North to Alaska, 2006 travel blog

Matanuska Glacier

We need water for a bath

Mother moose

Baby Moose

July 11, 2006 8:25 37938

Beautiful morning, I was able to get some good pictures of Mt. Redoubt, an active volcano, just across the inlet.

This morning we will back tracking to Anchorage. We came across the Sterling Highway a few days ago, the difference is today is sunny and on Sunday it was very overcast.

38091 497 Fueled up at Fred Meyer, $2.89 a gallon, bought groceries, and had the film developed. We are good to go for another 500 miles. Will top off in Tok and then head to Chicken.

We are in the Matanuska mountains. The road runs right along the end of the river with Pinnacle Mountain to our right. Just to the east of that is another high peak. There is little snow on any of the mountains. Lots of aspen and cottonwoods line the riverbank.

There are gravel bars in the river that are ablaze with fireweed. The river is a dull gray color moving quite swiftly. We get plenty of time to look at it as they are in the process of repaving the road and we had to sit and wait for the pilot cars. There are clearer, whiter streams and rivers running into the Matanuska.

5:00 we are stopping at the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Park. For only $10.00 we can sit in the parking lot overnight. 2 other rigs have already joined us. The main campsites are a little too small for us with the slide out and the car.

There is a scenic overlook of the Matanuska Glacier and well as a Nature Trail. I decide to go on the nature trail while Mike stays at the rig. He makes sure I have my cell phone just in case.

The trail is well marked and goes in a loop. At several sites there are interpretative signs on the glacier, the boreal forest and other items of interest.

Begin the music to "Close Encounters" but this time it is Close Encounters of the Moose Kind.

As I am returned to the parking lot I notice movement in the trees ahead of me. Upon closer inspection it is a moose cow, good size. I stop and so does she, she turns to look at me and then goes right back to eating. I take a few pictures and I stand there I hear more noise in the trees, her calf. The calf sees me, looks and me, then Mom and then turns around and leaves. Mom watches, now I have a separated cow and her calf. (photo)

The cow continues to look at me and me at her. This goes on for several minutes. She will eat for a few minutes and then look at me, eat and look at me. I try talking to her, making noise, and throw a stick or two, nothing, she holds her ground.

Again I hear noise and I see the calf coming up the hill to the path behind me. Shit, now I have the cow and one side and the calf on the other, bad spot to be in.

I decide it time to find a tree or two to hide behind. The cow starts towards me and I duck off the trail. I am in the trees as far back as the ridge will let me go in a hurry. Mom stops and I am wondering if I will have to spend the night out here.

The cell phone has no service, I had thought about calling Mike to bring up the pots and pans and make a lot of noise. I had tried talking, and throwing tree limbs to no avail.

I gradually make my way partly down the side of the hill, watching her and my footing. Trying to get far enough back in the shrubs that it would be a little difficult for her to reach me and start making my way back to the parking lot. Mom eventually moves off and I can return to the trail and back to the RV.

I think I have been close enough to a moose without benefit of a fence between it and me I would like to get my pictures out of the RV window from now on.

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