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Running Naked With iPhone: Day Two - A New Beginning
Waking up to a crystal clear morning in the Rockies - it doesn't get any better. The devastation of the campsite by pine beetles seemed less foreboding than it had appeared in the cold rain of the previous evening. Although the first words out of my mouth, "I'm not leaving the tent until the sun is up and the temperature is 70 degrees. No, make that 80 degrees", the thought of campfire coffee, bacon and eggs, and a roaring fire enticed me to exit the comfort of the queen-sized bed with overlaid sleeping bags.
Once the sun came over the mountains, the cool night air warmed immediately. So much so, that we discarded layers of clothing to begin exploring the area surrounding the campsite.
We noticed many small signs of life: a new beginning that provided not only hope that in time this site would return to the beauty of the past (knowing that probably wouldn't happen in our lifetime), but also a gentle reminder of the cycle of life. The knowledge that nature has a way of regenerating and doesn't require much in the way of help from mankind.
The lure of wildflowers, a mountain stream, and the instinctual use of our senses enabled us to first 'trip' across a mother moose with her calf, enabling us to see sights to which I previously would have been oblivious.
Once we spotted the moose, we began circling around her to position ourselves closer, but with an awareness not to come between her and her calf.
As we circled, we became aware of what would have been signs, or clues, if we had known what to watch for. These included fresh moose and/or elk scat (poo by any other name), and an area of grass that had been a recent nesting place for a mother and her calf.
Eventually, with much trepidation, we made our way close enough to the female to get these two pictures. The awareness of her odor, her closeness, her sheer size, brought an excitement and understanding of why people hunt - whether that be with camera or weapon. I felt more alive than I had in a long time, scarcely noticing how soaked we were from lightly falling rain, and the dampness of the tall grasses as we made our way through them and back to the bleakness of the campsite.
Within less than a 24-hour period, we had witnessed what many people go their whole lives without seeing. And, we had adapted to our climate enough to have steaks on our plates in time to retreat into the warmth of our vehicle as evening rain fell once more.
(Stay tuned for: "Running Naked With iPhone: Day Three - Letting the Cosmos Decide"