Meeting a moose
I was skiing at Winter Park, Colorado, yesterday—a place I have skied for more than 40 years without seeing a moose—when I saw a moose. It was in the middle of the road in front of me and so, along with others including my father, I stopped. It was a bull moose, maybe six feet tall, and it was eating buds off the branches of what looked like a willow shrub.
Before long a snowmobile appeared. It frightened the moose, which bounded off the road. My dad and most of the other skiers soon skied on, but I stuck around and got out my camera phone. After all: 40+ years, and my first moose!
The moose soon returned to the road as I shot video. As you can see, the skier just uphill from him felt he was too close for comfort and scurried away. Then the moose looked at me and I thought, you know, I’m not in a very safe place.
I started ski-skating away. Too late! As I began to move the moose began to follow … faster and faster. The only thing the video doesn’t capture is me taking a final glimpse behind and seeing the moose closing in on me, about six feet away. Oh, and the feeling of full-blown terror as I heard his pounding hooves.
The moose easily passed me, just a few feet to one side. Whew! Then he stopped to examine two snowboarders at the side of the road. (One of them later told me he had not enjoyed the meeting.)
As the moose approached the Winter Park base area, several ski patrollers blocked his path with snowmobiles. I was uphill of the moose at this point, and as he turned around I finally got wise, and skied down into the woods. The moose eventually walked uphill into the woods. I’m glad for both of us that he’s there.