Moonridge 2002

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(Click on the images to see larger versions of each picture)



It took us about two hours to drive to Big Bear Lake, the second hour all on winding mountain roads. It was beautiful, but not my favorite thing. I kept having to pull into the turnouts to let the faster traffic get by. But the deal was I had to drive there and Marty ( my husband) would drive us home. I decided I would rather drive up the mountain in the daytime than drive down in the dark.

After a long drive through the scenic town of Big Bear Lake, we arrived at Moonridge Animal Park at about 12:30 pm.

This is just inside the gate looking straight into the park. There were animal cages on the left and right and the celebrity booths were scattered in different places. I'm trying to make a beeline to the booth right behind me because I spy GM's booth there. If you look closely to the right of my head, you can see Deb standing in the shade in front of it.

Unfortunately, here Marty's and my priorities differed. I wanted to go and see what was going on in the booth. Marty wanted to eat. I was able to walk over to the booth and and see Garett and Deb there. There were not much people actually getting things signed anymore. I think we missed the autograph crush. But then I realized to my dismay that I had forgotten to bring pictures to get signed. I was trying to work up the courage to approach and ask about pictures but instead I let Marty drag me away. I know, I'm a coward. So I didn't get any pictures of the activity at the booth, but I know other people did.


Looking back toward the entrance of the park, to the right is the area where the animal auction took place later. The building in the background had an outdoor staircase and balcony which led to the Green Room. This is where the celebrities could hang out.



I don't think that the park usually offers lunch combos, but they were doing so that day as another fundraising effort. You can see the lunch booth and tables in the background.

It was a long wait because volunteers were manning the grills turning out hamburgers and hotdogs. They did a great job and I'm sure many others appreciated their efforts as much as we did. I was able to sneak away while Marty waited in line and go back to the booth. This time I introduced myself to Deb and scoped out the signing table more closely. I did'nt see any pictures, darn it. I might have gone up to say hello to GM with a picture in my hand or something for him to sign, but I didn't have a thing with me except my ticket stubs. I stood around trying to think what I could possibly get him to sign and finally chickened out again.


By the time we finished lunch, the auction was about to start. I realized then that nobody was at the booths anymore. Oh well, no pictures, no one to sign them. I'm really doing well here. I was bummed out until Marty told me that there were pictures for sale of all the celebrities at a table right at the entrance. I went to look and saw that indeed there were quite a selection of beautiful photographs, including many of Garett with animals from the zoo. I managed to walk right past them without noticing them before. I bought a lovely picture of Garett talking to a fox and I was happy again. Now I was just hoping that he would be signing pictures again after the auction.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but Garett was sitting up on the balcony waiting for the auction to begin. Don't worry, in the next few pictures you can actually see him.


The auction began and there were quite a few worthy pledges made for the care of a variety of furry and feathered candidates. Then came the big snakey guy representing the reptile candidates. He looked like quite a handfull, but all the snake handlers looked cool under pressure.




Showing off the snake's best side.


Okay, after a generous bid is made and accepted, time to go back to the cage.


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June 3, 2002