Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Clarks Trading Post

Clarks Trading Post is a family-run tourist attraction right there in Lincoln.  When it first started, in the 1920's, the attraction was a team of sled dogs.  In fact, my mother-in-law, Fran, worked there as a teenager!  But in the '30's, they brought in their first bear, and in the '40's, they started training the bears to perform.  They were pretty amazing!
 
 
Waiting for the show.


These trainers are descendants of the original owners, and Mark's family went to school with them.
 

They do use ice cream as a training tool.  Apparently, bears really like it.  But when the trainer licked it after the bear--yuck!

 
The Chinese acrobats were impressive!  There are two in each of the large lions here.


This guy was throwing cups from his foot onto his head.  While balancing on a unicycle.

I have trouble standing on one leg.


We rode the famous White Mountain Railroad.  Not this one...



Yes, here we are!


The main attraction on the train ride is the Wolfman, who chases the train and shoots his gun.  His shouts and rants are broadcast through speakers in the train.  It reminded me of riding the Greyhound, without the f-bombs.  In fact, the little girl next to us got so scared she hid under the seat.  Passengers on the train are encouraged to shout back "Scram, you old goat!"


Next, the kids hit the climbing tower.  The Old Man profile is at the top of the tower.
 

Scotty went first.


Then Mae...

There's the Old Man profile above her to the left. Ironically, they had already conceived and ordered this custom tower before the Old Man fell in 2003.


And Abigail.
 



The final activity of the day was the bumper boat ride.  Each boat is equipped with a water gun.


Everyone starts out a bit timidly, only aiming at people they know.

 



But after a while, things devolved into a mad free-for-all.  See the guy in the white shirt?  He's a goner!



Here's some stranger shooting Casey.  I'm sure she got him first!



Mark got into the game with a shore gun.

 


 

 
So after this, everyone was soaked and cold, and my batteries were dead.  But what did we do?  We went and had ice cream!  And THEN, we sat and watched the acrobats again.  And THEN we went to the gift shop.  No fair-weather tourists in our family, that's for sure!

So that was Clarks. Obviously a full day's worth of activity, and we still didn't get it all.  Highly recommend!