Feeding cyclists is only half the fun. I love to feed critters! Two footed, web footed, four footed, you name them, I like to feed them. Except Ostriches. Ostriches are evil. We stopped at the ostrich farm North of Tucson last year. I would recommend it if you are driving by, but remember: Ostriches are evil.
Feeding critters has gotten me into a little bit of trouble over the years. How was I supposed to know that Javelinas aren't the cute little piglets in the children's book "The Three Little Javelinas"? I didn't get to see them, but they left little cloven hoof prints in the mud! Sorry Tammy.
Chipmunks got me into trouble too. I honestly did not see the sign at Washington Pass that said, "DO NOT FEED THE CHIPMUNKS!" And they LOVE cheerios. And they're SO CUTE. The ranger was none to happy with me. Sorry Tom.
Chipmunks took over in Truckee, CA. They line up on the boulders as we enter the State Park. I can just hear the chipmunk chatter: "there they are! Right on time! Granola bars! Yippee!". As soon as we open the back of the truck there is a colony of chipmunks that have been trained in granola bar recognisance. One or two will run diversion tactics in the front of the truck while the rest of the crew scurry into the pantry for a full inspection. Try getting them out of the back of my truck!
Then there was the little guy in Mammoth. Well, he really wasn't little. I think he had a thyroid issue. I had to keep the door to the kitchen that I was using open, as it was really hot. Every time I would turn my back on the door the little guy would scamper in and hop right up on my work table. Yes, I sanitized. I ended up giving him a bagel to go.
Raccoons are another story. I do not purposefully feed them. They lay in waiting until everyone is asleep and then pilfer what ever they can find. One night in Colorado I thought all the garbage was stored. Brian: you left the broken tequila bottle in a bag under the buffet table. Next to where I was sleeping. Waking up to two HUGE raccoons is not my idea of a good time. Raccoons like tequila.
Ducks are pretty cute, too. Harmless. Not their cousins the geese. The geese in Blanco, Texas are down right mean. They had on rider treed on a picnic table. I really didn't feed them.
Goats ate my bananas. We were at a ranch in Utah on the Parks tour. The resident goats had the run of the ranch during the day. I had offloaded a case of bananas to put on the lunch truck and the goats consumed about half of it before I knew what hit me. Goats love bananas! So do deer. The deer in the State Park in Oregon are pretty tame. Are they related to the goats?
The horses in Panguitch, Utah liked apples. They also liked the seats of the bikes that riders leaned up on the fences. Lesson learned?
Last but not least, the hornets. I don't feed the hornets. On purpose. They love protein. I am protein. In South Lake Tahoe, CA the hornets were so thick I just gave up. The riders had to sit in the trucks to eat. The fabulous fresh fig and prosciutto salad that I was so proud of was inedible. There were hornets covering every inch. If I serve it again I shall name it Hornet Salad. Note: check your soda cans before drinking when hornets are present. More than one swollen lip has transpired.
Just received a picture of the blue bonnets in Texas from Steve. It's going to be a beautiful ride. I wonder what critters I will find this year in Texas. Armadillos anyone?