NOT what you want to see in the middle of the trail after rounding a corner at 20+ MPH!
This was moments before the moose encounter. We alway take this corner at the nordic center fast, little did I know what we'd find around the corner!
|Innocently zooming as usual, so I thought.|
Okay, now I've got Jack & Rudy stopped. Here's the moose...
|Dead ahead of Jack.|
Such deceivingly camouflaged creatures... Here's as zoomed as I can get in the prior photo without it getting too blurry:
This was a juvenile moose. I started backing Jack & Rudy up and it started to come our way! So, I stopped for what seemed like forever and the moose stopped too. Rudy was, of course, screaming at the moose; but it just stood there. I tried to backup a second time and it came forward again! So, we just stood there for a while (okay, I stood, Rudy screamed and Jack kept trying to lunge forward). I've seen juvenile moose alone before when the mother is trying to wean them off being dependent. In the past, the mother had always been nearby, just trying to let the kid mature on its own. But, after Rudy screams, the mother usually shows up quickly - not today, though! I was starting to worry this was an orphan moose and was worried that it kept coming forward whenever I tried to back up. Well, FINALLY the mother showed up! I guess she decided the kid needed some advice on how to deal with Rudy screams (don't we all need advice on Rudy ;) The mother and kid started to go the other direction, yay! Once they got out of sight, I proceeded forward cautiously with Jack & Rudy until just around the bend in the trail and they were stopped again. This time Rudy screamed and the mother took a step forward. That was ENOUGH, I collected Jack & Rudy and retreated the other direction!
|Hard to see the mom & kid; but this was as close as I was going to get!|
A little context on the section of trail. We were at Gold Run Nordic Center and you can consider the nordic center as consisting of two independent networks of trails connected by a single trail. Just behind us was the upper network which would have given us lots of trail options to get around the moose. Just behind the moose was the lower network which could again have given us lots of trail options to get around the moose. But, we were in the single connector with no options but to use this trail. Anyway, we retreated for about 20 minutes before attempting to come back through this "only option" stretch of trail...
So, come along for today's video with some "cautious skijoring" from me as I scan the trail for moose. At about 20 seconds into the clip, you'll see all my "ski marks" from when I had to stop and reverse Jack & Rudy when the encounter happened. About 32 seconds in and all you see are moose tracks on the trail (we had turned around before here) - notice Jack & Rudy inspecting the tracks as as we go. About 44 seconds in and the tracks disappear - yay, the moose left the trail! Then around a corner and there's another skier coming up trail so we know the moose are clear and off we go.
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]
Safely back to the trailhead and let's climb snow walls for end of run treats :)
|"That was fun, but why did we retreat?" asks the happy kids.|
We had a great 10ish mile skijor on groomed trails then an interesting 2 mile addition while we waited for the moose to leave: 12 miles traveled with 900 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.
2022/2023 Season to Date: 122 days on the trails covering 1084.8 miles with 98,700 feet of elevation climbed.