Before we begin, there’s a few things you need to know to understand, well, just to understand.
First. I love moose. I think they’re such incredible creatures; combining a mass of strength with beauty. They just seem to be a symbol of the great outdoors.
Second. The last time I saw a moose was when we were in Alaska. That was six years ago. And it was from a train.
I had high hopes for this summer. Between Minnesota and Canada, I was sure to see a moose right? Wrong. Minneapolis is too far south to really see moose in Minnesota, and we hadn’t seen any on the way up to and through Canada, even as we traversed the illustrious wooded lands of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, all prime places to catch a glimpse of the creature.
Side note, we did see a bear in Vermont, but my lazy ass was asleep. Lesson learned.
Back on track here, we took a three day camping trip to the indescribably beautiful Cape Breton highlands, perhaps the Moose Capital of the east coast, where my mind was set on doing two things: getting incredible pictures of the stars and seeing a moose.
One of those was significantly easier than the other. After five minutes of messing around with camera settings, I was racking up pictures of the stars by the minute. Finding a moose, however, easily surpassed Mount Washington for my most difficult undertaking of the summer.
We spent the first two days hiking all over, taking in the mind-blowing views of the highlands while strategically timing the hikes around lakes to the evening, thus giving us a better chance to see a moose (the best times to see them are at dawn and dusk).
After two days of hoping and searching, nothing.
Then we got to day three. We packed up early from our Ingonish campground and headed West via the beautiful Cabot Trail, taking in view after view of the mountains and the ocean, to Chéticamp, the Moose Capital of the Moose Capital, and, behind Alaska, the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
We started off checking out 350 year old sugar maples, then got up close with some pitcher plants at the bog. We saved the best hike of them all for last, however, and right around 11 A.M. we headed up the Skyline trail. With incredible views everywhere you looked, it was hard, if not impossible, to be disappointed. But there was still part of me that was, as we had not yet seen a moose, and with it being the middle of the day, well it just seemed like it wouldn’t happen.
And so we started to make our way back, when a lady we met earlier in the day told us she had talked to someone who saw a moose on their way out of the trail. There was hope!
So we followed along the trail, until we came across a family saying how cool it was to have been that close to a moose. They directed us, saying it was a little over a kilometer away around the bend on the left.
We normally keep a good pace when we hike, but we were high-tailing it now. If that moose left, it would have been an enormous disappointed. I felt my heart rate pick up a little; like I said, I love moose.
We came around a turn, and sure enough stood a handful of people with their cameras pointed into the woods. There it was: the moose I had been hoping to see for so long. A few yards further down stood another, larger bull. After waiting, watching, and hoping, I was finally treated to two bull moose, chilling in the woods eating some grass.
And there you have it, a tale of two moose.
Thanks for reading,