On the 25th of August 2012, my family and I completed a grueling round trip from Fort McMurray to Edmonton. We recently transferred from Houston, Texas and were custom to talking long trips in our vehicle. We completed the “winterizing” our SUV and we’re now headed back home. While driving we like to play “eye spy” with our (at the time) four year old. Being cautious of other drivers and wildlife, we were enjoying our car games. However, we were not prepared to see what we were about to see. As we carefully watched at the baseline of trees we would often see knocked over trees. The tree roots exposed would fool us into thinking we saw a bear or moose. Often we would see beaver dams and other interesting wildlife habitats. At one point we spotted a bald eagle.
We just passed kilometer marker 70 where new construction was taking place to twin highway 63. As we came over a hill headed North I noticed several moving animals, but could not make them out. I yelled out to my wife sitting co-pilot and said, “look…look…look.” She said, “what…where…what am I looking for?” For some reason I could not get the word moose out of my mouth. I had a feeling we were going to cross paths. Sure enough as we got closer to an intersection (of sorts) we slowly eased up on a momma and two baby moose. We made sure no traffic was coming for either direction. As the momma trotted her two babies across the long stretch of undeveloped highway to the East of us, she corralled them up just before the main 63 road. It seemed like she was telling them to be careful and look both ways.
Momma Moose slowly crossed highway 63 as if to say here I am for your eyes only. We were the only vehicle on the road and got to experience the most spectacular nature event we have had to date living here in Canada. When momma moose had her babies across highway 63 she turned around to look at a family of three with jaws hanging down in disbelief in what we just witnessed. We thanked her, took a deep breath, turned our flashers off and drove off.
Having experienced the dangers of highway 63, I know first hand the adrenaline rush an animal like this must experience. However, this day was different as it was our family and her family seeing each other eye to eye. It seemed as though time stood still and for that 5-10 minutes and we were destined to meet. Thank you momma moose.