This morning, on our trail walk by our house, I looked over my shoulder to see my dogs, POTUS and Tashi, unbeknownst to them, about to be mowed down by a Javelina. I gotta hand it to the dude, he had some zing in his giddy-up. Mom instincts kicked in, and I started to run, calling them – a game we often play – hoping like hell they’d follow me as they always do. And whew, they did! Mr. Javie gave up the chase, the 50 yard dash apparently enough for him, and went back to snorting, snuffling and routing for mulberries on the ground – his regularly scheduled activities. The pups still clueless. Me, gasping for breath.
This reminded me of another wild animal chase oh so long ago. I was working at a lodge outside the east entrance of Yellowstone – Pahaska Tepee – and a friend and I were taking a walk through the campground across the road one afternoon after work. She was ahead of me 10 feet or so, and was bushwhacking through the back of a campsite, heading up to the road again, when she suddenly stopped, turned around, her eyes poking out of their sockets, and yelled, RUN!!! Over her shoulder I saw the mother moose bearing down on us. That time it was our own lives we were trying to save. Thankfully, Mama Moose finally gave up the chase as well.
It’s a wonderful world that we live in that there are still wild places where wild critters still roam free. Let us accept the challenge and the responsibility to protect these places so future generations can have the opportunity to feel the exhilaration of ‘getting out of there alive’, and the pure joy of falling on the ground out of breath from laughing so hard with one of your besties because you did!
Get your hands in the dirt, learn trail building skills, and camp out under the stars this summer!