Bugling Bull Elk

Pelican Creek, Yellowstone Park
Late September

After saying good-bye to Denny, I started hiking the trails north of
the camping area. In the beginning, I had a good idea where I was
going, but I got lost. I ended up on Pelican Creek instead of on the
Stringent Creek Trail. It wasn’t a major problem except for the fact
that I didn’t know where I was. The hike was longer also. I never did
find a camping sight. When I came to a boarded up ranger cabin, after
walking nine miles, I decided to camp there. I didn’t feel guilty; the
trail signs were the worst I had ever experienced.

With mountains at my back and the creek meandering some ten miles down
the “Serengeti plane” in front of me, I began to hear the bugling
sounds of the bull elk. It was rutting season for the bulls. Their
bugling sounded like a trumpet; maybe even a Viking horn would be a
closer match. It was really something. I hoped the elk would come
close enough for me to see them.

The elk broke the ice for me; before he started sounding off I had
been feeling pretty paranoid. The terrain I hiked through was full of
neck high, golden grasses. Something you might expect along the
Serengeti planes of Africa, but not here in Yellowstone. This time of
year the bears were down in the valleys eating berries, getting ready
for the hard Yellowstone winter. It was understandable that I should
be a little frightened, but until I heard the elk, I was a lot frightened.

As I am writing this, I can hear more elk, two or three by the sounds
of it. They are somewhere behind me, and father to my left. There is a
small valley in front of me, leading to the larger Serengeti. There is
a good chance, if the elk are making there way down to Pelican Creek,
that I will get a chance to see them, maybe even get a picture if it
stays light long enough. That’s another good thing about this place,
it’s ten after seven and the sun has another thirty minutes before it

I haven’t seen anybody since Denny and I split up, except for right
now. I’m about to meet this guy walking towards me.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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2 Responses to Bugling Bull Elk

  1. eof737 says:

    The landscape is Os beautiful… and that elk,, and that elk is amazing. 🙂

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