2005 11/07

Swamp Donkeys and Tatanka

We just got back from vacation at the end of last week from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Actually we roamed around three different states on our vacation: Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. We set out for a weeks adventure with our friends Tara and Scott. Tara set us up in a nice little condo in Driggs, Idaho, owned by one of her brother’s friends, located just over the pass from Jackson Hole.

Of course I can’t give a day by day account of what we did but I will highlight a few things. You’ll ask yourself, “how could they fill up a whole week with so few things?” Let me tell you, we were constantly on the go. This was probably the first vacation where we were up by 6am on multiple days! Um, relaxing?

What would a vacation be without shopping???? Yup, we shopped in Jackson Hole until we dropped. I got a cool new fleece and Tim finally joined the world of Chaco Sandals! We ate the best breakfasts at Bubba’s BBQ (I love biscuits and gravy)! Of course we visited the Tetons and Yellowstone (saw Old Faithful). All of that was fine and dandy but the best stuff happened when we left the beaten path and hiked some back country trails! That was where the wild things were!

Wildlife sightings: We stood 10 feet away from a herd of buffalo (or as I like to call them, “Tatankas” ~ thank you Dances With Wolves) and saw lots of bald eagles and elk. My favorite though….THE MOOSE (aka. The Swamp Donkey)! And boy did we get some close encounters with moose! On our hikes we saw a few younger moose, 2 or 3 years old. They were very curious about us, as we were about them, but neither of us felt threatened by the other.

And then it happened. We were hiking back to the trail head one evening after a nice little mountain hike and were pleased with our sightings of moose and deer. As we hiked back I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as I was staring eye to eye with a moose. She was probably 10 or 12 feet away from me and her head was peeking out from some willows. As though being startled by the moose wasn’t enough, we quickly came to find out that she was a quite large momma moose with a small baby by her side…Not something you want to mess with. We let her cross our path and head to higher ground. Tim got some great footage of her and her baby but we were very cautious as she was fully aware of where we were at all times. You may be saying, “why were you so scared of an overgrown donkey?” Well, I’ll leave you with this fact: Moose are more aggressive than bears and will chase you down and relentlessly trample you if they feel the slightest bit threatened!

Video & pictures to follow soon!

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