I know, to some of you, it’s like “well, honey, after all, you *are* in the Middle East, what were you expecting, rhinos???” Smartbutts. But when I did see a camel, on the SIDE OF THE DANG ROAD, Y’ALL – I squealed. TBG thought something was wrong and his head snapped around to see what the heck I was all “Honey! Honey! Look! Look! Did you see them? Oh Honey, can we go back? Baby TURN AROUND! I saw some camels!!” about. On the side of the busy road, behind the fence, there were about half-dozen or so camels.
I swear to you the man rolled his eyes. I just felt him do it behind his sunglasses. But, he went to the next roundabout (holymotherofallthingsgood) and turned around to go back and let me see the camels.
Now, to some people, seeing wild animals may not be a big deal. But to me? To us? Things happen….like when we were on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere, maybe Colorado or Wyoming, no houses, fences, lights, just a road and cattle crossing pipes over the road. We topped over a hill and TBG suddenly cut the engine off. We were coasting. I thought he was playing till he turned his head and said “Look ahead.” And there they were. A mother horse and her baby. A WILD HORSE and her baby. As we coasted to a stop at the bottom of the hill, it was just a few feet from us and had stretched his neck out towards us, curious. His fur was all long and tangled with sticks and mud and twigs….. dusty little baby horse. He wasn’t afraid, just wondered what kind of horses we were, I suppose.
But his mama, wild or not, was having no part of it. She made a “Mama Noise”….. you know the one. You stop doing whatever it is you’re doing in case any part of it was wrong…. And he headed back over towards her, skittery hooves clicking on the road.
Or in Alaska/Canada, dead of Winter, between Christmas and New Years, we were in the Bronco, driving from Alabama to our new duty station in Fairbanks, Alaska. Dark as can be, hadn’t seen another sign of life or cars or lights for about an hour or so driving. The headlights were struggling to cut through the darkness and ice fog settling in, and we still had hours to drive before a place to stay. Over a hill, down the hill, around a curve, and there – off to the side of the road, movement ahead. TBG skidded to a stop, not sure what we were seeing, maybe a big bear or something?
Freekin caribou. Talk about a mismatched bit of critter, I swear it was put together by a committee somewhere using leftover parts. Kinda moose-y, kinda cow-y, bits of deerishness about it too….. funny. But they’re also about the size of a small car so you don’t wanna hit them – and this one was in no big hurry to cross the road, just meandered to the middle and stood there.
Understand “road” is a relative term…. It was hard-packed snow, smooth as glass and just as slick.
After we’d sat there for about a full minute, wondering, “OK – so how do you move a caribou?” we saw the reason…. Two young caribou came from the same side of the road, crossed beyond the adult, and made their way quickly to the other side of the road. Ooohhhh…… OK. We got it now. Caribou road guard. Cool. Neither one of us thought to grab a camera.
So when we see wild critters, it’s something that we’ve always liked, something special for us, always a surprise, it’s an omen of good luck. And I know that things are like they should be.
OK, – Back to the camels.
These are some odd-looking critters, you know? But they’re oddly friendly-faced, reminding me of a giraffe’s head and face, except for the horse lips. And TBG had turned around and pulled off the side of the road so I could take these photos…. Now mind you, he did *NOT* unlock the freekin child-safety door lock dealies, so I couldn’t get out and get any closer, but I was able to put the window down and snap a few shots…. Are these not just the coolest???