This past Sunday Austin had the day off. Plans have been sketchy because the job is coming to an end and we aren’t sure just how much longer we will be here. Heck, he was already laid off once and brought back all in the same day. Pipeline, man. We had dinner the night before at The Chop Shop. This was our second time to eat there and it has officially made the list of place you have to eat if you are ever in the area. So good. The next morning we got up and ate breakfast and then headed out to the laundromat. Adulting. It was pretty painless. Austin embarrassed me, but other than that we got outa there without any creepy people hitting on either of us. From my experience, that is a laundromat win. When we got back to the hotel we realized they weren’t done cleaning our room so we decided to see what there was to do in the area. Ten minutes later we were off to Elk Country. It was only about an hour drive east and looked like a cool Sunday funday activity. Ten minutes into our drive I realized I didn’t have all the camera gear I wanted, I couldn’t remember if I had brushed my hair, and I had on UGGs which are not recommended for walking/hiking trails. When we make a decisions on the fly I rarely consider my appearance. I looked rough, y’all.
We went to the visitors center first thing and had a little picnic lunch. The sun was out for the first time in days (maybe weeks) and it felt good to be outside and soak up the rays. After lunch, we checked out the visitor center and tried to get a feel for if anyone had seen any elk. There had been a cow and 2 calves spotted at the campground earlier that morning, but nothing else. Shortly after we left the visitor center we saw a large gang on some private property. Not knowing where all the look outs would lead we continued to drive, but quickly realized we were getting to far away so we decided to turn around and head back to the visitors center. We needed to find a long trail if we were ever going to get a sighting of them. We ended up finding a trail that went deep into the trees on the side of the property we saw the elk. Now, all of this is a guessing game because with so many hills it is hard to keep your bearings. We found them! Off in the distance we could see them through a thick grouping of trees.
Soon after a loud older gentlemen showed up. He was loud and telling the small group he was with “all about it.” He also informs us that THEY ran the elk down the hill to this location. Really, mister? M,kay.
Slowly they began to come out into a clearing where we could see them through the trees, but they were still pretty far out and unless they changed their path they would never end up close enough for us to get a good look.
The old man loudly pipes up “they will come” (clearly he knows this since he is the elk whisperer that “chased them down the hill” (that he couldn’t get within 5,000 feet of because of private property)). I’m thinking to myself, not if your loud mouth won’t shut up!
Did I mention he was wearing camo? Honestly, I doubt he has hunted a day in his life.
I casually glance at him a couple times trying to hint at the idea of being a little quieter. The women with him says, “ssshhhh.” Old man responded, “oh they are used to it” being louder than all the times before. I swear y’all. My palms were getting sweaty because I was so irritated. I was thinking to myself “maybe they are used to it in the sense that they will not take off running if they hear loud ass people talking, but I highly doubt they are going to welcome the idea to casually graze their way over here! **screaming in my head ** This guy.
Finally, they start to come through the trees. I’ll spare you the commentary, but don’t worry. He talked and “explained” for the next 45 minutes as they all made their way into the open field in front of us. There were NO moments of getting to just “take it in.” Nope. Not one quiet moment.
When the front of the group started to travel again, I was finally able to get away from the old man. There was another break in the path, so I headed up there to get a different (quieter) view. I’ve seen elk before, but never this big of a group. Someone roughly counted and said there must have been at least 125 of them. I didn’t try to get a count – I proved to myself and my grandpa two summers ago I can’t count moving objects to save my life. Farm girl fail. It was exciting to be that close to them even if another group of loud people showed up. Can we talk about people these days? Actually you know what… never mind.
The cow and her calves were still at the campground when we passed, so we decided to pull in and see them. I think I was able to get within 25 foot of them. If I was guessing I would say that those calves were born last year, but I don’t know that for sure.
We had a fun Sunday. It was nice to get out while the weather was nice. I’m officially ready for the weather to warm up enough to make outside activities enjoyable again. Austin will be laid off soon, so I’m glad we took the opportunity to do one more activity here in Pennsylvania before we leave. It is beautiful here, but I’m not going to hate heading a little further south.
We vlogged our little excursion. You can find the video HERE on our vlog channel. Please subscribe if you like hanging out with us.
(All of these were shot on my favorite camera, but with an old lens. I came across the lens and forgot why I quit shooting with it. When I grabbed my bag in a hurry that morning I wasn’t prepared for a cool trip. In short, this lens will be put away for good now. I remember why I quit using it. Not impressed.)