I am sitting here drinking my celebratory beer after another birding adventure, and maybe I’m drinking two. Ok, I’m saying it right up front…this is all Thor’s fault, not that I’m blaming anyone but he gives me this bird tip and….
Can you picture…. Olaf running bare ass naked across a mountain meadow with this “thing” (note Yogi on the picture) chasing him? Now I apologize for it being a little blurry, since I thought getting a picture might be useful for when they found me dead and eaten under the sage brush. They would check my camera, correct? You know, my toe really wasn’t a problem right then. Luckily the bear wasn’t in a big hurry or my last post would have been the last one, and Olaf would be no more.
Why was I running? Cause I thought it was feeding time and you know, Booboo was throwing a dinner and I was the guest of honor. Yogi was just giving me the invitation. Yes, a bunch of Hindu people were also cheering and taking pictures. I’m sure this was the best bear/bare they had ever seen. It was like I was in Calcutta, they never seemed to even notice me, naked birder….but cool, not a bare but a BEAR! I drove away and nobody seemed to notice me.
Let me get to the beginning. I was on what I called the “Grand Tour” 1967 miles in 70 hours (yes 70 hours), 8 new birds, 13 coke zeros, a can of mosquito spray, four states, one river ford, lots of wildlife, two stolen shoes (bear?), well I sacrificed them in recrossing the river anyways, another hurt toe (crossing the river barefoot), two campsites (have you tried to find a campsite on July 4th weekend?), hundreds of hindu tourists….and one bear…this bear. Oh, and the memories…priceless! PTSD if you ask me.
Sometimes it is great to be me, sometimes it sucks to be me. Now…I did climb to Beartooth Pass, thank you Thor, and seen the black rosey-finch (3 of them), naked at 10,865 feet, as there was construction below it to the west and it gave me a thirty minute window in that direction for no traffic and I was able to stand near the road and take the picture below of the hard to find bird wearing nothing but…wait, I was even bare foot!.
Beartooth Pass and me go way back. Family vacation in 1978 when we climbed it, the road was narrower (it is narrow now) back then and looking over the edge my dad feigned pushing me over, I walked back to the car on all four and refused to leave the car. That vacation was a disaster afterwards and I have avoided going up this beast since, making excuses to the wife.
I also have a problem with bears. They don’t scare me but you see I have always thought I was from the Eagle clan, my spiritual animal BUT…I was haunted by a grizzly bear, a dream state Grizzly bear that ate parts of me, after I camped in the wrong place once in Montana. It only left me after I married my wife I then went down to the same spot with her and after our first night It threatened me and walked away. It hasn’t returned in 23 years (well, 22 yrs and 361 days but who is counting). Maybe the bear is my animal and that is why I dont like bears, they scare me on a whole different (spiritual) level, wolves, big deal, cougars, yawn, sharks….c’mon scare me, sasquatch…get real…..bears…?..BEARS!….holy sh&t!
Well, I faced my fear, this pass, and I guess Yogi, too……got my bird, escaped the brutal bruin, and well in the end, I climbed out the trail on the road down at 9500 feet, stripped off my clothes, jumped up and down and screamed “this is no longer called Beartooth Pass, this is now BARE-TOOTH Pass!” A couple of motorcyclist maybe heard me but they only smiled when I came back to the car.
Maybe you just had to have been there….again, thanks Thor….I always appreciate a good tip.
Rhame Prairie, SW North Dakota, July 3, 2013
- 563. Chestnut-collared Longspur
- 564. McCown’s Longspur
Long Pines Section Custer NF, Ekalaka MT, July 3, 2013
- 565. Red-headed woodpecker (seen 4)
Bighorn Mountains, Buffalo WY, July 4, 2013
- 566. Clark’s nutcracker (2)
- 567. Lazuli bunting
Yellowstone National Park, WY July 4, 2013
- 568. Barrow’s Goldeneye
Bare-tooth Pass (Beartooth Pass) Wyoming, July 4, 2013
- 569. Black Rosy-finch
Slim Buttes, Harding Cty SD, July 5, 2013
- 570. Greater Sage Grouse (3)
Chestnut-collared Longspur (MT/ND border), saw three there and 31 more in South Dakota Range)
Upland Sandpiper (NW South Dakota), I saw 7 of them there and 38 on the trip.
Dickcissal singing, (NW South Dakota), you got to love that name
Grasshopper Sparrow, (NW South Dakota)
Olaf looking for water……heck it is hot out and I’ve already lost my clothes! Custer NF in SE Montana
Mountain Bluebird, ok the pretty male flew away but it is still a nice bird.
Barrow’s goldeneye in Yellowstone Park, they were not so easily seen….nude.
Yellow bellied Marmot….this isn’t just birds, you know. This little guy is in a state of shock seeing a naked human looking at him, look at his expression