The weekend of September 26, 2008, Tracy and I headed to the Tetons for our annual trip to hear elk bugling. We heard elk, but this year we had more interesting experiences with moose. On Saturday we drove around outside the park to look for fall colors. We hiked around at one trail and then sat on the side of a meadow to read and relax. While sitting there with my eyes closed, I suddenly had a feeling of being watched. I opened my eyes and looked to my left, and there was a cow and calf moose standing in the meadow watching us from about 40 yards away. Cool! They weren’t that bothered by us, and they eventually walked up into the trees beside us. And then a bull moose showed up. He watched them in the trees, and then the calf came down to him. Then the cow started making some really weird noises, and eventually came down to the bull and calf. The cow and bull touched faces a little, and then the cow took off running across the meadow. The bull chased her, and the calf kind of ran around like he didn’t know what was going on. They all three went up into the woods on the opposite side of the field and seemed to just disappear. We didn’t hear or see them again. We figure this was a mating thing, but it was really cool to watch.
We headed back to the park and heard some elk, but it wasn’t as good as the year before. The next day we hiked up Cascade Canyon in the Tetons. We got an early start and managed to have the trail all to ourselves going in. We weren’t so lucky coming out. We didn’t see a soul until we reached our turn-around point. After turning around, I would estimate we saw over 70 people on our way back out. There’s a boat that brings people across Jenny Lake, and there were just a ton of people. But I was at least glad we had it to ourselves for the first half of the day. And the hike was really nice. And another moose snuck up on us. At our turn-around point we sat on a gravel bar by the creek and relaxed for awhile. Then we got up to leave and a lady was coming down the trail towards us. She stopped and was looking towards the creek. I looked in the direction she was looking, and a big moose was eating just 30 yards from where we were sitting. The moose wasn’t there 10 minutes earlier, and we never heard it come up. This was a good trip, but we’ll probably never brave those crowds again.