Beaver Lake and Bullwinkle

28 Aug

Boy, are we getting our exercise!  For the second time this week we’re in Beaver Creek with Cyndi and Joe.  They’re taking us on a 6 mile hike (3 up and 3 down) to Beaver Lake!  This is what it looked like when we got there:

The lake is at 11,300 ft. elevation.  You could see little trout swimming around in there.   On the way up, we crossed this bridge:

We took a few minutes relaxing at the lake, then realized that it was getting late and dusk would soon be upon us.  Then Joe said, “You know, the animals start to move at dusk.”   So I’m thinking “does he mean woodchucks or bears?”  We began our decent.  The trail we were on weaved through meadows and past large rocks (these can come in handy) and around trees, etc.  As we rounded a corner, I saw 3 dark shapes about 200 feet down the trail that were not trees, large rocks or woodchucks.  “That’s a damn Moose and two babies!” I exclaimed.  At the sound of my voice, the two calves that were the size of Shetland ponies, scampered off the trail.  The Momma Moose just stared at us.  The girls were a ways behind us and just beginning to realize that something was amiss.  It was at this point that Joe and I were running replays in our brains of “Death in the Wild” and “Don’t Ever Cross a Wild Animal When It’s Nursing.”  We were in full retreat and JoJami said “take a picture, quick!”  Against my better judgement I did and this is what it looked like:

Yep, that little black dot in the center of the picture is Momma Moose.  Looks pretty scary, huh?  We were seriously concerned and someone suggested that Joe whistle (he can whistle really loud).  So he did and of course the Momma Moose began to advance with her calves joining her.  I was really worried about a stampede situation and we’d just passed a really large rock – like the size of an old Studebaker.  Can moose climb rocks?  I don’t think so.  We all climbed up onto the rock just as the Momma Moose came into view about 50 feet away.  At that point, she diverted her course and steered a wide berth around us.  Here’s one of her calves following:

We watched the moose family ascend through the trees and bushes and finally climbed off our rock.  The rest of the way down, Joe was our lead scout looking for bear and mountain lion.  I brought up the rear, the girls acting as if nothing had ever happened……

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