Peak show at Picacho: Ostrich by day, ‘Lion’ by night

Story and photo by 

DALTON GRIJALVA

As you drive West on I-10 toward Phoenix, you might want to check out Exit 219, which will take you to Picacho Peak. 

The area is home to beautiful hikes and is the site of the smallest battle that took place during the Civil War.

It’s also a great spot for Valentine’s Day. 

First, start off things slowly and stop at the Rooster-Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, a slightly exotic petting zoo of sorts. The farm located all the way to the left: Just keep going even if you see dead-end signs.

You pay $12 total, which is a steal for what you get to do. 

The cashier will give you two cups. One cup is full of green feed pellets for the larger animals as well as a stick with parakeet food on it. I was lucky enough to snag a picture of kissing ones. 

When you meander over to the larger animals, you’ll see  donkeys. Some will smile at you to entice you to feed them. A donkey named Smiley had nothing but joy across his snout. 

The deer were among the calmest animals you could feed and somewhat pet. 

But if anyone is looking for a Valentine’s Day kiss, look no further than the goat kissing booth.

Take one of the longer pellets, unless you are truly that desperate to get up close and personal. The goat will take a pellet right out of your mouth.

The blue cup has three tokens that you can use to feed chickens, bunnies or ducks (or use at the target shooting area). It also has a small cup of liquid honey for the Lorikeets, small bright green birds that will land on your head, arms and shoulders in order to sip some of the liquid. 

To feed the stingrays, which is a newer part of the farm, costs $3 extra, but it’s worth it. 

The ostriches, however, are the main attraction at Rooster Cogburn’s.

These giant birds are quite awesome. They can be intimidating, so I missed out on feeding them directly as they gave off a velociraptor-esque vibe. “Gentle” is not in their vocabulary. 

Luckily, the birds had small feeding stations located in the middle of the fences for those who don’t want to hold out their outstretched palm with food. 

Though stingrays are known for their painful stings, these rays have had their stingers removed and weren’t scary at all. 

You might conclude your trip to Picacho Peak after this, but some will be intrigued by the neraby adult/sex toy store known as the Lion’s Den.

Though its location is intriguing, it’s still your everyday sex toy store. When you walk in, you’ll be treated to scandalous clothing, incense sticks and a cashier. Nothing too crazy yet. 

In the back of the store, there’s a truly “dirty” section. That’s where you’ll find a variety of toys, including 12-inch dildos, silicone sex dolls, and more items to get your rocks off. 

If you’re too scared to go to a sex shop in Tucson and need to prowl late at night, the Lion’s Den is for you. Overall, if you’ve just turned 18 and want to experience your first adult shop, go for it. But, it both literally and figuratively sucked. Don’t bother.

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