So we were out in the backcountry last week minding our own business, eating supper ó which is to say we were having cold sandwiches because I remembered the stove and the fuel, but forgot the pot to cook anything in ó when a bull moose walked passed us and laid down in a grassy spot in camp about 25 yards away.
That, I must say, was a first. Iíve had a few big critters walk through backcountry camps in the past. The most notable was a grizzly bear munching on something crunchy next to the pit toilet at Otokomi Lake.
I never got a real good look at that griz, since his hind end was the most visible feature, but I did hold the urge to go to the can until it left.
But the griz and others like him over the years were just visitors.
This moose decided to make himself at home, which, to be honest, was fine with us. Itís not like the moose was hurting anything. He was just tired. And you canít really argue with a moose. All moose, even the little ones, are way bigger than you, so you give them their space.
It was very much a moose trip anyway. Earlier in the day we saw and heard another bull serenading a cow. He wasnít a particularly big moose and he had a fairly scrawny rack, even for Glacierís shiras moose, which donít, generally, have big racks anyway.
But he was persistent, which in the world of love, is all that matters most of the time.
The bellow of a bull moose is an unmistakable sound, full of earth, which, if you think about it, is what the moose embodies. You take the basics of the world ó brush and muck ó and you get a moose. Not the prettiest thing, for sure, but impressive nonetheless.
I called my mother, (who lives in Florida and has survived two hurricanes in two years and quite frankly, sounded a bit frazzled on the phone) and told her about the moose making itself at home in camp.
ďDonít you get scared?Ē she asked.
Looking across the world and the political landscape nowadays, along with the mass shootings and cyber terrorists sprinkled in, and I must say that I donít get scared. Not even a little. The backcountry isnít what Iím worried about.
Itís the rest of the world thatís deeply concerning.
Iíll take an evening with a resting moose any day.
Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.