He who “commands attention, awe, and respect.”

Tuesday, August 29

RVSue, Reggie, and Roger have made their home in Palisades Campground in Custer National Forest a few miles outside of Red Lodge, Montana.

The crew and I wander through the empty campground.  

Over six years of full-time vagabonding in varied environments, I’ve developed a habit of watching where I step.  There are several reasons I do this.

I don’t want to trip and fall or twist an ankle, especially since I’m a solo traveler and being incapacitated, even briefly, leads to bigger problems.

I also survey the ground for snakes, not only for my sake, but also for the crew.

I also enjoy discovering different types of rocks.  Most of all, I like to identify the tracks of wildlife.

This morning we come upon the tracks shown in the photo.

In the photo these look similar to deer tracks.  However, they are much bigger than those made by deer hooves.  The tracks show that an animal has come out of thick brush growing in a thicket by the side of the campground lane and then returned.

Well, something came through here last night . . . .

I look up and focus on a dark mass among the greenery.

“Oh my!  A moose” I exclaim in a surprised whisper.

My pulse quickens.

The moose is about 15 yards away.

He’s browsing on the tender parts of small trees at the edge of the campground.

Let me tell you, standing in the presence of all those pounds of moose on the hoof, with nothing between you and him but a few tender branches and grass . . . well, it does make your heart go thumpety-thump-thump.

Although part of me is interested and intrigued by this uncommon sight, the other part snaps into flight mode.  Especially since I’m accompanied by two critters who would think nothing of picking a fight with a moose.

I’ve heard that moose are gentle creatures, but, even so . . .

Geez, I’d better get these two outta’ here!

We take off for our campsite.

I pop the crew into the Best Little Trailer and return to the moose.  I take the photo (above) and watch for a while.  He (I’m assuming it’s a he, might be a she) takes no notice of me, even when I move.

Barks from the indignant crew, although faintly heard from the other part of the campground, urge me to leave the moose.

Happily I return to camp.

I’ve seen four moose.  The mama with her youngster at Brooks Lake in Wyoming back in 2012, the one that galumphed across Yaak River Road earlier this summer, and now this one.  

Wednesday, August 30

Our camp is located at a circular drive at the end of a short, gravel road coming out of the main part of Palisades Campground.  I’m out walking the crew again.

A few campers arrived last night.  As we approach the first one, Reggie and Roger begin to bark at the young man standing next to his camper van.

The man is holding up his phone.  Then he looks over at me as we walk toward him.  He wears an odd expression.  The crew continues to bark and pull at their leashes.

Then the man points to something next his campsite.

My mouth drops open and my eyes bulge.  

It’s the moose again!

Take another look at the photo above.  When I first see the moose, I’m standing with the crew next to that center rock.


I turn slowly and walk the two canine maniacs away.  Again I pop them into the BLT and return to take photos.

Later I talk with the young man.

He’s a lifelong Montanan and lives in Red Lodge.

“I like to come up here and camp once in a while,” he explains.  “It’s nice up here.”

I ask him his opinion regarding the age of the moose.

“About two years old,” he replies with authority.

Although I don’t see the moose again, I see his tracks every morning.

From those tracks I get an idea of where he roams.  He goes up on the ridge above our campsite (right side of next photo).

At some point he comes down off the ridge and crosses the road.

He makes his way through the woods to have a drink, downstream from our camp.

Researching the moose, I find this description.

“The moose is a grand and dignified animal and relays the seemingly forgotten message that nature commands attention, awe, and respect.” — americanexpedition.us


NOTE:  To read an interesting article and compilation of facts about moose, in addition to photos and artwork, visit the website linked above.

BTW, see the smoke in the seventh photo? — Sue




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78 Responses to He who “commands attention, awe, and respect.”

  1. Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

    I can tell from the color in your photos that you have a good amount of smoke. Boise is really suffering from it. And your moose is wonderful–I’m always glad to come across them.

  2. Sherri D says:

    Raised in Minnesota we were told to give moose the wide berth. They can be so dangerous. What a thrill. Has your heart slowed down yet? wow

  3. chas anderson says:

    I still remember the first moose I saw in Maine in 1975.Was driving on a dirt lumber road and a huge bull with a rack 5 feet wide trotted right in front of my car.Hard to forget.

  4. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    I was Wondering which loop you were in Thanks for the info I have marked it in my de lorme. I liked the pictures of that site and will seek it out when i finally get on the road.

    Maybe i will see the she he moose too.

  5. Marilu in Northern California camping along the American River says:

    Oh my, I was expecting a bear. You are lucky to capture such good photos. We were chased by a mama moose in Alaska so they are not always gentle if protecting calves or during breeding season. It’s good this guy seems calm. I wonder how he lost his antler.

  6. Rochelle in IN says:

    Re that last picture:

    Reggie – “Hey, Roger! Let’s play Moose and Fierce Dog! You be the moose!”
    Roger – “Who are you calling a moose?!!”

    I’m glad the moose didn’t react to them. 🙂

  7. Marilyn, GV AZ says:

    Good morning.

  8. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Beautiful moose! I’m glad the encounters went well.

  9. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Moosee! Lol
    This is awesome!

  10. weather says:

    Wow! How great is that?! To be so close, and have the chance to get those photos, oh, Sue, I can just imagine how excited you must have been. I know that feeling when one’s heart and mind are racing , “Walk away? Miss the chance to have what may never happen again?” . I’m glad the moose stayed nearby so you had more than just that first glance. That’s definitely an unforgettable experience.

  11. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    Is that his other antler pointing down on the side of his head instead of missing one? Maybe he has something wrong and is trying to get help. Moose do not usually come that close to people.

    I love the pictures. I am going to have to get to Montana one of these years.

  12. Pat in Rochester says:

    Great pictures of the moose! An Alaskan friend (born and raised there) tells how she was hiking with friends and was treed by a moose.

  13. I love mossy rocks and stones, and that image of the tumbling waters is perfection.

    I love seeing the boys wrassle together! Such perfect buddies.

  14. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Moose tracks!
    Oh my word….it’s huge! Wow and so majestic!
    Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

  15. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Wow, how exciting to come so close to the moose! I can just imagine how indignant R&R were at getting tossed in the BLT for the sake of some photos – LOL! We were on a motorcycle trip in Oregon once and saw a moose grazing just off the highway in Oregon. We stopped to watch and he/she (?) just ignored us, but I’ve heard they will charge dogs, you were smart to get the boys to safety.

  16. Annette says:

    It’s unwise to get so close to a moose. In only a few steps, he/she will trample you. I lived in Alaska 15 years.

    • Linda in Manito Illinois says:

      Google says that moose rut starts the end of September, so be extra careful!!! And I believe they shed antlers, same as deer, so maybe one is getting ready to drop.

  17. Pat from Mich. says:

    Reminds me of the Yellowstone tourist sme years ago. He was feeding a bear potato chips while his wife took photos. When she ran out of film, he said, “That’s all Bear”, put the bag in his pocket and walked away. He survived after a stint in the hospital. The bear got the rest of the chips.

  18. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    I lived in Anchorage for many years and used to have moose coming into our yard to graze and we would see them walking down the street quite frequently. If you came outside they would just shamble off. But being cautious in the spring was important as the females might have young nearby and then might charge towards you to drive you away from them.

    Living in areas in Washington state that border wooded areas we usually had deer who tended to be daily visitors. One time when my father come for a visit there were two does, one with twins the other a single fawn. The youngsters put on quite a show of play time antics out on the lawn and entertained my father for a good half hour.

  19. Carlene and corky from 4 mile creek NY says:

    Wow… Cool moose… So good to see your new location… I’m keeping notes… Wanting to be up north summer 2018.
    Corky and I are camped 100 ads from the shore of lake Ontario… Making our way westward. The east has been a wonderful experience… Often crowded but sometimes all by ourselves in lovely places.

    Thanks for all of the work you do on this blog… It is very much appreciated.

  20. Sally in MI says:

    Have you heard any bugling yet?

  21. Marshall Richer says:

    Sue, moose are certainly interesting and no doubt majestic, but they most definitely are NOT “gentle creatures”. They can be quite dangerous, especially cows with calves and bulls during the rut. They need to be given space, and your instinct to keep the dogs away from them was entirely correct.

  22. Lynda Jerome says:

    Sue. Where did you buy your 200 w solar pannel? We are unable to find one. Thank you Lynda Jerome. Prescott

  23. SecondLife says:

    Wow, you are living your dreams.

  24. Lynda Jerome says:

    woops! Spelled panel wrong.

  25. Jan NH says:

    Sending good thoughts to Geri/Chuck, family I have in FL and everyone else potentially in the path of Irma as I watch the path adjust again to the west…wherever it lands, I wish everyone well.

  26. Deena in Phoenix says:

    You have the gift from the gods…wonderful sightings, camps, meeting nice Folk and writer and photo taker…best of all for us the blogerinos – you share! Thank you.

  27. mostlylost says:

    Wow – great photos. I lived in Alaska for a while and have never seen a moose get that close to people. Well, except the friends who had a moose fall through their cellar. We ate some good moose chili that year!

    I know Roger and Reggie are fairly well behaved, but if other blogorinos are worried about their dogs barking and disturbing other campers, a Sonic Bird House Bark Controller (you can buy it through Amazon) is a great way to take care of the problem. We have a husky and he’s learned he needs to control his barking whenever the bird house out!

  28. Dawn in MI says:

    Wow. Just wow. So glad you got to see it, and that it didn’t mind being seen and that the crew didn’t get everyone riled up! Wonderful photos!!!!

  29. Wow Sue, A Moose, at first I thought you ran into a Grissly,, great post, photos too,,, almost Home,,, Rusty n Piper 😃

  30. Kathy N in Michigan says:

    Seeing a moose is on my list. Someday. Thanks for the photo and the great look at one from afar. Glad you had a chance to be up close enough and safe taking pictures.

  31. Dawn in Asheville says:


  32. What an amazing encounter with a powerful and handsome animal. Lucky you!

    The moose is still on our “can’t wait to see” list. I’d love to see one fairly close up, but I would have the same reaction I’m sure. They’re so big! And they are wild animals in their own environment so distance is always the smart response.

  33. Don in Alaska says:

    In Alaska, the moose all wear the same T-shirt. “Born to stomp” Every year we have fatalities from ‘moose encounters’.

    “Anchorage’s Greg Beck said his sister was walking her two dogs when the moose apparently attacked,” the Chugiak-Eagle River Star reported. “He didn’t know much about what happened, but said the attack was bad enough to put her in the intensive care unit with ‘a bunch of broken ribs and lacerations.’”

    Not a trival matter. Please, be careful.

    Otherwise, looks like a wonderful camp site.

  34. Eileen says:

    Luv the quote at the end. I felt this way too when I saw bison closeup.

  35. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good morning, Sue!

    Wow! Gorgeous, handsome, powerful creature! How special that you were able to safely capture some photos. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    I love how there is a sun “star” in a couple of pictures. The smoke in the 7th picture almost looks like a light blanket of fog or mist. Looks like the boys let off some pent up frustrations when they were playing. Wrestle mania! 🙂

    I hope you are in a nice, quiet spot to enjoy the weekend. Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup. May you be guided to safety, away from fires and heavy smoke. Thank you for letting us tag along on your great adventure! 🙂

    Sending up extra prayers for all in the path of the hurricanes. May you be protected from harm.

  36. Ted Schmidt says:

    hi Sue, I am glad you are enjoying Montana. I have been following you r blog since you started. I was a casita guy myself. I am emailing ou to let you know that the photo you now use in your blog with the dogs looking out at the river and meadow is my property. I am sorry that I couldn’t have met you when you were here. Anyway enjoy your travels and stay safe,

    • Lisa in San Diego says:

      that must have been enjoyable to recognize your beautiful property in RVSue’s photo header

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How wonderful to hear from you, Ted! You must have been surprised, after reading my blog all these years, to see your property in my header. 🙂 Wow! How fortunate you are to own that bit of paradise!

      Thank you for reading my blog and for the wish for our safety. I’ll think of you whenever I see that photo….

  37. Doug Hinman says:

    Sue be careful around Moose, especially when you have dogs. they perceive them as a threat and sometimes they will charge you! We were charged by a big bull moose in wyoming one time when we were out hiking with our 40 pd dog. he was about 20 yards away when we saw him and stopped to watch him. he then took a few steps or towards us real fast, then turned and took off in the woods! it was scary as we had a friend get severally injured by a moose a few years ago when she was walking her dogs.
    Lucky for us the guy turned and went away.

  38. Donna says:

    Don’t know who told you moose are gentle creatures, but you don’t want to mess with them. Give them a wide berth. I wouldn’t get any closer to a moose than I would to a black bear.

  39. Beautiful photos of the moose. We have been blessed to see one at one campground in Montana, and a mom and baby in Utah in the Uinta mountains. Seems special since there really aren’t that many of them.

  40. Joe Bruner says:

    A moose on the loose. That’s something you won’t forget for a while. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Such an awesome post!!!
    Love, love the photos of the gorgeous moose💕

  42. AZ Jim says:

    Moose attacks against humans not uncommon. Google it and what to do if attacked. Happy trails..

  43. Michael says:

    Last summer at Grand Lake Co. my dog and I were attacked by a bull moose. My dog retreated under a picnic table, as I turned to put the table between the moose and I he charged. It was like being hit by a truck, I know because I have been hit by a truck. (<: Lucky to be alive. Moose will come after dogs, they really don't like dogs !

  44. ApplegirlNY says:

    One of the most fun posts of all times! Love the moose, the waterfall, the campsite etc.
    Safe travels, Sue and crew.

    Prayers to all in Houston, and of course the entire state of Florida. Also, thousands perish and millions homeless in flooding in Asia. Please keep all of God’s children in your prayers. Those in Asia do not have resources. I don’t mean to be a downer, but prayer can lift people.

  45. Gloria in Prescott, Az. says:

    If your sister is still living in Florida I hope she is in a safe place. Thinking of all there today.

  46. Some Native Canadians told me moose have poor eyesight and are therefore easy to hunt.

  47. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

    Hi All,
    What a great post, and a large visitor…MOOSE. Be careful Sue. I had a cow moose run through my backyard once in Vermont. They are beautiful animals!. Watch out for IRMA everybody.

  48. NovaScotiaSue says:

    Lovely experience for you RVSue. I’m wondering if you actually smelled him from where you were standing. I know that, like bears, they do have a distinct smell that warns you of their presence. Great photos too.

  49. Gary says:

    Nice photo’s of the Bull Moose! In my travels, so far, I haven’t seen a Bull up close, only the female “Cow” version. Hoping to see that someday, at a safe distance.

  50. Renee from Idaho says:

    Hi Sue, we too have been able to view a cow and her two yearlings daily in our current camp. They are truly magnificent animals that demand respect.

  51. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Almost missed this post! Lucky you! A Moose! Yay

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