Thursday, February 13, 2020

Moose Follow

Happy boys finishing a very successful "moose seeking skijor" in French Gulch this morning!
"Whew, that was FUN!" says my happy trotting partners.
One of the reasons (and the primary reason) we love the French Gulch Trail is the population of moose that live in the gulch. But, to our displeasure, we have not had a real good "moose sighting" this season. Despite tons of moose evidence such as entrance/exit troughs from the trail to forest and tracks (and poops) on the trail, the elusive moose have simply toyed with us all season.

Today started much the same as this season in French Gulch as we found a very fresh smelling moose exit trough near the trailhead. I knew it was an exit trough as there were no prints going up the trail and only a couple of prints crossing the trail from an entrance trough a few yards behind us. Darn, I thought, we just missed the elusive moose again!
"Very fresh moose trough!" says trough sniffing Zorro & Rudy.
"Scanning, scanning, where are the moose?" asks forest scanning Jack.
After thoroughly inspecting the trough above, we resumed skijoring out French Gulch with me assuming we failed to sight a moose once again. But, just around the corner from this trough and look what we found standing in the middle of the trail - MOOSE!!!!!! You can barely make out the entrance trough just above and to the left of Rudy's ear. The moose came back within 50 yards of the exit trough we found above! Oh boy - love to see moose! There were actually two (a mother and child) - this is the child you see below and the mother is just around the bend in the trail behind the kid.
"Moose, moose - let's go!" says my excited & ecstatic moose seeking trio.
The mother and child proceeded to go out & up the French Gulch trail. We followed them for almost 3 miles playing a fun game of "stop & go". If the moose stopped, we stopped. If the moose went, we went. Stop, go, stop, go, etc etc for almost 3 miles of entertainment.

You stop, we stop:
"Hi! We see you too!" says my stopped and intense moosers.
This is the mother and the kid is hidden behind her here.
You go, we go:
Mother and child are running up the trail single file (so it looks like just one).
"You go, we go - here we come!" says my moose followers.
You stop, we stop:
Mother on the right, kid on the left.
"I vote for 'you stop, we still go'!" Rudy tells me :)
Sorry, Rudy, if moose stop, we STOP!
You go, we go:
Nice view of mother and child running up the trail side by side.
"Here we come again!" says the moose following trio.
You stop, we stop:
The pair of moose stopped ahead again.
This is actually the last time we saw them as they finally took off
for a long distance instead of the "stop, go, stop, go" they
had been doing.
Today's video highlight is, of course, the moose fun. Come along for an excerpt of "go, stop, go, stop, go" with the pair of moose. Watch how hard I have to work to maintain the "stop" with my moose seeking partners. Turn up your volume and hear talkative Rudy doing his "moose scream" during some of the stoppage. What a fun day :)
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

After almost 3 miles, the moose finally exited the trail and went off into the forest:
"Moose exited here! Can we too?" asks Jack deep in the exit trough.
"I vote for following Jack!" adds Rudy.
"I still smell them, let's follow!" agrees Zorro.
I vetoed all the above votes. No way are we going to follow moose into deep snow in the dense forest! With the moose gone, we turned around and ran back down French Gulch jogging and sniffing the tracks that had been laid by the moose all the way out! 6.2 miles traveled with 500 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 20 MPH.

2019/2020 Season to Date: 94 days on the trails covering 640.7 miles with 59,350 feet of elevation climbed.

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