Adventures in Writing...and in Life by Sandy Nadeau

So you want to be an adventure writer...

I have always loved going on adventures, and I see most things in life as one. For nearly thirty years now, my husband and I often head into the mountains of Colorado to find a new adventure. We have come across several whether just out for a drive, looking for fall color, searching for Bighorn Sheep, moose, or the elk herds during the rut, often finding what we set out for. When I took more serious steps to becoming an author, it seemed natural to just write adventures. Be careful what you pray for.

This year, we began to hear the familiar call of the cranky male elk gathering the females earlier than normal. This annual wildlife event brings out many spectators. You wouldn’t think your home town could be overtaken by such a large animal along with his growing harem. But it is part of life here in the foothills. Not a rare sight, but not usually in my back yard. 

I have a pet peeve, having lived here so long. There’s real danger to approaching wildlife. If they get scared, well, prepare to be kicked like you never dreamed of. One time, we watched one gentleman sneak around some blue spruce trees at the park to get a good picture of the bull when said bull burst through the branches almost goring the surprised man. He got away and into his car, but I imagine his heart rate took about four hours to return to a normal rhythm. 
Some of the herd moved into the field behind our house the other day, I grabbed my camera thinking I could get some great shots of the cows and young elk gathering there. We have a five foot chain link fence surrounding our yard and tall ponderosa pines, so I felt safe enough. I clicked away getting terrific shots of these large, sleek brown females in the field. Zooming in, I caught a close up of a female with a blade of grass sticking out of her mouth. Mom and calf near each other. With all our rain this year, the grass practically glows green. Beautiful. The huge bull stood up the hill across the upper street watching over his herd that slowly grazed along. His mouth open, nostrils flaring as he sniffed the air, I assumed he was checking out his girls. I learned later, much later, he was on to my presence. Who knew? 

There I stood, as he made his way to the entrance of the field. Snapping photos of this majestic beast, muscles bulging, antlers sporting the six points on one side, seven on the other. Huge animal. *snap, snap* Oh, he’s so close. Hit the video button Sandy. This is amazing. *whirrrrr* recording. 

He appeared to just be coming down to herd the females back onto the road. I’ve seen it done. I figured he would come down and circle behind them. There was no visible agitation to the animal, I felt no danger. 
Then within ten feet of me behind my fence, BAM! He turns and heads straight in my direction antlers aiming. A wood post and chain link fence stood between us. His abrupt action created a terrific need to flee. And flee I did! With the video still rolling, I ran for my back door. Not knowing if the beast would be angry enough to leap my fence, I just ran. 

Remember what I said about loving adventure? All I could do was laugh as I ran. My heart rate soaring into the blue sky above. I didn’t look back. I just got to the door as fast as my legs could carry me. I turned, once behind the screen door, looked to see where he was, half expecting to see the monster within the confines of my yard. Thankfully, he stood on the other side near where I had been mere seconds before. When a bull in the rut gets frustrated, they use their rack to rip up bushes or dig up grass which he proceeded to do. As I watched him from my protective screen door, he continued to stare at the spot where I had been, not where I was. So I began to wonder if he smelled me more than he saw me. Either way, I’m glad he missed me. 

I discovered how that man must have felt. I don’t think my heart rate returned to normal until almost bedtime. Did I learn my lesson? Well, sort of. The herd is still around, I’m still taking pictures, but I keep my car handy. Then I watched him chase cars going by with his head aimed at the bumper. Uh oh.
This is so going to be in a book someday….

Editor's Update: A few days after this incident, Sandy had out her camera again! (Thanks to Sandy for providing the elk pictures and videos)

Red Gold
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Sandy Nadeau's RED GOLD is a tale of adventure, danger and intrigue. Don't miss it!

Mandy Phillips loves life with her husband running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains, but when Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid-size old west town their dreams of expansion are crushed.
Is Shonee just being a difficult neighbor, or is something more sinister going on?

A discovery on the property of Colorado's state mineral leads to more mysteries for the ranch, and then a teenage guest finds herself thrust head first into danger.

Mandy will have to rescue her, but who will rescue Mandy? Her faith in God is her only source to keep the guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Great videos and pics, Sandy. Amazing that unlike deer, these creatures seem to fear no one or nothing. Stay safe. We'd like to keep you around a bit longer.