As I was walking the dogs this morning in the rain, a memory sprung up from my youth...
I was walking down a fogged highway high up in the Jasper Park area of Alberta Canada. The roads we silent as it was a Sunday and a ride didn't seem like it was on the horizon I was never the type to stand around waiting for a ride so this morning I decided to start walking to see how far I can get before making camp. I had just spent a considerable amount of time in the bush feeling dragged out and weak from the lack of proper diet and sleepless nights, I was really feeling like I was dragging my ass down the road. The weather was getting cold and the rain was never ending. Everything I owned was wet. I was suffering at the time from a large nervous breakdown. At the age of 17, I already started to lose my mind by the ignorance of people and the meanness of others. I needed a break and figured running to the bush was the best option. To escape society and to be left alone.
A few cars started to pass as the morning progressed. My thumb was out, however after more then four months in the bush, I wasn't the cleanest person that you wanted in your car. I also smelt really bad. So I kept going. As I walked around this corner I started to notice a lot of animals around on the side of the road. I somehow while walking and staring down to keep the rain out of my eyes, had walked into a herd of Moose. A very large heard. I knew if I turned around I would have to wait for awhile for them to clear, and after dealing with bears, wolves and sheep, I wasn't in the mood for turning back. I wanted a hot coffee and a processed burger and a change of dry clothes. Nothing was stopping me.
As I started to get closer, I noticed that that the road I had already walked on was getting to be crowded with onlookers. Their curiosity was starting to look like it was going to get me in a little trouble. Up ahead was a small stream and a little bridge. To the left was a large bull that decided he didn't like the looks of me in his heard. He started to get closer to me slowly sniffing the air. I being very inexperienced just didn't know what to do. He was breathing heavy and snorting trying to stare me down and instinct told me to stare back. Here I am locked in a dead stare with a 600 lb bull elk, me around 5'11 him around 6 to 7 feet. He stomped the ground with his right hoof, I stomped the ground with my foot. I was standing on the tips of my toes to gain the largest height as I started walking away from him. He stomped his foot again, I stomped mine. At this point I was shitting bricks, not knowing how this can turn out I hurried slowly and got over the bridge. It was a small bridge, one just to protect the stream and for some reason the bull went to the side of the stream and started getting real angry. He was huffing and snorting away acting like a bro screaming come at me. The stream was about 5 feet across and 2 feet deep, however he acted like it was miles wide.
I walked for another couple minutes with my back to the herd, after that I made a quick sprint as far away from them as I could. I did get a ride later that day to Edmonton and finally got warmed up and disgustingly fed by junk food, but this story is priceless to me and a great memory to have. I've never had troubles with animals myself. Just like children, animals seem to be comfortable around me. Of coarse my love for them is beyond words, I love all the creatures in this world, and will keep treating everyone with the respect and love they deserve.