Buffalo Car Wash

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No, not a car wash in a town called Buffalo. Let me explain:

buffalo-snugglesAfter swallowing rather overwhelming dose of “what the hell am I doing with my life” this morning, I decided to look for the answer to that question (or at least a mute button on that question) with buffalo. I was granted permission to go find them and so I set off. I made a direct line to my favorite dusty road in Wind Cave National Park.

The day was huge. I saw many, many things including but not limited to; two coyotes (many miles apart) one had just caught a prairie dog, 4 separate encounters with Elk, a bird I have yet to identify, and the always whimsical prairie dogs. My favorite moment of the day though happened when I crawled up in my Pathfinder to a herd of buffalo. As soon as my truck stopped the herd started, rather quickly and directly, towards me. I stayed put and before I knew it my car was completely surrounded. It didn’t take long before I figured out what was going on. The majestic beasts began to lick my car – vigorously!

“Why?” You ask. Well, you see, when you drive around town in the winter time, all the splashy-melty, dirt-mud stuff on the road sprays up and sticks to your car. That layer of winter filth you carry around on your car like a winter coat contains salt they sprinkle on the road to keep it from getting icy. I learned today that buffalo love salt.

buffalo car wash 395-2I sat in my car for a while, but it did take long (mom, stop reading now) before I had to try to get out. I moved slowly and opened the door. I stepped onto the road and then took a few more steps. There was no reaction from the herd so I moved to the side of the road and sat down. I sat there for next to an hour while the buffalo licked my car top to bottom. The longer I stayed the more comfortable we all became and I was able to capture some amazing moments. A mother and her yearling shared some tender moments and some juvenile bulls did what boys do to impress the ladies. It was an utterly amazing thing to be able to sit there with them for that long. After we collectively ticked off the minutes, I gathered my gear and got back in the truck and tried to move on. The herd did a very good impression of a road block as the last few got in their final licks. Or maybe they just really didn’t want to see me go. ( I’m kidding ) Eventually I was able to leave the herd behind and get to the rest of the exploration. I know that what I did could be considered stupid. I know that buffalo are dangerous and I know that this could have been a very different story. But quite simply, I had to do it. And so I did.

I can’t help but think though, that it’s on the edge of stupid where some of the best moments in life live.
So, I am sorry mom

… but not really.

One Comment on “Buffalo Car Wash”

  1. I love those moments. LOVE! I’ve spent my fair share around buffalo doing the same thing. Tell no one. lol Given, I started with a random heard of horses on a frost covered morning and learned the same thing. Move slow, present no threat and sit there, allowing the animals curiosity to do what it does. Eventually they ignore you. LOVE these moments! Isn’t the silence awesome. Watching, living and just being there in those moments by yourself witnessing it all naturally unfold in front of you?! So cool. Great job! Extra kudo’s, with a slight naughty wagging of the finger, for venturing out of your car near a momma and calf. lol Silly but talented friend. GOOD JOB!

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