So here's some advice to people who might be planning a visit to the Kansas City Zoo in the future:
1) Turn off on the correct road.
2) If you happen pass the zoo and turn off on the next, narrow road so that you can go back to the zoo, please be aware of the narrowness of the road. There's a brief stretch of the road that has a sharp enough drop-off that a minivan will get very stuck if the back wheels drop into it.
3) If the back of your minivan happens to drop into this ditch, you don't actually have to call a tow truck to get you out. They'll come, believe you me, but they don't HAVE to. You can jack up the back of the van, put some boards and bricks under the wheels, and just drive the van out of the ditch, provided your tailpipe didn't smash down into the far side of the ditch and get clogged with dirt.
4) If you happen to not notice that the tailpipe has been clogged with dirt, so you think that you've damaged the engine somehow because the car won't stay on (a sort of "banana in the tailpipe situation), and you call the tow truck anyway...kick the tow truck driver in the groin right away before he spends an hour talking with his boss about whether or not to actually pull your minivan out of the ditch.
5) If your minivan gets pulled out of the ditch by the tow truck, and then you gun the engine trying to get the minivan turned enough to go up on the bed of the towtruck, and the dirt clog shoots out of the tailpipe like a cannon, just keep driving away before your conscience forces you to give the tow truck driver 25 dollars for his trouble.
6) If you start this adventure in the early afternoon, keep in mind that the zoo closes at 4:00 PM.
We went to the park next to the zoo to give the incredibly restless girls a chance to expend some of their energy. They decided they were going to hear some animals regardless.