To quoth Unca Lou’s great line in one of the greatest films of all time, Indian Summer:
“There’s nothing like a good moose.”
I’ve seen a ton of moose living up here: the Mangy Moose, the Java Moose, the Blue Moose.
Oh. You mean a real moose? No, I’ve never seen one.
Gasp! Swoon! Surely you jest!
Truthfully, I came up here with no preconceived notions of seeing a moose. Or any animal, to be honest. That is until every human being I had ever known asked me if I’d seen a moose. In the restaurant, sure, people are curious. But my friends? They just assume herds of moose are crisscrossing my backyard on a daily basis.
Not exactly the case.
Plenty of other animals though. I see several creatures on a weekly, if not daily, basis that I didn’t see living closer to the Cities. My favorite all-time critter has to be the Red Fox.
A stunning flash of fire and obsidian, I often spot the fox on my late night drive home. It’s usually fleeting; just a quick glimpse as it ducks into the forest or tall grass between the road and Lake Superior–but what a sight! I consider a fox sighting good luck.
If you see a fox? Probably just keep heading to the nearest Casino. That’s my rule of thumb.
I also see a lot of coyote. At least I think they’re coyote. Most people that see coyote think it’s a wolf, but wolves are a little more rare.
A good way to tell is the size–wolves are bigger.
Another good way? This website.
I guess if you’re really in the mood to discuss wolves while you’re visiting the area is to stop at the International Wolf Center in Ely on your way.
But if you’re looking for a glimpse of nature in the raw, there’s no shortage up here. Bears, wolves, bobcats–we’ve got a nice array.
As for the moose? Well, I can’t give you any tips there. Never seen one, remember? (Don’t rub it in.) If you ask any of the locals, you’ll get some sighting spots or at least a story or two. As I mentioned in a previous post, my pal and first-rate chef Justen saw one while he was fishing on Northern Light Lake.
That’s up the Gunflint. I think most people will agree that your best bet to see a moose in this neck of the woods is to travel up the Gunflint Trail.
I think another good bet would a Moose Scouting Tour courtesy of Skydan. A birds’ eye view ought to reveal one of the elusive beasts.
Truthfully, even though it wasn’t my intent, I want to see a moose the longer I live up here. It just seems like a thing I have to do, you know? I rite of passage, so to speak.
In the meantime, however, I guess I’ll stick to my usual moose sightings….