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Anxiety woman goes for a walk

You know how being out in nature is supposed to make you appreciate life? I wind up appreciating life in an I’m scared to death and glad I didn’t die from that natural world encounter way. Alaska has that effect on some of us. I took a walk to the local pond to ice skate the other day. I thought, this will take my mind off my worries, I might even have fun. I’ll even bring my camera.

There are many people skiing, frisbee golfing and running on the Chester Creek trail in Anchorage so I feel relatively safe. There are several roads which pass over the trail. In these areas there are corrugated steel tunnels with lights and very little graffiti. I walked through one of these tunnels thinking, I have ice skates on my shoulder, beware of attacking me, imaginary murderers of my mind. Unfortunately, I did not consider the moose which was waiting for me at the other end of the tunnel which was curved and out of sight until my mind, preoccupied with human threats, became aware of it. A young moose, legs only as tall as my arm pits, looking rather fearful himsel,f stood in the middle of the trail  about 15 yards away. I shouldn’t have to tell you that a scared animal doesn’t make the best decisions. I ran away, not because it was the best decision but because my feet just did that.

A couple with a dog were starting through the tunnel and I yelled moose. Surprisingly enough they continued and stopped right at the end of the tunnel. I thought, they must have grown up here and know something I don’t so I used my head this time and walked behind them. At this point the moose charged. Again without so much as a single  frontal lobe neuron firing I was at the other end of the tunnel, my plan – to dive into the snow to the right so that the moose would come galloping through and go right by me. The couple was still standing when I looked from my distant retreat so I crept  back.

The moose was closer now so I guess the first charge could technically be called a false charge. Then he charged again and I, well you know. The people and the dog had now vanished. I snuck back through the tunnel like the coward I am and they were walking calmly ahead. I caught up with them realizing they had probably been focusing on the moose and their dog and did not notice any of my sprinting shenanigans. They told me the moose dashed off into the woods. I told the dog he was very brave and mighty.

I was exhausted by the time I got to the ice. I did not take any photos until this point. I’m sorry, I know you would have enjoyed a nice video of a charging moose but instead here is a photo of my skates.

My footgear is more dangerous than Lady GaGa's!

Now some people will say I’m afraid of this…

my own shadow

but I try to be friends with my shadow, keep track of it, make sure it doesn’t make any funny moves. I can’t help that it sneaks up behind me most of the time.



About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

10 responses »

  1. I would look upon your flight reaction with pride. (I don’t *think* moose will chase a fleeing animal.)

    With something on the north side of 40 winters under my belt, my experience is that it’s best to treat moose as I would any other wild animal larger and faster than I. I try to give them a healthy berth.

    • Yes! My brother concurs with you that I was the wiser and the people with the dog were stupid. I really hadn’t thought of it that way. The fact that they didn’t appear panicked doesn’t mean they were smart, just lucky.

  2. That is a funny story! You reminded me of a time I was confronted by bison in Yellowstone Park.

    A few years back, I stayed in a small cabin on the park grounds, within walking distance of “Old Faithful”. I awoke early and went for a walk while the sun rose in the sky. The boardwalks were empty and I was alone with the spouting geysers and bubbling hot springs. It was surreal and I started out on my own walking tour, following the meandering boardwalk. Up ahead, about 20 feet off the path, were 3 large American Bison. I felt similar to how you did when confronted with the moose. It took all the courage I had to continue on the path, walking right by the grazing bison. I held my breath and looked straight ahead. I had no idea if they were the charging type because I knew nothing about bison except from the song “home, home on the range.”

    I’m glad we both survived to tell our stories!

    • Very funny when you think of the deer and the antelope playing. The song doesn’t talk about rattlesnakes biting, bisons charging or people in the dust bowl. We have musk ox up here, which are like very furry, slow bison. They don’t charge much. They usually form a circle when attacked just like the old wagon trains did. Unfortunately, this makes them easier to shoot at. Just never walk by a bear, ever, any kind. They don’t trim their finger nails.

  3. I watched the movie at the end.. finally realized that the benihanna commercial was not yours..

    • Ha, Ha, I’m sure the Benihanna commercial had better singing! Funny how they throw those things in. They must have paid the lowest amount of money to You Tube to be placed after my video!

  4. I love reading your posts.They are so vivid you can picture it perfectly. I so hope you are coming to the reunion.Saw a lot of old (in both meanings of the word) friend’s at Dan’s service but hope more can come this summer.Keep writing,your amazing. Robin

    • The internet is the best thing to come to Alaska as far as I’m concerned. I’m no longer disconnected from everyone I’ve known before. Also there’s shopping! I will be at the reunion. Last time they lost my luggage but at least I got there. I remember you and Susan Brown looked younger than when you graduated.

  5. Hey polarflares I am so glad I ran into you yesterday at City Market, because your blog is wonderful. I’m sending a link to my friends in Boston and elsewhere – hope that’s OK. (It will make it way easier for me to explain when they ask “What the hell is a Fur Rondy, anyway?)

    There must be lots of descriptions of “real” (that is, from other centuries) fur rendesvous (rendesvouses?) in American and Canadian literature. The one that springs to mind is from A. B. Guthrie’s The Big Sky. The protagonist Boone and his red-headed sidekick have some wild times.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the Oscars, but your blog makes it obvious you had a great weekend anyway!

    • Here is your comment! I just got lazy and didn’t log on for awhile. I have to approve the comments just in case some of them are all swear words like the one I got when I posted on Sarah Palin. One of my favorite fur bits is Laurence Olivier in The 49th Parallel, perhaps my favorite movie of all times. He is a French Canadian fur trapper in from a good haul when a Nazi U-Boat shows up. Priceless! Thanks for passing on my post!


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