Did you know that elk bugle? Their bugling noise is part of rut or mating season. Someone else took this video showing an elk bugling. It is one of the videos available online that shows the bugle within the first few seconds of the video.
Three of us rode to Estes Park, at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, and we were lucky enough to get within 50 yards of a bull elk and his harem. Lucky and cautious.
Certainly we were lucky to see them; however all of us know how aggressive bull elk can be during rut. You can do an internet search on elk during rut and find them tangling horns with each other as well as attacking cars that they deem as a threat to their harem.
Watching the herd across the river from us dining on lush golf course grass, river grasses and drinking water from the Big Thompson River, we were filled with awe and respect.
It wasn’t long after I took the photo above that we heard the bugle of another bull on a hillside about 300 or 400 yards away. That bugle made the bull nearest to us exit the water, circle his cows and take a protective stance on the side of his harem closest to the potential intruder.
Once in position, he returned a bugle as if saying, “I’m ready for you buddy. Just try to come close to my harem and I’ll show you what I’ve got.”
We decided that while the bull was distracted watching the other bull in the distance, we would make our way down the bike path and back towards Loveland. A cyclist would be no match for an angry, protective bull elk.
(Below are a couple of shots of Scott Ellis and Bruce Runnels on the ride up to Estes. The Estes trip was Bruce’s longest ride in eight weeks, after his emergency surgery to remove 45 inches of small intestine. That’s another story…)
Scott Ellis above, on the approach to the second set of switchbacks above the town of Glen Haven. Below, Bruce Runnels makes the climb look easy.
I must admit that I planned to see aliens and spaceships on the group ride today. My first encounter with the spaceship was in 2000 or 2001 and I'm a believer. Yes, a spaceship landing pad is just outside my hometown of Loveland, Colorado. Hard to believe, I know.
Steve Douglas, one of my riding buddies from the Ft. Collins Breakfast Club group ride, was not a believer-until today. And we have photos.
Before I get to today's ride, I must go back to August and the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. Steve had mechanical difficulties that day and it wasn't such a good race for him. Similar to others that have had no-so-good races, he proclaimed the day after the race, "I will NEVER do Leadville again."
Several days after the race was over, he posted the gory details of the event on an August 21, 2007 posting titled, "Leadville, Aliens and Suffering". You can find that posting here and you will have to page back to find the August 21 post.
The most critical piece of that post is:
"Would I ever do this again? ... Mark these words: I will only do this one again under 2 conditions: 1) When Aliens announce their presence to this planet or 2) If my brother says he wants to do it.Keep in mind there is little chance of either of these things happening!"
I present to you photographic proof that Steve has met with the aliens - well, at least one alien. Below is Steve posing with the handcrafted spaceship and one small green alien, who's name I did not catch.
This alien spaceship was handcrafted by Russ (Russ's Machine Shop). In all of the alien excitement, I did not get a photo of Russ and Rick, who I assume is Russ's son. We'll have to go back another time.
In addition to handcrafting the spaceship, Russ has a garage filled with ever-so-beautiful Indian motocycles, a gas pump, a handmade three-seat motocycle (Ed, help me with that engine again in the comment section) and even a John Deere bicycle. Check out the photos below.
Now I think the aliens may have been a bit peeved at non-believers because our 45-mile ride had five flat tires, one mechanical chain drop/jam and time in the ride when the group was separated by a series of errors. Apparently the aliens were testing us.
When the group got split, I received a call from Ryan in the other group asking if our group had been abducted by the aliens. This was proof to the aliens that people are indeed believers.
The ride finished safely, with several people talking about aliens. I think we will have great rides from this point forward because we have full alien support.
And Steve, I'm sure you'll be cutting a check and sending in your entry form for Leadville in January of 2008. With alien support, I'm certain you'll be selected in the lottery.