Monday, October 13, 2014

a Moose plus a BEAR

It's been eons since I paid a visit to the Moose Mountain Lookout.  I picked this objective on Saturday evening knowing it would be a great one for today being closer to home, on the easier side, others around so safe to solo. With that plan firmed up, I filled up yesterday accomplishing a to-do list, to free up today to play.   I hoped there would be no surprises like unadvertised trail closures.   I arrived at the parking lot, the first one to do so this fine morning and hit the trail with still no others even arriving.  The first few kilometers in the trees were quick, I was loud, and made it all business.

Then the views began. 
My destination is behind that hump in the middle.
I was looking forward to arriving at that flat brown section center right.
at the flat brown section now
still with my destination hidden behind that humongous hill
I loved the cloud performance.  
I made it to that hill going up it and down the other side of it and now I could fully see the Lookout and the trail to it.  I could also see a foursome far behind me.  I knew I would be first to arrive.  I had heard that the lookout attendant would sometimes offer an inside tour, I hoped for that today.  But, I arrived to a boarded up building.  Nobody home.  
This place has its own little world of weather. It was wildly windy & crazy cold!  That did not stop me from setting up my tripod and going for my "leap of love".   I had the heli-pad to myself to jump as I pleased so jump I did.   Once that was taken care of it was on with the balance of the business.
I pulled the guest book out of the mailbox and gave it my john-henry.
nobody home
which meant.....
.....I could go up on deck and hunker down to dine.  I donned all my layers then enjoyed my turkey sandwich and the view directly in front of me.  I could see no one on the trail far below but I could hear those four I saw earlier as they arrived at the back of the Lookout.  We shared pleasantries, then I  layered down & geared up and offered them ownership.

Before hitting the trail down, I took a few moments to view the vastness....  
...and to think of my Mom who was no longer with us on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago.  

I look into my inmost mind,
and here her inspiration find.
In all I am and hear and see,
my precious Mother is with me.
Once off the Lookout Mountain, I beelined straight down the lower hill instead of sticking with the switchbacks which I took for the ascent.  Instead of sticking with the next section of main trail, I meandered throughout the grassy, spongy, meadow.  I liked it there.  I eventually made my way back to the main trail, then seeing loads of scattered folks making their way up.  I missed them passing by while I meandered.    

Now back on the thick tree-lined trail I noticed kicked over rocks, just thought it's the kids that passed.  Then I noticed diggings on the grassy sides which were not there on the way up.  Then movement caught my eye, oh my.  Those were my words "oh my"!  I took a quick photo while the grizzly's rump was facing me and while it was furiously digging then I skedaddled out of there.  I caught up with a couple who had seen it and decided to turn back instead of carrying on to the Lookout.  I stuck with them all the while we warned many people just heading in.  It was scary but I have to admit too that it was exciting.  I can say that now after having a safe experience.  
What are the odds!  Two weeks in a row I arrived at trail-heads only to see signs of bear closures.  There was no bear closure sign today but boy oh boy, was there a bear.  All I can say about that grizzly was that it was just plain down right FAT!  Nice to see that it was looking healthy.  Now go to bed bear!   

Happy Thanksgiving!

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