Chapleau to Cochrane: a Moose?

By: Lloyd Mize

Anxiously we left the hotel about 9:45 wishing and praying that we might see a moose on the road to Timmons. One waitress at the hotel restaurant told us she had seen moose on the road side but later in the day. Out of town we turned on the road toward Timmons, about 200 km away or 120 miles. The trees were scattered but all is green and pretty. There were many ponds and lakes. I wished I had a tape recorder so I could have remembered all the names as their names were all unique.

In about 30 minutes my wife saw a bear. The right of way is about 30 feet wide and the bear was running near the far end of the right of way, almost as if he was trying to keep up. Soon the trees became more numerous like a forest. We did stop at a "roadside table" which was by what I would call a creek. It was running North towards the Arctic Ocean, as it does in this part of Ontario. No Moose! A little farther she spotted another black spot which turned out to be a bear. I was able to catch a glimpse of him. Once we saw a red fox. My wife is keeping track and recorded this fact in her journal.

Moose! I slowed as quickly as I could after driving 50 or 60 mph's. When I backed up to see the moose my wife told me she had a calf. Then another calf appeared. With the window rolled down she started snapping pictures of the mother and children who were about 30 feet away. Mom started to amble off and her children followed, all the time while pictures were being snapped. We are hoping they come out. This is a two lane road, with the car as close to the right side as possible. I saw a truck coming up behind and said, "We need to leave." Why I didn't just put on my blinkers and let the truck pass, I'll never know. Not much traffic on the road. We had seen our moose and in the process saw three!

We were happy now and hoped to see more but it was the heat of the day, which, by the way, it was 48 degrees "F: when we left the hotel. It was probably in the low 50's when we saw the moose but it was a beautiful day with the sun shinning brightly. Later in Timmins, we saw some children playing in a park with a hose and enjoying the cooling effect the water was having on them. My wife and I were shivering just watching (remember, we are from the south)!

After about an hour or so of driving I noticed a motorcyclist turning around near an off road. As we passed we saw a truck parked on the side road close to the main road. My wife exclaimed, "A bear." I was looking for a place to turn around and a side road came up soon. As we pulled in front of the truck we came face to face with a black bear, seated, looking into the window of the truck, and then laid down. Again my wife lowered the window getting several pictures of the bear. Pulling around the truck we spoke to the couple there and the lady said he was looking for a hand out. It seemed very docile at this point but I did not want to go pet him.

I think that brings the total black bear count up to 13 and moose to 3! We are happy and will visit the Polar Bear Habitat tomorrow and see whatever else we can. Cochrane is a small town between 5 and 6 thousand people.

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. ? Lloyd Mize 2007

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