Missed Opportunity

This past weekend, I was scheduled to open, and work the first shift at the Wildlife Station Visitor Center, which sits half way around the Wildlife Loop road. When we work any of the remote visitor centers, we are assigned a state vehicle to drive. I picked up my assigned vehicle at the main visitor at about 7:00 a.m.  and started my route to the wildlife station visitor center. Normally, the drive from the main visitor center to the wildlife station visitor center takes about 15-20 minutes, and it is a beautiful country road drive.

I always think of the TV show, Little House on the Prairie, when I drive the wildlife loop road. So peaceful, and tranquil…

It’s not at all unusual to see one, two, three, or four big bull bison along the road while driving to the wildlife station visitor center.

 

And, I always get excited when I do see one, two, three, or four bison on my way to open that visitor center…

However, on this particular morning, I was all by myself, and the only vehicle on the road at that time in the morning, when I suddenly came upon what must have been at least 200 bison cows with their calfs. I mean they were all over the road and walking directly towards me. I have never seen so many bison in one spot in my life, not even when we spent the summer going in and out of Yellowstone Park. We would see maybe six or eight causing a little road jam in Yellowstone, but nothing like what I came up on while I was driving this road… I had to stop because there was no getting around ,or through them, and they just kept walking towards me and surrounded my vehicle. They stopped and started licking my doors, headlights, and tires. I tell you I was so scared. My heart was pounding, and I just kept asking God to please make them keep moving on down the road so I could get on down the road to open the visitor center. I didn’t have any other thought in my head except to get past them, so of course I never thought to get my phone out and take a picture… Duh!!

Finally, that herd of bison decided to move on down the road. And with my heart racing, and my knees shaking, I did the same in the opposite direction. I said a quick prayer to thank Jesus for getting me out of that situation, and I was thinking to myself, “ok, I got through that, I can handle this now” and I continued on my way to open the wildlife visitor center.

Imagine my surprise , and picture my face, when I got a couple miles down the road, and came across yet another herd of bison even bigger than the other. As I was looking down this stretch of road, I couldn’t see the end of the bison that were coming right towards me again. They were everywhere again! Oh no, here we go again… And, again, they surrounded my vehicle, licking it and just standing there looking at me looking at them… I guess I hadn’t had enough time to recover from the last herd, so again I was just to scared, and nervous, to even think about getting my phone out to get a picture…

Now, after getting through all that for the very first time on my own, and having time to appreciate the fact that I did get through it, by the grace of God, my only regret is that I let my fear get the better of me, and I missed a perfect opportunity to capture that many bison in one place on the wildlife loop road…

Eventually, after a 15-20 minute drive became a 45 minute drive, I made it to the wildlife station visitor center, and open it for the day. About two hours after I opened, at least one of the large herds I encountered made their way to the wildlife visitor center. I mean they were all over the place. This would have been the perfect opportunity for me to capture a picture of the size of the herd, except for the fact that the bison were just on the other side of the fence you see in the next picture, and believe it or not, children and their parents, were sitting on the fence trying to get pictures.. Sounds like what is a fun thing to do, but for the fact that now the visitors are in a danger zone, and it is my duty to warn them that bison can jump that fence, and they can run 35 miles per hour… So it is NOT a good idea to get that close to the bison, especially, this herd of cows with their calfs.. There was even one mother that was trying to get her 10-12 yr old son to go beyond the fence and stand right by one of the bison so she could get a picture of him beside the bison. Thankfully, another park worker saw that and stopped it immediately. I mean, come on folks, all we can do is warn you, but if you don’t want to listen… that’s where  these types of incidents make the news…

Now that I have encountered two large herds of bison while driving by myself for the first time, I believe the next time, instead of being scared, I will reach for my phone, and capture the moment so I don’t have to regret a missed opportunity…

Stay Tuned!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky VanCura
    May 30, 2019 @ 03:27:03

    What an experience you are having

    Reply

  2. Robin
    May 30, 2019 @ 05:14:59

    Oh gosh…I wondered the same about why you didn’t take photos! But I can understand…what an amazing experience. I’m sure you will have many more encounters and we’ll see photos soon! How exciting!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      May 30, 2019 @ 12:00:30

      Yes, it was an amazing experience and I was surprised at how much it unnerved me. I don’t get nervous when I come across one, two, three etc. but there were just so many all at once, and I really got scared. I do believe there will be many more opportunities to see that many bison again, and I think next time I will be better prepared to capture the moment… XoXo

      Reply

  3. randombitsoftrialanderror
    May 30, 2019 @ 14:25:28

    I don’t see it as a missed opportunity, but more of living an adventure up close and personal instead of through the buffer of a camera lens. It had to be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I know this because you described your experience so eloquently with words. I’m sure there will be many more!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      May 30, 2019 @ 15:00:53

      Thanks for leaving your comment. It was a scary experience for me, and it really was also exhilarating, once I got through it and reflected back on it. We are hosting here until the end of September, so I have no doubt there will be many more opportunities to capture the large bison herds in a picture.

      Reply

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