Rocky Mountain, Hi!

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY PETER MOORE

Exeunt the doughnut shop, pursued by a bear.

I WAS UP EARLY, ON A MISSION: PROCURE DOUGHNUTS.

I’m in Estes Park, Colorado, with extended family, and every one of them enjoys crusty, glazed, sweet hunks of fried dough from the Donut Haus, on the west side of town.

On my way back to our cabin, I kept a keen eye on the rear-view mirror. We’re not the only ones who like to start the day with something fried and chocolate covered.

Actually, there are only ten bears in all of Rocky Mountain National Park. But if I were one of them, I’d hang out near the doughnut shop.

If a bear had caught me there would have been hell to pay: I didn’t have any coffee!

I spend a lot of time staring out at the mountains up here, and sometimes I notice them staring back.

My grand-nephew opined that the rock on the left looked like a butt. What do you think? Might have been the light. Or his 9-year-old sense of humor.

The hills are alive!

Landscape, for me, is just a starting point. What else may be lurking in the distance?

I once had an office on the seventh floor of a building in Knoxville, TN, with a north view. I was waiting for King Kong to make an appearance.

If anybody needs a vacation in this scenario, it’s Faye Wray.

This time of year, the elk are on the verge of the rut — sexy-time for giant ungulates. But their testosterone boosters haven’t fully kicked in yet, which accounts for all of these bucks peacefully chewing their cuds together, submerged in a field. In one month they’ll be bashing antlers and bugling their mating calls and attracting harems. (I’ll stick with just the one wife, thank you.)

The buck on the top right may have trouble finding a mate. Unless she’s low on potassium.

The sun rises across the valley from us, backlighting the late-summer wildflowers and grasses: prairie coneflower, asters, dwarf sunflowers, blonde ambition.

And that late summer sun shimmering over all.

Just another glorious day on the road to elsewhere.

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