The Kat’s work at Amazon begins in two weeks. We are now in north Dallas getting the ‘Stream’s axles straightened and aligned, hoping to get 15 to 20,000 miles out of a set of tires. We have 1,200 miles to pull over the next two weeks, but that’s better than five days ago when faced a daunting 2,200 mile pull.
Besides a lot of towing there is a lot of walking to do: Kat’s gotta have her feet toughened up for the ten miles a day she’ll walk pulling the products you order from Amazon. She’s been walking quite a bit, and while we were camped outside Rocky Mountain National Park, she took advantage of the cool air to get some miles in. Along the way she met some uncommon beasts, usually to the surprise of both parties.
First there was the moose. There is a family of them living near Camp Dick, and they are almost certainly related to the 1970’s moose reintroduction on the west side of RMNP. The streams that run through this campground create bogs in a few low places, and the moose love swamp vegetables. Kat was not on foot this time; she was checking e-mail in our MiFi hotspot down the road. She noticed movement reflected in the truck mirrors, and there was the Northern Exposure moose, tall and gangly, clomping slowly and nonchalantly down the road. And then he was gone off into the woods. It all happened too fast to get a photo, but here’s Exposure’s moose.
Next was the big, curious rabbit. He did not show any fear, but he clearly is a wild bunny and not somebody’s pet turned out to pasture in the National Forest. Perhaps people have fed him and he’s come to appreciate handouts of lettuce and carrots. Never getting shot at by humans has done wonders eliminating the natural man-fear in park bison and bighorn sheep, but you wouldn’t think any rabbit could ever become this trusting.
And now we must face the question: what would you do when you turn a corner and come face to face with a bear just 20 feet away? Fortunately this was a black bear rather than a grizzly, and an immature one at that, perhaps a yearling but far larger than a cub. Kat says “He was quicker than me. I think he saw me first or maybe he caught my scent on the wind. I didn’t have time to scream before he turned and hustled off into the bushes.” Kat carried bear spray on all her subsequent walks.
This bear had been sighted in camp two or three times earlier this season. He has cleaned off a picnic table and wolfed down everything in somebody else’s ice chest. They shouldn’t have left food out to tempt him, for when bears lose their fear of humans, people can get hurt. This bear now has a long record of juvenile delinquency. If he does anything aggressive, or raids many more picnic baskets, they’re going to shoot him.
5 thoughts on “The Animals!”
Love the animals, always, and don’t blame them for the carelessness of any humans.
Since no humans or animals were harmed in the making of this post, it must have been pretty darn exciting to see a moose, a bear, a rabbit, etc.
In the years I’ve lived up in the mountains, I’ve yet to have a close encounter with a bear.
Yesterday, I saw a groundhog lumbering across the yard here. 🙂
That’s a lot of walking Kat will soon be doing.
Thanks again to her from an Amazon customer. 🙂
Best of luck with the current maintenance.
Wow. The next 1,200 miles in two weeks versus those 2,200 in five days should be a breeze.
I’m not expressing my opinion on what will become of Brer Bear. That’s what the campground host told us will happen. Black bears are sufficiently common that they no longer bother deporting them (which is expensive and dangerous). They get a couple of shots from a .30-06 followed by a trip to a homeless shelter where they become stew meat. And this one’s not a bad sort. I hope they let him mature over the winter; maybe courting will change his behavior for the better.
I was not implying that you were expressing an opinion, and I apologize if my reply came across as such.
My opening line was meant as a general comment.
I should have said something like “We should all love the animals…”
(Also, I thought I had put a smiley face after it, but I see it’s not there.)
It’s the job of the rangers to keep the park safe, but it is sad that what you describe is sometimes part of that job.
As you said, let’s hope Brer Bear makes it through the winter, and finds some TLC from his female counterpart. 🙂
Loyal readers need not apologize for anything. I had not realized that bear capital punishment would have been Yogi’s fate. Apparently there is a high rate of recidivism among black bears who are deported; not enough places to put them where people don’t go. Meanwhile, keep those cards and letters coming in, especially the ones with pictures of Andrew Jackson inside!