated jerky without ever trying it - the girls insisted I give it a try. After I adamantly refused, they reminded me it was something I could add to my "tastes" list. Darn them for using my 25 while 25 goals against me - even if they were just trying to be helpful! 

Thanks Jilly for capturing the full spectrum of grossed out faces. Note to self: I'm going to need botox if I keep making that bottom-left expression. I have to say though, I'm very proud of myself for chewing and swallowing the entire bite. Especially since I had the opportunity to spit it out when I was outside filling up the car with gas.

Moving on... 

This little munchkin was our first wildlife friend. Brandi named him Gregory - and he was a little skiddish when we tried to get close.

While we were driving through the refuge, we decided it'd be fun to venture to the top of Mount Scott. You guys, the views were unreal. Not a cloud in the sky and such blue water!!

As you can tell, it was pretty windy at the top - and you can't really see the beauty behind us - but man, that's some serious beauty in the foreground. I am so thankful for wonderfully, adventurous friends!!

I have to be honest with you guys, I was legitimately nervous we would drive all that way and not see a single buffalo. Well, imagine my sheer glee when we saw this guy off in the distance! We may have (read: definitely did) break a couple of rules to get close enough to snap this pic but he acted like we weren't even there. 

My favorite moment is when Brandi whisper-yelled "Sissy, turn off your shutter sound on your camera!!" Whoops. My phone is almost always on vibrate - luckily my loud, obnoxious ringtone didn't play while we were creeping through the field.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good about our single buffalo sighting... even if we didn't see more, at least we'd seen one! 

Well, as soon as we got past the Visitor Center, I squealed when I spotted three buffalo laying in a field on the side of the road. (Later, I joked that they were the Kardashians of buffalos - they were hanging out near all the people so they'd get their picture taken)

Once again, we were total daredevils and got really close to these guys to snap some photos. Everyone has said we were crazy for going so close, but they were incredibly calm and paid us no mind. I guess we just got lucky!! (disclaimer: we all had tennis shoes on - had "running for our lives" been necessary, I feel pretty good about our odds)

Jilly came up with the idea to take buffalo selfies - and I mean, duh! What a good idea!!

These photos are totally my favorite - not only because we look so silly taking selfies - but also because you can see how close we were!!

And yes, I absolutely wore my buffalo shirt on our road trip. In case you can't tell, he's wearing orange glasses, a la Russell Westbrook

Jilly asked if my obsession with buffalo got worse or lessened after this trip - and I can safely say, I am just as in love and more in awe of these creatures now!!

I can't wait to see the pics from Jilly's camera. (Although, who doesn't love a picture of a picture?)

I didn't check my camera's battery before the trip - and of course, it was dead. Luckily, iPhone quality pics did the trick! 

This is one goal from my 25 while 25 list that absolutely exceeded my expectations. 

Such a happy girl! xoxo, E

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