Friday, June 27, 2014

Animal sightings

photo by Julie Rumo

A car flashes its lights at us.

We don't know why.

We think maybe our lights need to be on. We lost track of time. Is it dusk? 

We're heading down a country western road in Idaho (maybe Wyoming) somewhere south of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. We're laughing, singing and engaging in mindless car-safe horseplay. We're laid back, At ease.

We've just spent four filled days looking for grizzlies, elk, mule deer, bison, moose and gray wolves, our eyes burning into the mountainside, woodland and watering holes, praying for a least a glimpse of these magnificent animals. (God answered YES on almost all accounts.)

Now we're just kicking back in the Ram truck, late in the afternoon on a day when rain sashays with sunshine, treating us to a watercolor sky against a western range backdrop. We leave the national park system behind, and are now on the open range.

No fences.

The highway cuts through honest-to-goodness ranch-like grazing land.

And now this car passes us, blinking its lights.

We don't know why.

We round the bend and immediately see cattle, mostly mommas and babies, roadside. They crowd the shoulder. A few stand out into the road (the other lane.) 

We slow down, nearly stop, roll down the windows and bellow and moo until all the bovine stare at us. We scare a few of the babies, who jump backwards. A few quake where they stand.

Around the next bend we see more of this roadside attraction. We resume our bellowing and mooing. A momma backs up immediately, taking her two startled babies with her. We laugh. Lots.

But darn, we forget to blink, to help out the next guy. To warn him or her of this potential collision with the open range of the not-so wild West.

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