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Summit Up

Special to the DailyFormer Silverthorne Mayor Lou Del Piccolo found a new neighbor recently who no doubt was attracted to the home by hizzoner's beautiful yard and his ability to quote from the classics at length.
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Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column thinking that we have an aroma that’s particularly attractive to moose.

We joke.

But, seriously, only a few weeks ago we had a terrifying encounter with an adolescent buck moose in our backyard, involving stomping, snorting, kicking and three very distressed dogs.



And not three days ago, hiking up our favorite trail, we had another, more distant though equally scary, encounter.

As we rounded a treed corner, the path opened up … and there was this brown monster. (In actuality, it looked quite docile and was munching on what we think was grass).



We froze in our dirty sneakers and our mouth went dry.

Our dog (the recent other victim of the previous moose attack) was crashing around in the brush, looking quite happy, her tongue hanging out of her mouth like a great slab of uncooked bacon.

A bloodcurdling yelp erupted from our mouth, already hanging open from shock.

We thought our moose encounter last month would be singular.

We thought the world was safe, and the moose attack was merely a fluke.

Seeing this giant creature brought that cold fear right back.

And the moose looked pretty scared too, it’s head jerking up quickly as we yowled, our hair blowing in the wind as we ran for our life.

So, we sprinted, screaming, down the path in our pajamas (for some reason we always meet moose in our pajamas) with our dog galloping happily beside us.

We kept turning around, thinking a slobbering, red eyed, dagger-toothed beast weighting a ton was chasing us to our death.

When we reached the bottom of the path, we were alone, wheezing and sweating.

No moose.

As our dog sniffed unidentified animal poop, we realized that it wasn’t one of our finer moments.

OK, so a moose is an ornery, large creature. But, in reality, they aren’t that bad.

They’re actually quite interesting to look at, and we like their majestic antlers.

They don’t bite (as far as we know) and they generally keep to themselves.

And, though they’re quite large, they don’t weight a ton. On average, an adult moose stands six to seven feet high at the shoulder. Males weigh 850-1180 pounds, and females weigh 600-800 pounds.

That’s not so bad really.

A moose looks so much bigger when its trying to stomp on our dog.

That brings us to the next thing we’ve learned about our furry, antlered mountain friends: Because dogs chase moose, moose consider dogs to be their enemies.

These large creatures sometimes go out of their way to kick at a dog, even if the dog is on a leash or in a fenced yard.

This makes sense, because wolves are one of the moose species’ few natural predators.

Perhaps it’s not our lovely, morning breath scent that’s attracting the moose, but our dog’s crazy, nonsensical circle running and stick chasing.

***

Chris Nelson sent in a shout out to local Stacey Todd:

“Yesterday was Stacey Todd’s last day with the Parks and Rec department of the Town of Breckenridge. Stacey has organized the Nike Summit Trail Running Series and the Independence Day 10K as well as many many other activities for the Town. I’ve participated in the races and they’re like nothing else. Stacey has obtained excellent sponsorship for the races and they are a pleasure to run. She takes the time to answer individual runner’s questions over the phone ” even this week when she was a ‘short timer.’ She will be missed.”

***

We out, trying to invest in moose repellent.


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