Wednesday, June 25, 2008

montana wildlife...

i have never before been to a place that i felt genuine concern for my life and those around me. it's unlike anything i've experienced... it's no estes park. hiking in glacier you actually have to think about bears because they really are there and really can jack you up if you don't know what you're doing... and sometimes even if you do. so we spent our whole trip both hoping we would see a grizzly and also hoping we never saw a grizzly. there was one day in particular that josh and i hiked almost 5 miles in to a frozen lake. i've never felt more vulnerable & humble by creation. not only was it beautiful but it was eerily void of civilization. we were in something else's territory and i don't mean the US government. thankfully josh is far braver than i am and we made the trip anyway. i will never forget that feeling of isolation & insecurity. it was great. thankfully we didn't see any bears on our hikes but did see them while we were driving. some of the photographers below worked freelance for national geographic.

i think my wife already posted these pics. this was actually about 2 miles in on a hike. the ranger said we were more likely to see a bear than a moose in glacier... he's only seen 4 in 2 years. we saw 6 in 3 days. this guy was literally 30 feet from us at one point (the moose not the ranger... the ranger was literally 3 feet away... it was amazing). it reminded me of the opening scene to "northern exposure" where the moose just strolls through town like nobody's around. he was totally chilled out trying to take a swim. flying out to washington the guy next to us told us how ferocious moose are and to never get close to them... doesn't he look tough?

erin has wanted to see one of these for a long time. this one decided to come in the car with us.

elk that we thought was a caribou.

if you live in the east & most of the west, black bears get all the glory. when you get into grizzly country, black bears get treated like teddy bears. this one was asleep in the tree which completely debunked my theory of climbing a tree to get away from one.


it is actually where the deer and the antelope play.

it wasn't hard to see a buffalo in yellowstone but this one was huge and just walking down the road.

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