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  • Rachel and I had reached the top of Gros Morne in Newfoundland, 806 meters at the summit. Nothing crazy, but it was a reasonably tough hike up a very steep ravine. The bottom of the mountain was lush and filled with vegetation and moose, the top was arctic-like conditions with Ptarmigans and cold, biting winds. We ate our lunch, relaxed at the top, and soaked in the view of the surrounding peaks and mountain-top lakes. It was a breathtaking, beautiful view - the kind that humbles you before nature and the vastness of the expanse around you.

    As we prepared to start the trek down, I spotted an animal off in the distance. A Caribou! I would find out later it was a forest-dwelling, Woodland Caribou, an endangered species. These are so rare that my sister-in-law's boyfriend spent 3 summers tracking and studying Woodland Caribou in northern Ontario for his PhD thesis and he never saw a single one alive.

    I started to walk towards it, but it spotted me instantly and kept a very safe distance. I took as many pictures as I could, but it would not let me get close. It didn't seem to care about me when I wasn't moving, but would maintain the same distance whether I was walking or running towards it. Finally, it got tired of the game, and in a couple of bounds was gone over the side of the mountain. It was fast and very graceful in the midst of the rock field. A beautiful animal adapted perfectly to its environment.
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