Friday, July 14, 2006

A fed moose

Date: July 13 and 14
Mileage: 26.7 and 15.2
July mileage: 387.6

Had a bit of a disconcerting experience with a local moose today. I was riding home from work when I encountered a young bull about a half mile from my house, munching on weeds at the side of the road. I stopped about 150 feet down the road and snapped a couple of pictures (not this one. This one I took several minutes later). Then I waited for something to happen - a truck to go by, or him to move. I don't really like passing moose if I don't have to. But then he caught wind of me, looked up, and started walking toward me. He didn't seem aggressive, but I was intimidated enough to back up and turn up a side road. And he continued to follow me, as I walked my bike backward up the steep gravel. He was just ambling along like he wanted something from me, but I just wanted him to go away.

The road turned out to be a driveway that dead-ended after about 50 yards. He was gaining on me, still at the same pace, and it was obvious no fear of me and was going to accost me whether I liked it or not. My heart was racing. I bent over to pick up a rock that I had no idea what I was going to do with, and started yelling "Hey stupid moose, go away!" (A small variation on my usual 'Hey stupid dog, go away!') He stopped and stared at me blankly. It seemed pretty clear at that point that the moose was just waiting for me to whip out an apple or peanut butter cup or something, so I pushed my bike in front of me and began walking briskly beside him. As soon as I had my back to him, I jumped back on my bike and pedaled as hard as I could.

It seems pretty funny to me now, but I was really scared. Stupid suburban moose.

17 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! That would be very disturbing. Up close moose are BIG as I am sure you already know!

    I am glad you got out of that situation safely.

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  2. Anonymous12:17 AM

    Hey, I would have been scared too! Lisa

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  3. Wow Jill,
    He either wanted to make a friendster or wanted a power bar, weeds are pretty gnarly..yuk.....
    I like Moose, they're cool and funny looking..haha..

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  4. Hey, even loose cows scare me. They were all over Texas when we were down there and you never know when one will get cranky. I still get mocked about it. So I totally support your moose fear. They weigh 10 times what we do!

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  5. I love how the moose stopped and stared at you blankly after you called him stupid.

    Sounds like a sensitive moose.

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  6. He probably wanted to have a conversation with you, especially about calling him stupid. But I'll bet it would have been a very sensible discussion, with no more name calling. Now he's probably sulking with self image problems...
    Good to see no one was harmed. Moose scare me, ans I've only seen one in the wild in Vermont when I was in school up there on a training ride, and we were seperated by 100 yards of grassy field.

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  7. I always worry about some loose cows that I see from time to time on urban rides. My husband thinks I'm nuts to worry about them...but they're big and heavy and I bet they can be fast when they want to be. A moose would be so much scarier. You're a brave girl!

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  8. Better to be careful, as Moose are unpredictable critters! This one seemed pretty acclimated to people though! This one looks to be about a 2 yr old, and they aren't generally aggressive this time of year. Be careful around Rut time thoiugh, the males get a bit on the proddy side. He was most likely curious about whether you were a funny looking moose or not!~

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  9. You shoulda gave him one of your 5 cent powerbars:-)

    Seriously...I woulda crapped my pants.

    You on the other hand, got a great picture and a story to tell your grandkids.....

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  10. This sounds eerily similar to the run up to an experience my wife had in Anchorage, tho with a scarier outcome. She and her dog were out for a run during rut (September?) when a bull moose gave chase and eventually cornered them between a large tree and a backyard fence. The dog eventually got away, but every time my wife tried to, the bull stamped its hooves, snorted, and stopped her escape. At one point he came close enough to rub himself on the tree she was cowered behind. Eventually neighbors noticed and called the cops, who came and shot the moose dead.

    Seems this bull couldn't get a girl his own size. They're normally quite docile in summer, but you were wise to give it quarter. There's always one or two hanging around that don't behave like the "experts" tell us they do.

    In a surprising display of anal-cranial inversion, many people took the moose's side in the editorial section of the Anchorage Daily News, blaming my wife for the sad and untimely death of the moose. Sheesh.

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  11. Anonymous1:26 PM

    great story!!! with a happy ending!

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  12. Hey...carry a pistol. End of problem if need be.Mmmm, moose.

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  13. an old hunter told me that when you are in that position with a Moose and they get closer all ya do is throw poo in it's face works every time he said

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  14. P.S. I ask'd himwhat I do if there was no poo around and he told me no worries it'll be there

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  15. I am sure that is scary...
    but from what I heard about the ratio of boys to girls in alaska

    I am sure that your experience in the bars is not too different

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  16. i like steeker's resolve

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