GRMA Day 25: Checkin’ Off My Check List
For anyone who may have read the blog in the last couple of hours and saw the message regarding iPad problems, I think I fixed it. Most of my apps, including Safari, were crashing after being open for a minute or two. I re-installed an upgraded version of the operating system for the iPad and so far that seems to have taken care of it. I’m thankful my motel tonight has a strong WiFi connection.
Now that the iPad issue is disposed of and the GPS glitch (another story) seems to have been repaired, I can move on to today’s blog post.
Remember I said I wanted to shoot a moose and a grizzly to go along with all the animals I’ve photographed on this trip? Well the Animal Spirits must have been listening because today I nailed them both.
About an hour after I began riding, I saw a big brown thing walking in the weeds on the other side of the road. I slowed down and discovered there was also a small brown thing trotting after the big brown thing. A mama moose and a calf. Eureka! I stopped on the shoulder and mama moose also stopped abruptly and little moose headed for the nearby woods. I got off my bike, casually opened the tour pack and picked up the camera. Then I struck my best “I’m not interested in moose so go about your ungulate business” pose. Mama stood there watching me for several minutes and then, as I’d hoped, baby moose rejoined her from its hiding place in the trees. Mama moved on but was still wary and kept an eye on me as I started snapping pictures. After a few minutes, she decided the woods on my side of the road looked more inviting and crossed the road behind me and, with her young one trailing dutifully behind, sauntered into the woods and out of sight. But I had what I wanted.
My moose encounter happened only a few miles before I started climbing the Canadian Rockies to cross the continental divide yet again. I think I’ve crossed it seven times so far It felt good to get into the mountains on good, twisty roads again after traveling on the relatively flat and constantly-under-construction Alaska Highway yesterday. I paused several times to take in the great views and to add a few more mountain shots to my growing gallery.
I also took a small detour into a B. C. Provincial Park when I saw sign announcing the Bijou Waterfall. I was rewarded with a small but very nice cascade in a wooded setting that provided a nice break and good place to take a deep breath and smell the forest.
About 25 miles from my destination at McBride, BC, I saw a couple cars pulled off the road onto the shoulder. My hunting instincts were aroused. Sure enough, a small grizzly, maybe three or four years old, was wandering through some roadside foliage looking for a snack. Once again, I grabbed my camera and took aim at my prey. He was docile and not terribly interested in a two-legged interloper, but when he started walking my direction at one point I indicated to one of the stopped cars that they may have company soon. But the young griz changed course and wandered around for about 10 minutes going into and out of nearby bushes, giving me all the shots I needed to check off the remaining item on my photo list.
Now. I know I said I wanted a grizzly and a moose, and that’s what the kindly animal spirits provided. But I would REALLY like a bull moose with a record-setting rack wading in a lilypad-covered pond and a full-grown grizzly standing fully erect baring his teeth and claws and posing long enough for me to set up my tripod and get about a dozen different shots. Is that asking too much? Yeah, I guess it is and I’m grateful for what I got today.
I finally arrived at a motel early enough in good weather so that I could wash three weeks of accumulated Canadian crud from my once-shiny bike. I had thought about not washing it until I got back to North Carolina, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. Even after I washed it and stood back to admire my handiwork, I realized it’s probably still dirtier than when I would normally wash it at home. Nevertheless, it looks presentable and respectable and the chrome has a little twinkle to it.
Tomorrow I get to make my return run south on the Icefields Parkway. Last week, it was raining much of the time when I made the northward journey. I think tomorrow should provide clearer views.
More pictures I liked from today: