Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Every year we vacation in northern Maine - so far north that it takes about a half an hour to get to Canada and finding things to do is a challenge. At night, however, nature decides to give you a little excitement and adventure, and all you need is a car and a bright light to do it.

We're talkin' 'bout moosin'.

Once you're outside of the bright lights of town - the hardware store, the general store, and the antique store, it's pretty easy to find moose coming out of the woods at night. In order to spot them, though, you're gonna need to get yourself a handheld spotlight that you can hold out the passenger side window while someone drives you along the highway. Going slow is, of course, a necessity because hitting a moose usually works out better for the moose than the car.

Some nights can be luckier than others, and the nights when no moose can be found can get very boring very quickly. You know how you have to turn the radio off when you're focusing on something while you drive? Moosin' takes a lot of focus so the radio is never on. This means that on a slow night, you can just troll up and down the highway with your spotlight ready, in a quiet car, late at night, and start to think the whole thing is stupid after an hour.

On good nights, however, moosin' can feel like you're on an African safari. Except that you're in Maine, in your own car, on a highway. There have been times when we've seen 20 moose in one night - including cute babies, protective moms, and gigantic males. Sometimes they are eating on the side of the road or peeking through the trees. Sometimes, we've stopped to get a better look and had a moose charge at the car. When that happens, we all scream to start driving again and then laugh at how scared we got.

As ridiculous as the whole idea of "moosin'" is, seeing a huge moose at night a few minutes from where you're staying is so wild that ii makes all the ridiculousness worth it.