Not to mention, this
|Being frightened beyond all reason!|
That's right. That's a moose standing on a bike path. In case you are unfamiliar with animals of the moosey variety, moose are fricken scary. As in, oh I just shat in my pants scary! If you do not live in the part of the world inhabited by moose, you might think bear are scary, or mountain lions are scary, or even wolves are scary. But the truth is, predators avoid people. You hardly see them because they run away. You know what this moose did when we came to a screeching halt on our bikes and discussed the impossibility of continuing because of said moose? The moose started marching toward us, prepared to trample us into little pieces because he had decided that the bike path, and the narrow strip of land to either side of it, and probably the water on either side of that, belonged to him. And if you don't like it, fuck you, I'm a moose. You simply can't argue with that kind of logic.
Let me set the stage for you. R and I had just completed 11 miles on this beautiful bike path that wound over and around lakes that sat between thickly treed mountains. We turned back and were racing (literally) back when I noted that someone seemed to be standing next to the bike path. At least that's what I first thought, until I realized it was a moose, partially obscured by the foliage, eating on the small trees that lined the path. The bike path is a converted railroad, and this section spans a small lake, so there was water to either side of this thick vegetation and no way around*. We came to a screeching halt and while we discussed how long we might be waiting for the moose to leave, I snapped a couple pictures (from a goodly distance away).
*Not that I would try to ride around a moose through vegetation. But it made the whole situation that much more frustrating.
About that time, an older gentleman who was obviously not from "around here" and seemed to think of moose as large deer, as in timid and not shat your pants scary, came along. He stopped and was confused by our refusal to "ride real fast" past the moose. Now, let me note that moose can outdistance wolves, and are known to get up to 35 miles an hour. Which is super impressive when you take into account that they can weigh over 1500 pounds. Also, they use their long legs for more than running; they are known to literally split skulls with their hooves, which are roughly the size of my face.
We tried to explain to this gentleman about the scariness of moose. He was not getting it, even though he told us that his friends had been chased on this same bike path by a moose just the day before. The fuck?
Another couple rode up, saw the moose, came to a screeching stop, and reiterated our serious doubts about trying to ride past the moose. I think that having another two people show up and say that, yes, moose were scary, is all that saved this man's life. I'm glad, because I'm not that interested in seeing someone get trampled to death. And I had no intention of stepping in if that started to happen.
Over the course of these 5 minutes, the moose had been watching us watch it, and decide that we were clearly not taking him seriously. So he started walking toward us. R and I quickly hopped on our bikes and rode a ways away in a you-are-so-right-this-bike-path-is-all-yours kinda way. The other couple followed suit, and then the older gentleman grudgingly came along after it was clear that the moose was serious and still coming toward him.
So we waited. Older gentleman advised that we try scaring the moose. I tried to explain that moose do not run away when scared, they charge. He suggested that we all ride together toward it really fast making noise. I suggested he fuck off (on this inside, on the outside I laughed nervously and again told him that there was no way I was riding toward a territorial moose, thank you very much).
Eventually the moose felt like he had made his point and left. No one was killed and though no one learned an important lesson about messing with moose, I have to say it was way more scary than going down a zip line at 60 miles an hour.
Thus ends the tale of the time I almost saw an idiot get trampled by a moose.