Oma (almost) got run over by a bull elk

(Attention all environmental sorts: no harm came to any elk in the writing of this blog or during any of the experiences described herein. Police officers were on site and kept us in line.)

The song began playing in my head almost immediately. Instead of “Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve…” it was “Oma got run over by a bull elk, hanging out with our fam Sunday Eve…”

Not good.

It all unfolded when we went to Estes Park to see some elk bugling. I’d never heard of it before, but apparently when the bulls try to woo their women, they bugle. I’m thinking the most impressive bugler gets the girls.

Makes sense to me. If Brian had asked me out with a little ditty on a trumpet, I would have answered even faster than the whopping three seconds it took me to say yes.

So we showed up in Estes Park to find that the elk were literally right there in town, gathered around one of the parks. We quickly pulled over with the zillion other tourists and grabbed our cameras.

The big guy


His admirers

People were getting pretty close to one of the bulls, so we did too, snapping some great shots.

My mom wandered over to where a mighty bull stood…

Then there was some commotion.

Then some running.

Then a sheriff sprang to action: “Ma’am, ma’am, run over here please!”

Here’s a slice of the action Sam caught on film. You won’t see mom in the shot because she ran out of the way… She’s smart AND fast.


Luckily, Mom was safe and sound and NOT run over.

But here are a few of the deep profound lessons I got from the day:

  • Just because elk bugle, doesn’t mean they’re the happy sort.
  • Never get between a guy and his dame.
  • If you’re trying to convince your mother to move to Colorado, don’t let her get run down by a large grumpy animal—with horns.

And a final thought: Today is my birthday. I turn 43 years old. My mom is 75. The very fact that she tangled with a bull and survived, that she climbs around the mountains with us – well, it’s inspiring. And you know what else? She recently bought a Mac after being a PC girl her whole adult life. She’s learning a new operating system and just made her first DVD of pics and music.

While I’m going backwards and prefer Velcro to tying my own shoes, she is forging ahead into new territories.

So here on my 43rd birthday, I’m committing to live like my mama and become a bull-elk tackler, budding computer guru, and live-life-to-the-fullest-continental-divide-conqueror.

But first I have to remember how to tie my shoes.

17 Responses

  1. Elsa,
    I loved this and I needed a light hearted joy break from my studies. It is not that it brings me joy to know your mom was almost was run over by a Bull elk (funny song) and I am so thankful she is a SURVIVOR! I just get great joy from reading about your fun family adventures. Thanks for sharing.
    PS. My man knows how to bugle with the best of them, however, this year he didn’t get any elk but he landed me. <3

  2. Loved the story and love spending time and doing life with this family!! Despite the elk I am really falling in love with this beautiful state!

  3. Ah, Kitty – please continue to love our beautiful state – really BIG critters and all. We love having you here! Elsa – so funny. Small town sheriffs have all the fun! Glad your mom is safe – Oh the stories she gets to tell!! Most of us tell the stories of our youth when we get older. Her stories just keep continuing. 🙂 What Joy!

  4. Happy Happy Day, Elsa! I’m so glad you were born! Who else could possibly offer such fun and insightful perception? You’re one of a kind, girlfriend. Love you tons!

  5. Happy birthday Elsa!!!

    I really enjoy all of your messages! Your posts on here and I also picked up your CDs at a conference in Richmond, CA. Your joyful demeanor is awesome and inspiring. I’m a new believer and listening to your CDs has helped bring God into a more relatable light. I cant thank you enough for that as I too was seeing Him as a stern authority figure that would only dole out good to those who “deserved” it. Now I know that he wants my love and a relationship with him. Thank you for just putting it so simply understood. I don’t feel unworthy any longer. It has helped tremendously with bringing me joyfully closer to Christ!

    Happy birthday again!! I hope you have a fabulous day and a wonderful year!

    God bless you,

    1. Wow! Thanks so much, Jill – what a great note. You brought a smile to my day! I’m honored that God would use me to build your relationship with him – what a true privilege! Thanks so much for writing and for the Birthday wishes… Warm hugs, Elsa

  6. Laughed out loud at the word picture of Brian doing a ditty on the trumpet! Happiest of birthdays to you, my sweet friend!

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