Sunday, July 15 – Moose!

Today Mary Ann really really really wanted to go to Grand Tetons National Park and Jackson, Wyoming (more commonly known as Jackson Hole). So we went.

We left our trailer around 7 and reached our first stop in Grand Teton 9-ish. The loud stampede that followed us was everyone else on the planet arriving 5 minutes later. July is the busiest month in Yellowstone and it’s apparently a popular time to visit Grand Teton as well.

After a short stop at Colter Bay Visitor Center we made our way to a few other stops and took a short hike and EVERY place we went was over-populated by humans. Chatty humans so there was no worry about startling a bear but also no hope of catching any other form of nature by surprise. We were, by the way, on another moose mission.

After lunch (pizza and a greek salad at Dornans, just north of Moose Junction) (honest, I’m not making any of this up), we took a quick walk down to an old ferry launch by the river a few hundred yards from the restaurant. As we approached the river a couple walking in the opposite direction told us there was a moose down by the river bank. So Mary Ann made a b-line to the river and we spotted the bull moose standing like a statue in the water by the bank, about 100 feet away.

Mary Ann’s brain switched to “this is my last, best, and only chance to get a photo of a bull moose” mode as she zipped back up from the ferry launch, literally leaving me in the dust, and headed across the field in the direction of the moose. I had no idea my wife could move so fast and I truly think the US Olympic track team has missed an opportunity here. By the time I caught up with her neither of us was sure where we were in relation to the moose due to the thick woods between us and the river. Suddenly I spotted a rack and then the moose head in the woods and we realized it was a SECOND moose, this one lying down, not 50 feet from where we were standing.

Sadly, we couldn’t get close enough to the river to see the standing moose (we made three attempts) and the reclining moose did not read our minds and stand up. So we headed back to the truck hot and frustrated.

Later we headed in to Jackson which is where Snow King ski resort is located. How do you get to the top of the mountain when you’re skiing? You take a chairlift. What do shrewd resorts do with their chairlifts in the off season? They turn them into “scenic rides.” I’ve always wanted to do this, so for $20 we bought two round trip tickets to the top of the top of the mountain. And what a trip it was. The view was phenomenal!

The view from the top of Snow King in Jackson, Wyoming

After dinner and a trip to Albertsons for some staples, we headed back toward Yellowstone. Just south of the Yellowstone entrance Mary Ann spotted a crowd of vehicles pulled off the side of an adjacent road so she ordered me to “turn right here.”

I’m not sure if it was the truck reacting or me, but we turned and parked. While Mary Ann grabbed her gear I headed in the direction of the crowd. There, down a small rocky hill two bull moose were casually munching their way through the produce section of a shallow river bank, seemingly oblivious to the crowd of at least 100 gawking onlookers and photographers.

One of the moose repeatedly tired of the shrub he was consuming and moved in the direction of the crowd to get to the next delectable shrub. His distance of 100 feet eventually shrank to 50 feet and before long, he was less than 25 feet from some in the crowd and very few of them moved to give  him more space. It was incredible to watch and I realized something very important that NASA and the US military should consider: if space aliens ever decide to invade earth, all they’ll need to do is take on the form of moose or elk and we earthlings would be powerless to stop them. We’d just stand transfixed staring at them and shoot the occasional photo.

Bull moose in Grand Teton National Park

 

As we were preparing to leave, the moose did something that amazed me: with everyone staring and photographing him and no change in his demeanor, he pooped with NOTHING TO READ! Could it be that the aliens are already here?

Note to NASA: keep an eye on these guys.

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3 Responses to Sunday, July 15 – Moose!

  1. Terry says:

    As we go by…

  2. Was that a wild moose chase? I’d done one of them on the other end of the country, in Maine.

  3. Mike says:

    I found myself answering the question, “what is the opposite of lift?”… um… lower… so you took the lift up and took the lower down 🙂 I feel good now.