On this, my last full day of UAA writing school, I ride down the Campbell Creek bike trail, intent on pedaling the entire 16-mile roundtrip on a hunt for moose. Yesterday I looked, without success for them on another trail system. This is my last shot.
I see other things that make the ride worthwhile: the early morning sun frying on a blue pan circled by gray clouds, two ravens catching some rays while perched high on a bone-white spruce snag, even a snowshoe hare in summer browns. But, I want to see at least one more moose, one with the typical bulbous horse body, dainty mincing gait, and oversized ears.
Fifteen and a half miles into the ride, I slam on the brakes to give some space to a cow and her twins. Busy ripping off the tops of young willow starts, they ignore me until I click my camera shutter. Then, the mother twists her ears in my direction. A few clicks later, she returns to her feed. If she doesn’t escort her kids off the trail, I’ll be late for my morning class on metaphors. I should chill and let the big animals inspire similes. (a moose is like Michelangelo’s horse without the mane or long legs (you see why I need the class). When they start moving away from the trail, I mount up and ride past them, camera clicking. The mom turns, holds her ground and gives me a “I’ll stomp you into a jelly” stare.