Along with wanting to see and photograph the northern lights on my trip to Gunflint Lodge (see previous blog), I wanted to get some photographs of moose. Earlier in the year, I had hoped to see one on a canoeing trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But, the moose were no-shows. And, everyone I ran into kept telling me that I needed to be farther north. This is how plans began to take shape for a trip to Gunflint Lodge.

I mean really, how much more north could I get in Minnesota? I figured Gunflint Lodge would be the perfect place to see and photograph them.

Besides, the landscape is quiet and animals (such as moose and wolf) far outnumber people. And of course, there are lakes and the forest changes from mixed maple, to mixed conifer, to conifer, to boreal forest. Basically, lots of trees and animals!

And, if there was an app that I could download to find moose, I would have it on my phone. But, there is not. So, when we checked into Gunflint Lodge, I was giddy with excitement when the woman at the front desk told us about all the animals that people had seen the few days before our arrival – wolf, otters, and… Moose.

She told us about a moose that the previous guests had seen near our cabin the day before. She said the moose swam along the shore of the lake and when it came out, it came up toward cabin #11. In my hand, I held the key to cabin #11. The key felt like Gold. I hoped luck would be in my favor as it had been for the previous guests.

After getting settled into the cabin, there we sat at the large picture windows facing north looking out over the lake into Canada. We waited. Watching and patiently looking for moose. It was as if we were waiting for the moose to rise up out of the water like Jesus.

We sat there for two early mornings, waiting. We didn’t want to go anywhere for fear we would return to find the cabin encircled with moose tracks and the yard adorned with moose droppings. We couldn’t leave, so there we sat each morning and evening hoping to get a glimpse at either sunrise or sunset. But no moose came.

But I was still hopeful as we hiked each day along the trails around the lodge.

I felt a little like a yoyo being tossed between “looking for moose” and “looking for northern lights.” But I was happy looking, which is what really counts.

In the end, I finally did see a moose. On the last day as we were driving down the Gunflint trail on our way home, there she was in the roadway. I slowed way down to see if I could get a photograph of her, but she quickly hid among the trees. We sat there for a long time in the car watching her to see what she would do. And, she was waiting, waiting for us to leave. So we did.

But, after looking and looking for moose during the entire trip, I feel somewhat obligated to share this photo, regardless of how horrible the photo really is, simply because it was the one moose that I saw. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see a moose in hiding, this is what they look like. Amazing how such a large animal can hide so well. And now that I think about it, I probably drove by several moose to and from the lodge...

Anyway, I do have a much better photograph of a moose, here is one I took on my 2009 Alaska trip. This is a young moose and if you click on the image, you'll be taken to a larger photo where you will see dew on its fur.