One of the amazing parts of our US Western trip was the variety of animals we saw – which for my zoologist-in-training was a slice of heaven. By the time we got to Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park, we’d seen bison, moose, eagles, prairie dogs, and even a rattlesnake. Only one animal had eluded us – a bighorn sheep.
As I drove the last few miles in the late afternoon to our hotel in Estes Park, I told the guys that “wouldn’t it be nice if we could see a bighorn sheep?”
Ever the tween pessimist, my oldest said,”Yeah, but we probably won’t. Remember what the guy said? It’s too hot for them.” (The guy in question being Kurt, our naturalist guide at Grand Teton National Park).
He was probably right, but as we turned a corner, a car ahead had pulled over onto a turnout and the driver was waving frantically at us from beside his car. I pulled over, killed the engine, and looked to where he was pointing . . .
. . . that’s right, folks . . . not one, but TWO bighorn sheep. They lazily posed for pictures and then scampered off when a car passed by but didn’t stop.
We drove slowly to the hotel, a smile on my face as my zoologist now proclaimed that his favorite animal was the bighorn sheep (with his previous favorite, the bison a now distant second) – I’d seen my bighorn.
And just as a FYI – the ones we saw were teenagers out where they shouldn’t be (just like teenagers everywhere) because their horns, which grow their entire lives were small and hadn’t begun to curl.
Check out other photos at