Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lunch With a Moose

There are times when the preposition used can make all the difference.  Take the title of this post.  It could have very easily read "Lunch For a Moose" or even "Lunch In a Moose."  Use of the preposition with conjures a convivial lunch in the company of friends.  "Lunch For a Moose" makes one wonder what exactly is on the menu.  But "Lunch In a Moose" carries such a sense of finality, don't you think?

Spoiler:  No one got hurt!  But let's start at the beginning.

Fishing, mountain climbing, backcountry camping and hiking are what attracts visitors to the Grand Teton National Park.  That, and of course, the scenery!

I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone fishing.  Technical mountain climbing looks too risky to me.  And although I enjoyed backpacking in my younger days, the thought of sleeping in the rough is no longer tempting.

Tim was in the Army for six years and spent many a night bivouacked in less than desirable settings.  Consequently, he's not a fan of backpacking either.

So while we aren't devotees of the first three pastimes in the above list, we do enjoy hiking.

Early Thursday morning, Jenny Lake was as smooth as glass and just as clear when we climbed aboard the shuttle boat for our ride to the western side of the lake. 

We were on our way to Inspiration Point with Kari, one of the park's rangers.  She told us that 70% of the park's visitors hike to the top of this point, making this the most popular hike in the Grand Teton.   

We had to agree that the view from Inspiration Point was stirring, perhaps even elevating.

But we didn't stop there.  We'd heard there were moose further up Cascade Canyon so up the canyon we went.

We weren't disappointed.  

Two moose were grazing through the brush near the aptly named Moose Ponds.  

For almost 30 minutes, we and a dozen other hikers stopped to watch them eat.  Did you know moose daily eat 26 pounds of vegetation?  And who knows what else!

I was the advised 25 yards away from this guy.
He looks closer than he was.

How lucky we were to be there for lunch!  

Tim used the zoom lens to take this snapshot.

But when one moose finished his entree, no one wanted to be his dessert.  As he clambered up onto the hiking trail, we all scattered.  Luckily, Tim and I were on the downhill side while the moose was headed up the mountain.  Everyone gave him the right-of-way and as he swaggered up to the next tempting thicket, I could almost hear him say:

"Moose with me and you're history!"

If you'd like to see scenic photos of our hike without commentary, keep scrolling down.

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