I always recall this adventure around Fourth of July. It was about 25 years ago (July 3, 1997 or 1998) when Matt and I were camping in the Teton Wilderness and got charged by a mama moose. We had set up our campsite and were walking through the woods when our dogs started barking at something in the trees.
“Run!” Matt shouted. He took off, and it took me another second to realize what was happening as I saw two little brown faces and one very large one through the trees. Before I could blink, the biggest, angriest mama moose came running out of the thicket and flipped our dog Chilly into the air — and then charged me — her hair standing up on her neck. I literally flew across a nearby creek, up a small hill and behind a tree where I gathered big rocks to throw at her.
She stopped at the creek. I prayed, “Dear Lord, I promise to move back to the South if you get me out of this. And thank you for my time with this boyfriend as I’m now about to watch him get trampled. Please help him.”
The moose had turned and was now charging Matt. He also ran through the creek and by the grace of God, that appeased her. And she went back to her babies.
Our dogs were gone. We hiked backed to our camp where Chilly was waiting for us. Hampton was nowhere to be seen. I cried all night (we slept in the car at the campsite), thinking she’d been trampled. The next day, some women found her curled up on the side of Teton Pass and brought her home to me.
My heart races so many years later reflecting on one of the scariest moments of my life. Give mama moose plenty of space. And next time I’m hiking through the Teton Wilderness, my dogs will be on a leash!
Oh, and to this day, Matt and I have never understood why his pants were soaked up to his knees from running through the creek, and mine were bone dry.
I remember watching fireworks on Fourth of July that year and being so grateful for my boyfriend, dogs and a warm bed indoors.
Wishing you all a safe and adventurous Fourth of July!