"Wheat Kings" & pretty things

There’s a great line in that Tragically Hip song and it seems to fit this story.

“no one’s interested in something you didn’t do.”

I’d crawled out of my tent before sunrise and spent the morning photographing moose grazing in the shallow depths of Sandy Stream Pond in Baxter State Park.

Baxter is a very beautiful and very remote area a little northwest of Millinocket Maine. Right at the Canadian border.

As to be expected, the activity began slowing down as early afternoon approached so I decided to take the 1 mile trek back to camp for lunch. The trail back was very similar to the miles of trails I’d hiked in the Adirondacks, narrow single track giving way to hardwoods rising on either side. So I had become accustomed to spending a good portion of these walks looking down, scanning the trail before me for rocks and roots, then ahead to keep sight of the trail. What I certainly wasn’t accustomed to was the sight that greeted me as I glanced up to get my bearings. Standing directly on the trail, stock still, was a huge bull moose. I’m sure he had heard or seen me long before I had seen him and I came to an abrupt stop no more than 20 yards away. I didn’t know what else to do so I started scrambling up the slight incline into the woods trying to get off trail hoping he would simply pass by. As it turned out, he had the same idea. After watching me for a few moments, he also wandered off trail and made his way by me crashing through the woods. Now, in my mind’s eye, I have a picture of this beast standing dead center on the trail, perfect eye contact, his rack still in velvet, colorfully framed by the leaves encircling his great head. But because I had made the inexcusable error of stowing my camera away into my pack before starting the hike, and was not prepared, the only picture I actually have is a dark silhouette of a moose wandering through the woods.

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