Friday, June 5, 2015

The Sound of Music Trail 2015......There have been a lot of critter sightings around Marble recently. My friend has spotted three different moose. Jon saw a small bear cub which means Mama was close by. There have been lots of garbage can attacks from bears and of course there are always the usual mule deer, foxes, elk, etc.

So Jon, Starbuck and I took our annual Sound of Music Trail yesterday. We were going along when I acknowledged bear scat (poop for those not familiar with scat). It was relatively fresh but as we say not steaming which is always a relief if you know what I mean. We continued along and spotted moose scat which appeared quite old, a good sign seeing as how moose do not like dogs provoking them and can be quite mean to dog and owner. As we continued just a little further we heard a rather loud snort! All of us stopped dead in our tracks! I asked Jon if he heard the snort as well, since Starbuck and I were ahead of him. He assured us he did and he was scanning below us to see if he could see the critter making the noise. Then there was the second snort! Seeing as how I was warned by a thrashing, running, snorting black bear a couple of summers ago, I was a little concerned. So I stood a little taller and calmly spoke in the general direction of the snort and said, "We are humans and we mean you know harm. We will not bother you, please do not bother us." Thankfully, Starbuck was oblivious to all of this and did not provoke Snorter!

We continued to a spot in which we took a break and I asked Jon what did he think our snorter was: bear, moose, or elk? He said he did not know and that the snort was more or less a warning that the animal was there and for us not to invade its territory. No problem there. I asked him what would our game plan be if Snorter got irritated. He reviewed the "proper" responses: elk, hide behind a couple of trees to avoid being charged; bear, stand tall and do not run and make lots of noise; moose, get behind a clump of trees that you can circle around because moose are fast and not very nice with their hooves and of course, praying could help. Well, that was certainly comforting.....I voted bear since the bear scat was relatively fresh and it seemed as if our chance of surviving a bear over an angry moose might be 1/1000th of a chance better. Thankfully, Snorter stayed in his or her place and we made a wonderful hike and safe return home.

Life is often like a hike. You go along about your business enjoying the day when God allows a Snorter into your adventure. It is comforting to know with whom your faith lies. For if your faith is in God, no matter what confronts you, we know that the Heavenly view at the end of life's trail is breathtaking and worth the journey!!!!