I hope our blog followers have had a chance to read Howie’s blog about Uninvited Guests at the Trail Running Series. This Thursday was my turn to run into a moose on the course. I started my run after 6:30 pm, having worked the Great Glen retail counter until 6. I thought I might see a moose on Dugway, since I heard a loud crack in the woods as I started up the hill. But . . . no. I continued on, feeling like I was the only one out on the trail system at that time of the evening. I made the turn into the short singletrack off upper Libby Trace, the one we call Sven’s Chase. Right there in the middle of the singletrack, before it turns the corner, was a moose. I clapped my hands and called out “go, go, shoo, shoo”. The moose, which had been facing forward away from me, turned sideways to look at who was making all the fuss. I shook my hands in the air and called out “go, GO” again. I was stopped dead in my tracks. A part of me really just wanted to stop and watch this big, wild creature. I always think it is a gift to get to see such animals in the wild. On the other hand, I was doing my trail race, and was very aware that the seconds were continuing to tick by. I tried again to get it to move along. The moose had no interest in this. It actually took a step towards me, which made me a little more concerned. As docile as these creatures look, I know they can charge, and angering this moose was not in my best interest. I took what seemed the only reasonable option—retreat back to Libby Trace. I was willing to accept an asterisk after my name for running an altered path, rather than try to get by the moose.
I finished the course without further moose meetings. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the experience and I never regained my usual race focus. But it was quite a treat seeing the moose, and the trails belong to the animals at least as much as they do to me. I wonder who will experience the next moose sighting on their Thursday afternoon run?