Thursday, May 15, 2008

Buffalo Girls

[Uh, Journalism] As part of their periodic first-person series on how two newbies in Utah tackle the great outdoors, doggone cute Salt Lake Tribune reporters Maggie Thach and Roxana Orellana describe their camping adventure at Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.

It's kind of a print version of I Love Lucy--pick your favorite scene with Lucy and Ethel. It's crazy-slapstick! Their tent flaps in the wind. The camp chairs fly away. The mosquitoes. The brine flies. And only a half-can of bug repellent.

And then there are the bison. The outdoorsy grrrls write:

While on the island, we did more than camp. We drove almost the length of the island and found herds of bison. We were about seven feet away from one of them on our drive. Maggie was fascinated and wanted to get closer. Roxana was terrified and drove by at about 2 m.p.h.

Note to Maggie, for next time you visit the island (and if you go to Yellowstone National Park, too): More people die or are injured by getting too close to bison than are injured by bears in the outdoors. Bison are big. They are fast. They are seriously unpredictable. They are a cut above your average dumb cow. I'd advise against trying to pet one.

*Above: Husband and I, on bicycles in Yellowstone on April 20, 2008. Like Maggie and Roxana, we, too, were about seven feet from the herd. Except we knew what we were dealing with. The following scene was of us, picking up our bikes and carrying them s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y through hip-deep snow off the road and around the herd to avoid riling the beasts. (Holly Mullen)


  1. Looks like you had nice weather for the ride...and no cars!

    Funny, but people don't generally expect big cow things to maim and kill - they're just so damned cute. Besides the Burmese junta, the water buffalo is the most dangerous (and deadly) animal in South East Asia - that's what the stats say, anyway, though it is common to see chilren straddling their necks for a ride.

  2. Common confusion. Asian water buffalo are domesticated. African Cape buffalo are the dangerous ones.

  3. I understand your point, anonymous, though there are pockets of Asian buffalo that are still wild, and, of course, if not handled correctly or spooked, even domesticated animals will charge.

    Anyway, I've seen Asian, African and American buffalo - in my opinion, Bison are the scariest looking. Must be the furry coats.


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