Thursday, March 08, 2012
The Elusive Moose
Way back in August, we were cruising through Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road just outside Grand Lake, Colorado when I saw her. "MOOSE!! Stop the car!!" I yelled. My husband, who has gotten exceptionally good at stopping on a dime for this photographer, slammed on the brakes and made a quick u-turn to get back to the moose. Just as we got out of the car, she emerged from the willow. No one else had seen her - yet.
Within five minutes, cars lined the road in both directions. I'd started a world-class moose jam (see above). When we lived in Yellowstone National Park many moons ago, we used to stop on the side of the road, pull out our binocs and start pointing at absolutely nothing. When others pulled up and excitedly jumped out of their cars with cameras and binocs, we'd laugh and take off. Suckers! It wasn't nice. I admit it. But when we got stuck in bison, elk, bear, wolf, coyote, moose, bald eagle, osprey, crane, badger, mountain goat and deer jams on a regular basis, we had to come up with a fun way of dealing with it.
I've seen my fare share of moose in my 34 years, but there's just something so cool about these big, funny looking animals. In the five months I lived in Yellowstone, I only saw two: one on my second day in the park and another about four months in. The next year, we returned for a winter trip to the park and saw six moose in six miles in Grand Teton National Park. I've come across moose on the Ben Lomond Trail closer to my home (in the backcountry during the rut - not a good time to cross a moose). I came around a corner in high school and almost took one out with my car. I've seen tracks in the driveway of our cabin. I've seen a lot of moose. But they are always such a special treat.