Hiking Travel

My moose encounter

June 27, 2018

I was hiking on East Inlet trail in Grand Lake, Colorado a couple of days ago when I encountered a moose.  Or maybe more accurately, a moose encountered me.  It was one of the most memorable experiences in nature I’ve had, and I feel somehow changed by it.  Let me tell you what happened.

This trail is incredibly beautiful.  It begins around the gorgeous Adam’s falls and passes through a number of wide, grassy fields with dramatic mountainous backdrops, like this one:

About two miles in, the trail gets more rugged as the real climb begins.  I didn’t go too far down the trail, maybe 2.5 miles.  I kept my eyes peeled in the fields I passed, knowing they might provide a great opportunity to see some moose or elk.  I was on my way back, a little over a mile from the trailhead when I stopped by this creek to take this picture.  As I knelt there, adjusting my camera, I thought, “man it would be cool to see a moose out here.”

I turned to walk back to the trail which was just a few yards away.  Then I heard a large splash behind me and turned to see this:

A young bull moose crossing the stream I had just been crouching next to as I took some pictures.  As you can see in this pic, the moose was zeroed in on me. I didn’t have any zoom on the camera in this pic, so you can see he really wasn’t very far.  I was exhilarated – I thought, “oh my god I’m going to get some amazing pics here!!!” I figured the moose would meander and graze a bit… but he didn’t.  He stayed focused in on me and was heading my direction… fast.  Moose have incredibly long legs and they can cover a lot of distance quickly without picking up the pace.  That’s what happened.

Literally, in one moment, I turned to capture the picture of the moose crossing the stream, and the next, he was about 10 yards away.  He wasn’t exhibiting any typical signs of moose aggression (ears laid back, hair standing up, stomping, head down) – his ears were up, his head was up… but he was a big, powerful creature – an animal known to be aggressive and temperamental.  I wasn’t going to hang out and chat about the weather.  I leapt behind a nearby boulder and the moose stopped, looking around the rock, knowing I was behind it.

Here’s the part that blows my mind… I wasn’t scared.  I was aware, I didn’t want to test him, I knew I needed to put something between us… but as I crouched behind that rock with him just a couple yards away, I felt just kind of… blissful.  It was such an amazing experience.  I know there will be plenty of people who read this and think I must have lost my damn mind – certainly, they’re right.  I have.  But to be approached by a moose in this way, and to have had such a peaceful encounter was extremely humbling.  I felt vulnerable, but I wasn’t scared.  Something in me knew there was nothing to fear.  I felt protected.

I caught up with the moose again further up the trail – he was off to the side grazing on some trees:

Truly thankful for such a beautiful experience.  Also, this experience reiterates my manifestation abilities.  Thoughts become things, y’all, and sometimes those thoughts can be made manifest very quickly…. like my moose.

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