READY – ON YOUR MARK – GET SET … VACATION!

Big Day Ahead

It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?


Well I’ll be darned if this isn’t downright appropriate. Today is the day before an important event. Yes indeed, tomorrow Marilyn and Garry pack everything — or nearly everything — we own, into the car. Then drive north, north, north, north until we finally finish our journey in Jackman, Maine.

jackman maine

Jackman is marked by the red thingy. Even though it doesn’t say Jackman. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Where you ask, is Jackman, Maine? I’m glad you asked that question. It isn’t on Google maps. Too small. It certainly is located near … well … nothing much, unless you count natural stuff like lakes, mountains, rivers, streams and …

Moose.

If Jackman isn’t moose central, than I don’t know what is. Last time we were there (three years ago) it was May. Not a particularly good time to see moose because they have babies with them and the weather is warming up. They aren’t especially frisky in warm weather. Moose like it cold. They aren’t comfortable until the thermometer dips into the 20s. That would be Fahrenheit. For you who live by Celsius (the world), that’s minus 7 and lower. In other words, cold.

Moose have thick hides and a goodly amount of fur. They are happiest while humans are bundled up, sitting by a fire with hot cocoa, complaining about the weather and dreaming of spring. That’s when out huge hoofed and antlered pals finally stop wishing someone would turn on the air-conditioning. Mind you, they lose a lot of weight in the winter because there’s not much to eat, but they chow down like there’s no tomorrow all through the spring, summer, and fall just so they’ll have fat to burn when the snow comes.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

October is a special month for them. November too. Their hormones rage. Moose are horny (sorry about the pun). It’s rutting time in the great north land.

Horny moose are irritable, frustrated, and moody. Especially guy moose. All they want is a big furry lady moose to snuggle up to, make a few baby moose. Instead, they have to compete with other bulls who have the same idea. Then, there are annoying people like me and my camera. Who are those aggravating naked weasels flashing lights at them?

“I think,” says Bullwinkle, “I’m going to go crush one of those annoying critters, yes I am.”

This is why, although I want very much to get some fantastic pictures of the big guys, I have to admit that I might not. Moose are nocturnal. Not much into sunshine (too warm and bright, thank you very much). They come out mostly after sunset, which makes taking their picture more difficult … unless you use a big strobe. But big strobes are annoying under the best of circumstances. Not to mention I don’t actually own a big strobe, not since I gave up wedding photography long years ago.

Regardless, if I did, would I really want to flash my equipment in the face of an already grumpy 3,000 pound bull moose? After which he might decide to pound me into Marilyn jelly? I can’t even run any more, so he’d have a high old time taking care of me. I might not even get a chance to explain how I’m a blogger and my followers want moose pictures. He might prefer not to listen.

Moose can be quite unreasonable.

So tomorrow is a big day. It’s a five-hour drive if there is no traffic. We are taking the coastal road — Route 95 to Maine — than inland via Route 201. With pit stops for nature, lunch, and groceries. It will be a long day. We should get started on errand running now, but instead, here I am, writing and there’s Garry, on his computer doing exactly the same thing. With the dogs between us. Snoring.

But it’ll be fine. Just FINE I tell you! Maybe even finer than fine.

Jackman, here we come!



Categories: Animals, Nature, New England, Transportation, Travel, Vacation, Weather

Tags: , , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. That moose is marvelous!!

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  2. Enjoy and relax! I am just back from my vacation and trust me it was cathartic!

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  3. I’ve never been to Jackman after all those Maine summers and never seen a moose either. I hope that the leaves will still be in their glory up there and that it won’t be too cold at night. Enjoy your drive (the journey is part of the fun). May your sojourn be restful and filled with beauty and peace.

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    • It’s impressive up here. Misty mountain and birch woods. And moose. But I think few people drive all the way up here unless they are wildlife enthusiasts or skiers. Or involved in other winter sports. It is indeed very remote. The telephone is (are you ready?) on a cord. Attached to the wall. It gets tangled. It has been a long time since I untangled a phone cord!!

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      • The place sounds fantastic to me. I love old phones, although our new ones are very cool and practical. There is something with a phone that stays where it is. Conversations remain more focused since we cannot do anything else, even with a cord. Enjoy the setting and if you see a moose, shoot his portrait for us.

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  4. Jackson sounds like an interesting place. Have fun.

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  5. For some reason I thought moose was a Canadian thing. Enjoy your holiday!

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    • I thought it was a North American animal, but I wuz wrong. Apparently there are moose across northern Europe and Russia and Sibera. In Siberia, they form a big part of the diet of tigers. Tigers versus moose. They never showed THAT on the Disney channel.

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  6. Wish I was there with you! I loved Maine when I visited there a few years ago. So beautiful. We have Elk here in Colorado, as there are Moose in Maine. Gorgeous and dangerous!

    As for “It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?”

    I want to know as well! I wasted so many opportunities when younger because I simply was too afraid to reach out and take what I wanted . . .

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    • It turns out, moose actually ARE elk. Very big elk. In England, when they refer to elk, they probably mean moose. When we say elk, we mean what YOU mean. If you click on the heading “moose” in the post, it’s linked to a pretty good Wikipedia article about moose and elk.

      Moose related injuries are the most common wildlife vs. human injuries, but are rarely fatal or even serious. Car vs. moose highway accidents, on the other hand, are almost always fatal to both moose and humans. Which is why we need to get where we are going before dark. This time of year, moose are out in force. I’m looking forward to seeing them, but I’d rather not hit one with our car.

      I don’t usually need to calm my nerves. I’ve got a strong streak of fatalism in my personality and I’m a pessimist, so I don’t expect things to go well — which means I’m pleasantly surprised when they do. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but it’s who I am.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Have a great road trip to moose country. Hopefully you will find an accomodating one who doesn’t mind being photographed or failing that a short sighted one who won’t notice.

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  8. …Or is that Mooses..?

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  9. Have a great vacation guys…, and say hello to them Meese

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  10. Moose vacation!!! Terribly excited for you two that you’re going to get a break from the every day stress (especially as of late) and doctor’s appointments and calling the cable company and all of that other tedious stuff. So it’s going to be cold…hmmm, I guess I wasn’t expecting that. Sounds like you should definitely pack your house-slippers! Have a great time, be safe, and have fun (and hopefully end up with some really cool pictures!)! 🙂

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    • I’m looking forward to a change of pace. I think the crises can wait for me. Somehow, I think they will all be right here when I get back. I’m going to try a new thing: relaxing! I’m not sure I know how, but I’ll give it a shot!

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  11. Have a good time. You know your moose look a lot like the Swedish Elks. Mr. Swiss was often in Sweden when he was working for that car copany with a “V” at the beginning and an “o” at the end. He often saw the elks on the roadsides. Generally they kept out of the way, but it often happened that they decided to take a walk where the cars drive with negaitve results. They are generally judged as being stupid animals. I think they are adorable, and much more interesting than a Swiss cow.

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    • Our moose ARE elk, and yes, they are the same as the ones in northern Europe. There are other animals — huge deer-like animals that we call elk too, though moose are bigger — the largest member of the elk family. Confusing, huh. We all have elk, reindeer, and moose, so I bet they all crossed the Bering Strait while it was frozen during the last ice age. Moose are kind of klutzy looking, but despite their awkward appearance, those big guys can really MOVE. And they aren’t afraid of anything. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose

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  12. ‘Add a mouse to a mouse
    and you soon will have mice
    But a moose on the loose…
    just makes more moose.’
    Couldn’t resist a ditty on the odd plurality of moosedom…just my way of saying have a wonderful time! I hope you get great pictures, moose or not. :o)

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    • Thanks. I hope so too 🙂 I hear the leaves are pretty much gone at that altitude. They are falling pretty fast down here, so why not? And it’s cold at night, in the 30s mostly. But we aren’t planning to spend a lot of time out at night, except when hunting for moose with cameras. It should be an easy vacation and relaxing. We need that.

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  13. First, thank you for all of that great information on moose (or “mooses”?). Second, have a great time in Jackman, ME.

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  14. Have a relaxing, satisfying and come back happier than the moose.

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  15. I knew your vacation was close. Hope both of you have a wonderful fun relaxing time. You both deserve it after the year you have had. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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