One of my favorite things to do, is after work each day is to go into town and do some errands.
It gets me away from the computer and phone giving perspective to the days business events. While I find the grocery store and post office mentally stimulating I usually also try to go for a short drive exploring the area as I happen to live in one of the most scenic parts of the world.
I have been looking for the Elk for some time now without any success. I’m not sure where they have been hiding. I am starting to think that the Elk in this area is some made up story to bring in more tourists!
I FOUND THE ELK! Well, be careful what you ask for because a few days ago me and a Bull Elk almost came to blows!
The day started off as any other day. Work was your normal, call, email, call, email, rejection, rejection, rejection. So my afternoon errands adventure was very much welcomed. After paying double to what the grocery’s should have cost, and checking my mail I decided to head to the South this day towards the mountain range where rumor has it, there be Elk to be found! The roads were pretty clear by now from the days prior snow storm as I wound my way along the mountains. I drove slow so that I could have a good chance at spotting this allusive beast.
Wait, what is that? Is it? Could it? I squint in hopes of improving my vision…no just a big dog. Just my luck. I pretty much resign myself to never seeing any Elk on my days search and even admit to myself that I will not see any in my entire time in my move to this area.
“Just when you least expect it, it will happen” ~ Earth Zebra
The Highway is coming up and my search will be over soon, and then I spot something! Oh my, that’s no dog. Is it a horse? Is it a donkey? No. Yes. No. Yes. It is! It is! It is! And not just 1 it’s about 60 Elk! Eureka, I’ve hit the mother load!
They they are, sitting up on a sunlit hill taking a nap from what was no doubt a morning filled with munching on the valley grass hidden under the snow. Pretty incredible site. I finally found them. I wish they were closer though. Wait, I have an idea. How about I sneak up on them! Hey good ideas! Maybe they will invite me to be an honorary Elk for the afternoon and we can have a nice visit! Apparently I was in the wrong line when they were handing out Boy Scout Field manuals!
So, I find a place to park the car and plan my strategy. To the right of the Elk herd is about 100 yards of trees. I bet I could walk to the far side of the trees and come back to the Elk and never be noticed. Out of the car I go, to be greeted with minus -20C temperatures. Funny, the walk to the tree line looked so much shorter from the car. No stopping now I say to myself, I have been invited for tea by the elk. Camera in hand I reach the edge of the trees and head into the snow. I think to myself, well, if something happens the rescuers should be able to follow my snow tracks. But what could happen? They are just big cuddly dogs with antlers. I continue on.
What I didn’t expect is that in my suburbia world I have completely failed to appreciate the work that a snow plow does and the young chap who wakes me up at 7AM, first light, on snowy days with his snow shovel scraping on the sidewalk. The snow is up to my knees! Oh great! Never again will I curse him from under my covers for now I truly appreciate him and wish he were here to clear an easy walking path for me now!
My plan was to go Davy Crocket on them, and sneak up on the Elk. What I failed to anticipate is that with each step I take the frozen snow on the top breaks and makes a noise that can be heard in 3 counties. Needless to say the Elk know I’m coming from my very first step off the street! No sneaking now. “The barn door is open”, “the boy has already smoked”, and my approach is well known.
And then HE shows up!
The HE I speak of is some young wipper-snapper Bull Elk who no doubt is trying to impress his does. Look pal, I don’t want your does. No need to get all in a huff and have a hissy fit!
After a few minutes of the Bull Elk strutting around and telling his hot doe babes to head over to the other side of the trees I decide to fall back and head back to the road as it looks like that is where the tea party is and maybe I just came to the wrong place.
So back through the knee deep snow I go, and what was 100 yards now seems like 200 yards and when I get back to the edge of the treeline by the street, sure enough this is where the tea party is. Everyone is there and happy to see me.
Well, a few things I have learned in life is that you can’t rationalize with people who lack the mental capacity to understand reason. It will never happen, it’s like telling a child not to do something. They will do it just because you told them not to. But this is not a human being so those rules don’t apply here! The thing to do is to give him one of my famous slant eye looks. If he wants to play “blink”, then he certainly came to the right place as I am a former champion!
And so the showdown is ON! HE and ME! Mano ah Mano! Man to Man! (Ut um, ELK to ME with NO HORNS!) I can take him I think to myself!
We each scratch the snow! We each posture ourselves, snorting, blowing snot our of noses! He bugles in a show of dominance! I start singing the anthem song to the Boy Scout pledge! We prepare to go “Game On”!