Sunday, 15 February 2004

February 15, 2004 That's a lotta' Moose

Willow Weather -
Current temp 8.7F (-13 C)
Sunrise/Sunset 8: 46 am/5:44 pm
Precipitation in the last 24 hours 

When I was a child I spend a lot of time in vehicles. My Dad loved going for drives and once we moved West, we spent many weekends driving around exploring the mountains. I would sit in the back seat, staring out the window and scanning the landscape for wildlife. I spotted all kinds of animals, but never saw a moose. Each swamp and lake I'd longingly search with my eyes hoping for a glimpse of one of the majestic beasts. Now I know why I never saw one - the damn things were all waiting for me in Alaska. If I never see another one again that would be fine with me.

Yesterday's moose encounters involved me being dragged down the trail with my feet trailing out behind me after a big bull moose jumped out in front of my team and proceeded to run down the trail in front of us and an 'Alaskan stand off' with a big cow and 2 calves. That was the really scary one. We were about ½ mile from the truck on the way home when we ran into the moose family. Momma showed no inclining to move when she saw my team, in fact, I thought she was going to charge - as she had turned to face us and had her hackles up. Mark pulled up next to me (because he couldn't get his team stopped any sooner on the ice) and it seemed she did the math - 2 humans, 18 dogs vs. a ton and a half of moose and decided to back down. Lucky moose aren't good at math, 'cause I figure we all didn't add up to her weight alone - forget the 'kids'. As soon as she turned a fraction to the side, I said to Mark 'GO' and we got the heck out of there. Luckily, the dogs seemed to realize the seriousness of the situation and didn't attempt to chase her or her children! PHEW!!

Other then that our 65-mile trip out of Willow, over to the Big Su River and up the Yentna with 2 - 9 dog teams went very well. We even were serenaded by a lone wolf for a bit - that was pretty cool! 
We didn't go all the way to Yentna Station, but will plan for a trip there early next week.
Today is Drop Bag Day for us. We are going to try and recruit some of the folks in the house to help out and figure we will be able to knock the task off in about ½ a day, as most everything is ready to be thrown in bags. 

The weather has been a little mild, so once done the bags will get trucked to Underdog Feeds in Wasilla where they will be hard frozen to try to minimize the chance of any thawing of them out on the trail.

Well, it is 5:30 and I hear Mark moving around upstairs. That's probably because I somehow set the alarm on my clock radio the other day and can't seem to figure out how to now stop it from going off at 5:30 every morning. Oh well, we need to get a good start on the day anyway!


PS. And remember Alaskan moose are bigger and meaner then most! Although I will say the one I saw the other day was not a really big one.

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