Pulling out of Granby, Colorado we were looking forward to our drive through Rocky Mountain National Park. We had heard that we would have a great opportunity to see some Elk. After a twenty mile drive, we arrived at the gate to the entrance to the park, only to discover a sign that read, Road Closed Ten Miles ahead. We figured that the ten miles would not be as good as the total forty mile drive, but we were going to have to back track so we decided to go as far as the Park Rangers would allow. Going in we did see a cow and two calves cross the road in front of us. Reaching the road block, we turned around to retrace our route.
Catching a glimpse of a herd of elk quite some distance from the road, we pulled over to at least look at them through the binoculars. One single elk stood of by itself, assuming it was a bull I got out of the truck to see if I could telephoto shoot him. It was a long shot, about four hundred and fifty yards. By rules, you cannot leave the highway to take photos or I would have stalked him. Then I heard a sound that I have not heard in many years, the bugle of a Bull Elk. It is such a great sound, then an answer to that call, then another. We were there for at least twenty minutes and the bugling continued. Most of them sounded like bulls back in the timber trying to entice the cows that was with the bull in the meadow. The bugling and grunting was great. The bull I shot from a long distance turned out to be larger than I estimated. By enlarging the photo I was able to count at least six on each side to make him a "Royal" with the possibility of being a seven pointer.
Back tracking to Granby, we then decided to drive north on Highway 125 and 14 which would take us through the Roosevelt National Forest on the northerly border of Rock Mountain National Park. "Susie" was working with us and told us to turn onto a county road which was gravel. Fearing she had made a mistake, we stopped and looked at a map and it was a short cut to Highway 14 from 125. This part of the state was flat and nothing but sagebrush, but the shortcut was only twelve miles and would save us forty, so we decided t take it.
Being raised in Alaska, I have seen thousands of Moose, bulls, cows, and calves. But what I saw today was amazing. We were in an area where it was 60,000 acres of sagebrush and rolling ridges. Over the ridge comes a Bull Moose, just wandering through he sagebrush and not in any great hurry. We sat and watch him for fifteen minutes, he never changed his pace or his course, a stand of Aspen Trees. If "Susie" had not taken this direction, we would have missed a opportunity that we will likely never see again in our lifetime. He was a decent bull, again had to do some long distance shooting to get a picture of him.
"Dutch" is also still tagging a long, enjoying the trip and all the new sights, smells, and sounds.
As we headed for Nebraska, we also had the opportunity to visit the community that my wife's father grew up in, Raymer, Colorado which is also referred to as "New Raymer" on some maps. Being a small town, one cafe only we stopped to see where we could find some information since he graduated in 1939. The lady told us they had all the class photos on display in the community building. It was closed at the time, but she gave us the keys to the building, only in a small town would someone be so trusting. We did see his class picture when he was a senior in high school.
"Welcome To Nebraska"