Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bison, bugs and beautiful

Our first trip after bringing the rig home was a one-nighter at Bridger Bay campground on Antelope Island – the biggest of the 8 islands in the Great Salt Lake. It can be summed up in three words: Bison, buggie, beautiful.

Bison: we saw a bison grazing about a football field length away from the coach. People were walking out to look at it and Jim and I kept remarking about how stupid that was. Then a man not only walked near it – he walked into its line of sight. The bison stared for a while, then slowly walked forward...then charged. The bison flipped the guy in the air; he crumpled and was still.
A man decides to look a bison in the eye. Click on the photo to enlarge.

After tossing the man in the air, the bison decides man is really not much of a threat.
I started to call the Park, but since the bison was strolling away someone ran out fro the parking lot to help the man up.  I ran over to where the now-walking man's car was parked.  I'm guessing he was in his late 60's and he had had a cut and bruise above his right eye and two big streams of blood down his face. I asked if he needed a  doctor, thinking I’d call 911; he said he was going to the hospital. I said “I know you already know this, but don’t ever get so close to a wild animal again.” His reply:  “It started coming at me and I didn’t know if I should run or what.” Well, how about not getting so close to a couple of ton wild animal in the first place?  By the time that animal starting walking toward him, he was SOL. Wow.

Bugs: Tiny black bugs – so small you could inhale them -- and some sort of white flies were out in full force and hungry. Nevertheless we did a four-mile hike on Lakeshore Trail that edged the lake. Parts of the lake are the color of sage—that turquoise, gray green color. Other times it looked sky blue. The trail has some interesting rock formation, including one that looked like a human skull. We also saw antelope, deer, grouse and geese. From the rig (besides the bison) we saw two jackrabbits – love those ears. Because of the bugs, at one point we were wearing our anoraks – light nylon windbreakers with hoodies – hats, and bandanas around our faces – we looked like the Unabomber or some sort of radical hiking religious sect. Despite all that, my eyes were ringed with bug bites and so was the right side of my face.

Beautiful: The view from the coach and while hiking was desolate and gorgeous – we could se the lake, several other islands, snowcapped mountains, sage and a huge sky.

This was our first trip with Cooper, our dog, and he did well.

A couple more photos below:

1)Wearing our anti bug hiking gear. You can probably surmise that we did not hike as much as usual.

2) Jim relaxing in the back of the RV. Note the great windows and view.

3) A beautiful trail.