"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Sunday, July 24, 2011

We Are Not Alone in British Columbia

Northern British Columbia is a vast wilderness.
During the days of driving in this area, our friendly "Milepost Book" gave repetitive and serious warnings marked in red that read:
"CAUTION: Watch for caribou along highway...
Watch for loose gravel...
Reduce speed in this area...
Watch for horses and wildlife on highway...
Watch for falling rocks...
CAUTION: Steep grades...
Watch for bears on the verge..."
On the verge of WHAT, I wonder??? Oh, the edge of the road?

These Canadian Rockies are just wonderful and we admired them with one eye while the other eye kept that cautious eye out for all of the red-letter warnings. We almost missed
this distinctive Indian Head Mountain just north of Fort Nelson.
Do you see his profile?

After many long stretches of seeing no hazardous rockslides, gravel or wildlife,
we began to think we were alone. We relaxed our vigilant viewing around each curve a bit too much.

Just when our minds were wandering, the red warning flashed
"Watch for Stone Sheep along highway (or standing in the middle of highway)..."

And there they were!

Families or singles, wandering along or in the road,
often eating the gravel, it seemed. In reality, they like the minerals in the crushed rock.
They have no fear of the once-in-awhile vehicle zooming down the highway.

Then, in a flash, while we were watching in fascination, they would turn and
clatter up the rocky face of the mountain and disappear. Literally.

Looking at the rocky peaks he had just swiftly climbed,
we recognized that, whether we see another warm-blooded being or not,
we most certainly are NOT alone in these mountains.
While we were watching, we were being watched, in turn.

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