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Bear with me…

Barry Steven Greff Photography Bear Lake Colorado Mountain Landscape

Rock Scenic, Bear Lake, CO 2010

Recently, I was shooting at dusk on the shore of Bear Lake, Colorado. Once the light was gone, I grabbed my camera and tripod and made my way down the trail to my car.

As darkness set in, I briskly and noisily walked down the narrow trail, so as not to surprise anything along the way. Then, as I rounded a wooded corner, not halfway to my destination, my worst fears were realized. There, just off the trail in the muted darkness, was a huge, black shadow, clearly not a tree, standing just off the trail in front of me. My heart sank to the forest floor as I realized that the large dark shape towered over my six-foot frame.

With no choice but to proceed forward, I inched my way down the trail hoping to get by the animal. And then, just as I passed within a few feet of the beast, his eyes met mine. Once I was close enough to see exactly what I was dealing with, it became apparent that I was face to face with a thousand pound….Bull Moose. At the time, I can’t say that I was relieved.

This thing was still huge, it was still dark, and I knew these animals could likewise inflict significant harm (no Bullwinkle here). I cautiously proceeded past him, as his suspicious gaze followed my every move. I slowly, but surely navigated the remainder of the path and hustled to the only car left at the edge of the woods, watching my back the entire time. Quickly cranking the engine I headed toward the cabin, a warm fire and a hot chocolate (there was nothing harder to drink).

After the adrenaline in my body finally subsided, I sat down and edited my work from that evening. Now, when I look at my image Bear Lake, it has a very special memory behind it, one that I’m glad I survived.

  1. April 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I also crossed paths with a bull moose near the area you describe in this photo, during a hike up to Black Lake. I was on my own and had just turned towards Mills Lake and a giant bull came trotting out of nowhere down along the opposite side of Glacier Creek, less than 15 feet away. The size of a grown bull is flat out astounding, as you mentioned. I just froze and hoped it kept about its business. The moose have historically been more known for their presence on the western side of the park, but lately, the sightings on the eastern side are becoming more and more frequent, it seems. Great story about a great place.

  2. April 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Great story as well. I had seen one close by a day or two before that was leisurely muching on the lake bottom. The difference with this encounter was the impending darkness, the surprise and the uncertainty of the situation. Like with your story, those you don’t forget. Thanks.

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