A 15-year journey
Moose quest begins
It began in 2005 when we moved to the edge of moose country – SW Colorado. Moose were in the area just not in high numbers. So, not likely to wander through our backyard, but go to the right place at the right time…and, well, see a moose. Simple, right?
The journeys to known moose haunts began. I wouldn’t say I was obsessive over the quest; but when an opportunity arose, I went moose searching. It only took a couple of years for my moose quest to become somewhat of a family joke.
I made several trips, usually with friends and/or family, to a nearby mountain meadows known to have several moose occupants, often arriving only minutes to hours after moose had been sighted. We saw plenty of moose sign – scat (aka poop) and tracks, but no moose. Many of these same friends and family had been up to the very same meadow and seen the actual moose without me…I was starting to feel like a moose repellent.
Prayer always helps!
I started to pray…not a huge prayer just an occasional “God…it sure would be nice to spot a moose in the wild if you would arrange that for me…” Some would probably consider this a frivolous prayer – God has bigger fish to fry…But if He knows the number of hairs on my head, He cares about every jot and tittle of my life…
Our church planned a weekend camp out. Mark and I went early to set-up. Almost done with the set-up, Mark went on a mountain bike ride. About ten minutes later he comes racing down the road, excitedly describing the bull moose standing in the middle of the road. We hurried to the spot to no avail…the moose had left the road.
And so the moose sighting went – time after time. My daughter got great pleasure sending me the photo of the bull moose that held up her backpack trip for 30+ minutes because he wouldn’t get off the trail.
We took a two week road trip to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier National Park – guaranteed moose sightings, right? Not so much for me. Many times we raced to a spot moose were currently loitering, as reported by rangers and other national park visitors only to be told the moose had disappeared into the woods minutes before we arrived. Not that God had not provided many other spectacular experiences…we saw bison, wolves, coyotes, elk…even three grizzlies (including Scarface an apparently well-known Yellowstone grizzly) feeding on a bison along with all the spectacular view and hot spring formations. Just no moose…
These near-moose experiences went on for years – 12 to be exact. In 2017 we took my uncle to Rocky Mountain National Park and I finally saw a live moose in the wild. It was a cow/calf pair that we had the opportunity to watch for a few minutes before they disappeared into the forest. Isn’t it amazing how such a huge animal can vanish so quickly into the woods? Bull moose still proved elusive.
Finally! A Bull Moose
In 2021, I was headed to Alaska and was told repeatedly a bull moose siting was guaranteed. Our last night of the trip and I had still not had a good look at a bull moose. I had seen a bull moose bottom disappear into the woods; but really, that did not count. I prayed everyday for God to show me what He wanted me to see, and we had been blessed with a spectacular trip – minus the moose. We parked at a turnout near a bog for our last night. We looked out at the bog multiple times and around 10pm we got ready for bed. Lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I felt a little nudge to go look at the bog one more time. My friends giggled, but I slipped out in my coat and pj’s for one more look. Lo and behold, there, at the back of the bog, was a bull moose just emerging from the forrest.
I ran back to the camper for my camera and, oh yeah, my friends. I had to do a little convincing that I was not joking about the moose, but we piled out of the camper and down the road for a better look. Boris (we name him) started a couple hundred feet away and slowly moseyed across the bog until he we less than 20 feet from us. Safety and common sense would tell us to back away, but we were mesmerized by this handsome moose. He seem completely unperturbed by our presence as he nibbled on nearby plants. Eventually a bus with chains dragging underneath drove by and startled Boris and he headed back across the bog and into the woods. What a spectacular experience to end our adventure…God is soooo good!