Oma (almost) got run over by a bull elk

(Attention all environmental sorts: no harm came to any elk in the writing of this blog or during any of the experiences described herein. Police officers were on site and kept us in line.)

The song began playing in my head almost immediately. Instead of “Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve…” it was “Oma got run over by a bull elk, hanging out with our fam Sunday Eve…”

Not good.

It all unfolded when we went to Estes Park to see some elk bugling. I’d never heard of it before, but apparently when the bulls try to woo their women, they bugle. I’m thinking the most impressive bugler gets the girls.

Makes sense to me. If Brian had asked me out with a little ditty on a trumpet, I would have answered even faster than the whopping three seconds it took me to say yes.

So we showed up in Estes Park to find that the elk were literally right there in town, gathered around one of the parks. We quickly pulled over with the zillion other tourists and grabbed our cameras.

The big guy


His admirers

People were getting pretty close to one of the bulls, so we did too, snapping some great shots.

My mom wandered over to where a mighty bull stood…

Then there was some commotion.

Then some running.

Then a sheriff sprang to action: “Ma’am, ma’am, run over here please!”

Here’s a slice of the action Sam caught on film. You won’t see mom in the shot because she ran out of the way… She’s smart AND fast.

Luckily, Mom was safe and sound and NOT run over.

But here are a few of the deep profound lessons I got from the day:

  • Just because elk bugle, doesn’t mean they’re the happy sort.
  • Never get between a guy and his dame.
  • If you’re trying to convince your mother to move to Colorado, don’t let her get run down by a large grumpy animal—with horns.

And a final thought: Today is my birthday. I turn 43 years old. My mom is 75. The very fact that she tangled with a bull and survived, that she climbs around the mountains with us – well, it’s inspiring. And you know what else? She recently bought a Mac after being a PC girl her whole adult life. She’s learning a new operating system and just made her first DVD of pics and music.

While I’m going backwards and prefer Velcro to tying my own shoes, she is forging ahead into new territories.

So here on my 43rd birthday, I’m committing to live like my mama and become a bull-elk tackler, budding computer guru, and live-life-to-the-fullest-continental-divide-conqueror.

But first I have to remember how to tie my shoes.