The last time I had any experience with wanting something so fluffy I was going to die, I got it.  I mean, not exactly, but sort of…Maybe it’s not a live panda, but it’s something!


But Jenna, didn’t you take a trip and see a bunch of critters in 2015?  Why yes, yes I did, but believe you me, I did not want to go up and hug that moose.

As this wasn’t going to be a road trip where I was expecting to see any sort of wildlife, I had resigned myself to relaxing, and looking out for sunsets instead of appreciating the animals of an area I’d never seen before.  Luckily, I am fairly adept at camera phones, and was able to catch some of them in their natural habitat.


First, the rams!  Go Rhody! Look at those horns!  Ahhh, the college memories.  All they need is a blue and white URI shirt.  These were spotted in Badlands National Park, and while I wanted to go pet one, I figured they’d head butt me, and therefore refrained.  Next time though.


Ahhh, buffalo.  Or bison.  I’m not actually sure what the difference is, but either way, it’s delicious.  These are a pretty common sight while traveling across the country, but I’ve never seen one so close.  They’re BIG.  Like, really big.  I could eat for months.

img_3964IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’M GONNA DIEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay maybe not die, but this was the best thing ever!  It’s a mountain goat, and he was just hanging out on the path around Mt. Rushmore.  I approached cautiously, but it was just sort of staring at me with this bored look, and as I walked by, he didn’t even move.  He was this giant fuzzy animal and those horns looked pretty sharp, but I was about 6′ from this giant ball of fur.  I think I deserve an award for not cuddling it (though he was so calm, he might’ve let me).

Mr. Goat won’t ever replace Big Panda, but he’s a close second.  Very close.


Life is a Highway, Part 10: Critters

I want to make it clear that I do not hate nature.  Nor do I hate animals.  (Mosquitoes are not animals.)  And so the wildlife encountered on this road trip was generally pleasantly experienced.

As you know, I saw a moose.  That was the big one.  But there were elk, deer, lizards, chipmunks, and bison.  Not to mention the HUNDREDS OF COWS AND HORSES EVERYWHERE!!!!!

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These are all wild animals – while they’re used to people (or so it seemed), they’re still wild, and so for the most part, I kept my distance.  I wasn’t scared of them per se, but they are also unpredictable.  You know, no one wants to be eaten by a wild cow.

The moose was pretty scary, just based on sheer size.  And the chipmunk was a bit alarming – no creature that small should have teeth that proportionally large, nor should it be that fat (it was sphere-shaped). But the scariest animal I came across on this trip – the wildest, most unpredictable, most dangerous animal – was on the last day, on my trip to a waterfall off the highway.


Let me tell you.  I have firsthand experience with these crazy birds.  Geese are insane motherfuckers, and they will stop at nothing to make sure they get their way, and that you know who’s the boss.  They will peck at you and eat you alive.  When you have something they want, they will chase you until your little 3-year-old legs cannot run any more, and they will never let you forget the one time you were nice and tried to feed them and then ran out of bread. They’re vicious, stupid, and relentless.

When you’re on a trip through nature, and you encounter God’s other creatures, it’s important to respect them.  Unless they are geese, and then you have full reign to run at them screaming, and flapping your arms till they scatter.  Revenge is sweet, bitches.