Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In the autumn rutting season they will challenge a transport truck and almost win. In the spring they will want to climb into your fishing boat and tip it, plunging you into deadly frigid waters. At any time of the year on northern highways they will go where they want and when they want.
I remember in August a few years back, taking our son Jordan to Confederation College (Aviation) in Thunder Bay. The highway warning signs for moose became increasingly alarming the farther north one got. Initially "Moose Warning"; then "No Night Driving"; and eventually "Hey Stupid, the Moose Up Here Can Kill"
Jordan would tell us in the following months how wonderful it was to see these enormous, free creatures from the air.
Fast forward to ten weeks ago. After stints at a northern fishing outpost (Ear Falls) and at a training academy for Chinese commercial pilots (Dunnville), Jordan accepted an appointment back at the college as an instructor. Bags were packed; Sunfire was loaded; Trip was planned through Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie and north of Superior.
Days after the fact Jordan informed us of his "moose incident". He had crossd over at the Sault and wanted additional mileage before bed, planning on Wawa for his stop.
Unfortunately this meant a long stretch through Lake Superior Provincial Park - unpopulated, unlit, tree-lined. It was getting dark.
Oncoming traffic was sparse, but at a critical moment a transport appeared ahead and flashed his headlights at our son. He had had other incidents of this because his regular headlight beams seem uncommonly bright. This time however he had the presence of mind to look around. With the help of the trucker's lights he saw the two moose to his right in the ditch. Slamming on his brakes he brought the little vehicle to a nerve-shattering halt.
Moose stared, turned, trotted back into the bush. Jordy now knows that it will pay to trust his instincts better... and those crazy highway signs.