Have you ever been to Rocky Mountain National Park? If not, go there soon and bring your sense of adventure! Fourth of July is fantastic as are the hiking options. I’m headed back at some point but a little wiser this time.
So, you know how you go camping in a national park and have large animals walking through your campsite whenever they please? Of course you do. They even join in you the town park for fireworks. After several days of this you notice that you have seen more elk than you knew existed but you haven’t seen a moose. They live in the park too and you’ve never seen one. Naturally you insist one morning that you and your husband drive around the park to find a moose, like people do. Your husband is a nice guy and agrees. After about 30 minutes of driving slowly and looking around, you pull into a picnic area. In the distance, through the trees, you see elk by the hundreds, as usual. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of something moving in the trees near you. A large, brown animal emerges, it is a moose! Yay, mission accomplished!
You raise your camera and as you look through the viewfinder (because it it 2003 and you still use film) you notice the moose looks closer and it appears there are two. You also notice that your very even-keeled husband has thrown your new car into reverse and is kicking up gravel as he hits the gas. Your camera leaves your face and you see a mother and a calf moving towards you, QUICKLY! You have visions of hoof marks on the hood of your car, through your windshield, and probably on the humans inside. You are ever so grateful that your husband is a steady and confident driver. He peels out of the picnic area and you both breathe a sigh of relief.
Then you see it.
In the passenger side mirror, mama is not happy and both she and the calf are now chasing your car down the road …and gaining on you! Mama leaves the road and runs along side your car until she is even with the front of the car and proceeds keep up! Before she decides to dart into the road and your car, your husband gives it a bit more gas and you finally leave the moose in your mirror for good. You are grateful that you do not yet have a child because there might be some interesting language escaping your mouth.
You decide not to look for any more large game. Lesson learned folks, when the animals in the park come near you on their own, they know you are there and they don’t care. When you happen upon them and startle them, you better have skills and luck on your side. It certainly does not help that moose are the least social members of the deer family and prefer to be without the company of other moose never mind humans. (Thank you internet, I learned something today.)
Did I mention I have issues with animals? My issues precede this event by a couple of decades but this encounter didn’t help.
Moose photo credit:
Poland Kampinos Alces alces 1
Caption added by DreamDepartExplore