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San Francisco Trip (Nov 6th 2004) The Elk Hike

Redington and I visited Kay, Mark, Melanie and Holly for the weekend. We flew down on a late flight on Friday night and after a drive in the fog got to their house in San Anselmo after midnight. In the morning we got up rather late, had breakfast and Redington and I were treated to the Voorsanger family tradition of the Elk Hike.

Despite it being a warm and clear fall day, as we neared the Point Reyes National Seashore the marine influence of cold moist air overcame the optimistic warmth of the autum sun and we were plunged into a chilly fog as we drove out past cattle ranches and dairy farms in the coastal hills. Eventually we reached the coast and were immediately treated to a view of some nice Bull Elk.

Elk on Ridge

Next we hiked out to the coast and were rewarded with this scene...

Coastal Fog

By now it was not only quite cold but also windy. Near here we sat down and ate lunch while watching Redington hack the innocent vegatation in his usual fashion. The waves crashed in a long simultaneous crash, curling perfectly like sculpted glass before obliterating themselves in the shallows. Melanie said through the binoculars the waves looked like tidal waves about to engulf her.

Redington hacking vegetation while Melanie looks on bewildered.

Of course being the rutting season we needed a way to talk to the Elk and Kay had just the thing. An Elk bugle purchased appropriately at a Walmart in Colorado (ask her the story, it's a good one). Holly became our official Elk bugler and could be relied upon to call the Elk frequently. Many times the males would lift their heads or we would hear them bugling in the distance.

Holly our Elk Bugler.

We hiked further and the kids were great. Kay and I even got them to the top of the next hill apparently a record for that hike. Redington insisted on tangling with his dad by trying to trip him and jump on his back. For this he was rewarded by finding himself suddenly on the ground!

Eventually we had to get back to the car. We heard numerous bugling Elk which other hikers apparently could not hear as they were talking too much. The calls were both spooky and improbable coming from such a large animal. A squealing high pitched sound. This was one of the big bulls right next to our parking lot...

Close up Elk!