What Are They Thinking?

At Culvers today I was thinking it was nearing the end of the month and I was way behind on my posts.  I actually have plenty of content queued up, but have been having a hard time to sparing the time to get it written up.  The trip out to Yellowstone energized me to start cleaning up my forest acreage and getting the trails cut in.  This has a tendency to drain me especially when I have to end the day with my 7-8 mile Bix7 training runs.  I was jarred back into the moment at hand when a young woman approached the counter with her friend.  She was holding a wrapped hamburger which begged my attention.  Correctly guessing, it was a messed up order.  Two statements made me stand and wonder what was going on in their head.  First, while explaining what the problem was, the young girl states “I threw the onions out the window because that’s what everyone did”  For one of the few times I can’t think of any context where an observed action makes any sense.  Was there a big pile of onions on the side of the road she was simply adding to?  Did she see a whole like of people ahead of her in the drive through whipping their condiments out the window?  I have nothing here folks other than the possibility she was savvy enough to know they come from the ground so returning it seemed like the appropriate action. The other interesting statement was from the cashier.  For some reason she was not stunned at all about the onion comment, but after listening to the issue she responded with “Would you like that made again right now?”  I had at least 4 clever responses in the time that took her to respond with the boring “Yes”.  Possibly a clever cashier followup would have been to simply grab the sandwich and scrape the undesired condiments off on the edge of the counter and handed it back.  It probably would have been job ending, but I probably would have shook her hand after redeeming herself from a stupid question.

Anyway, I decided to get this post on a couple of vacation scenes that made as much sense as this encounter.  First a quiz.  Does anyone out there think Bison are tame?  Does anyone believe that wild animals don’t care about their young?  And lastly, are wild animals entirely predictable?  If you answered affirmative to any of those questions you need to stay out of our National Parks and stick to safer destinations like zoos.  I can’t tell you how many times we saw people chasing out after wildlife to get the perfect shot.  Note, this can all be remedied by purchasing higher powered glass, which is significantly cheaper than getting a horn removed from your rear.

This lady decided that the numerous stay away from wildlife warning signs didn’t apply to her.

Dumb Human

We had already taken a number of pictures from the walkway (with the 200 glass) and was able to get various angles in complete safety.  What this lady didn’t know is there is a calf (guess that is what you call it) on the other side.  I kept my finger on the trigger for funniest home gold.  In case you questioned, the answer is I have little sympathy for stupid people but luckily for her the subject didn’t decide to test her speed.

Then there was this guy.

Dumb Human

The elk are probably a little more tame than Bison, but this guy essentially stalked this elk for 15 minutes.  He was trying to be clever and stay out of view, but checking the angle of the elk tells you how successful that was.  Every time the guy took a few steps forward, the elk would head a little further up the hill.  I joked to my wife that he was being led closer to the tree line so his friends could roll him.  Yes, I kept my camera ready for any violence that might have been initiated.  I ended up 0-2 for content on the my series When Good Animals Go Bad.  Admit it, you would watch it – and you can’t tell me it would be any worse than watching the wife of our removed and soon to be put on trial ex-governor Blowjobovich trying to replace her cuss filled tirade wiretap image with a PR stunt in the woods.  But the funny thing about this is there was another elk (with a similar rack) sitting under a tree not 30 feet from the trail.  The whole time that elk kept a close eye on the guy.  Made me wonder if it was not the humans who were on display.  I wish I could tell what that elk was thinking at that moment.  Maybe it was this.

The Food Chain

Freezing in the Devil’s Playground

Predator enjoying some powder

Last weekend I had the opportunity to ride some powder at Devil’s Head Ski  Board Resort in Wisconsin.  Unfortunately, my wife was unable to go due to illness, but some of my friends were able to make the trek up there with me.  We actually headed up Thursday night in order to beat some of the weekend crowds on Friday.  A mere 4 hours from our house makes this a very bearable trip.

Slopes

Although it was pretty cold out, the real danger was the weaponry that was being deployed.

Back Country Warning

…. what?  I get the sense you are not buying this.  Fine, I’ll come clean, the previous pictures were not from Devil’s Head.  I didn’t take the camera with me so I went ahead and threw in some pics from our Colorado trips a few years back.  What gave it away, the fact that Devil’s Head is in the Midwest (think flat) or there would actually be a back country there?  Anyway, we had a great time.  The first day (Friday) temperature was not too bad during the day session (~24 deg), but the wind was cranking through in the 13-15 mph range making the exits off the lift rather blistering.  In fact, we could put our arms out and the wind would blow us uphill to the start of the adjacent runs.  The temperature started dropping pretty quick after noon and was darn cold for the night session.  Luckily we know to keep our board edges razor sharp in the Midwest in order to cut through the ice – nothing like transferring edges and noticing that yellow hue signifying solid ice (no, not THAT kind of yellow snow).  I had fallen pretty hard on a mogul run earlier in the day due to being all ice in between the mounds.  Everyone with me fell on that run as well, but only I ended up with the third knee – translated… a huge swollen welt on the left side of my left knee.  It didn’t seem to affect the motion I needed to board so I brushed it off.  This injury coupled with my shoulder that had a cortisone injection a few days before forced me to curtail my rail activities.  Linda cautioned me to take it easy this time because she couldn’t drive me home like she usually has to.  So very little of this:

Grinding the rail

A little more therapy on the shoulder and some ice on the knee should have me back on the rails next time we go.

My observations from the week follow the jump

Continue reading Freezing in the Devil’s Playground