I substituted as a mail carrier today and had about an hour to kill before I picked up the out-going mail at the Hope post office and headed out on the next leg of the rural home delivery route, so I drove down to Hope's main street.
The little village of Hope was once a booming gold-mining town. Today's it a quiet, peaceful spot for tourists and fishermen at the end of a nineteen mile side road off the Seward Highway.
When I turned onto the gravel road, two vehicles were stopped right in the road, the drivers talking with each other, just the we do in Moose Pass and in small towns everywhere. As I approached, one of the drivers moved aside so I could pass.
That's when I noticed about a dozen tourists laden with cameras, all heading in the same direction. We Alaskans tend to get a little complacent about watching for the wildlife, but tourists with cameras flocking to a particular point is a dead give away that something was near.
So, I did what tourists everywhere do. I parked, grabbed my camera, and followed the flock.
Ah, a moose, browsing in the wild Jacob's ladder, geraniums, bluebells, Arctic roses, and cow parsnip.
No one said a word. No one moved close enough to disturb this cow moose. And for sure, no one walked down this mowed path to the outhouse.
Mama Moose was accompanied by her two twins, and all were nibbling on the lush vegetation.
You have to hand it to those tourists, despite their land yachts that clog the highways. Without them, I never would have noticed these moose.
And, had I not seen the moose, I never would have captured this photo.