Surprise! Elk Ahead in Arizona!

We just ended a late-afternoon Picture Canyon hike in Flagstaff when across the road from the parking lot we heard a sort of bugling sound and noticed some animals in a field. Upon a closer look we discover a herd of elk! There were at least 50 elk grazing in the field and unaware of us.

Elk are the largest species in the deer family and the largest terrestrial animal in North America. They are also called “wapiti” which is a Native American word meaning “light-colored deer”.  We anticipated the elk moving along so we drove our car about a quarter mile down the road to watch them more closely, as they too wandered down to this area. A couple of them looked back at us as we used our car as a photography blind. We certainly wanted to provide these 500 pound animals with plenty of space and to not feel bothered by us.

We were observing this herd after rutting season and it seemed obvious the bull elk had his cows together to move south for the winter. This herd is probably part of the elk herd, referred to as the Interstate -17 herd, which migrates about 24 miles south of Flagstaff for warmer temperatures. The bull elk was calling the others to move.

The herd moved through a fenced-area and away from us so capturing photos was a challenge, but here are some:

Quite a sight to see these animals! I did worry about them traveling south because there are many highways to cross and I am not familiar with any wildlife corridors in the Flagstaff area. I am aware of many elk-vehicle collisions per year. I can only hope this herd finds safety and will return next year to this area. What a great opportunity for us to view wildlife in their natural habitat!

Food When in Wyoming and Montana!

Well I wish I had taken some pictures of the delicious bison burger, elk burger, lamb burger and emu tartare I had eaten while visiting national parks in these states. For me, being gluten-free, I opted for no roll or bun and really enjoyed the different meat tastes. I am not usually a regular hamburger-eating person, yet in these states the burgers went great with a beer and French fries! Of course too, there are so many microbreweries throughout the states you cannot drive to far without seeing another place! Oh, how is it I do have one picture of beer!?!?

But to see more of my top 20 Glacier and top 20 Yellowstone National Park pictures, check them out at Flickr by clicking here. Enjoy the views, and plan to visit the parks in your future.

Beer, would rather have a stout, but sometimes an amber will do!
Beer, would rather have a stout, but sometimes an amber will do!