Those photobucket pictures are not sequential to the event.

Most everyone knows where Maggie Valley, NC, is located. But, between Maggie and Wayneville, NC, there's a valley where elk are being settled, called the Cataloochee Valley. My two brothers, Roger and Earl, and a buddy Wayne, who is like a brother rode over Tuesday, (12-4) from Travelers Rest, SC, to see if they were around. Roger remembered his camera, and we took some pictures with our cell phones. We counted 41 elk! Just lucky, but then we encountered some very, very friendly 'bulls'!!

We were just standing at our bikes chatting when they first appeared coming from the dead end of the park road, near the old barn, and the Galloway place. Slowly, the appeared from the woods, then they roamed up the broomstraw field. We just stood there watching, basically in awe at the way they were 'migrating' up the field eastward. Most people only hear the bugling, or an occasional, small herd.

Two bulls were head-butting/play-fighting as they walked up the valley. As they approached us, they still appeared in a playful mood, but we just remained still, and most of the time between our bikes and them; too late then to get on our ponies and ride out of there!

After passing us, two bulls approached my GSA, with us standing 20' away.

They began licking and sniffing on the boxer engine, seat, windshield, etc., one on the port side, the other opposite. Getting anxious after seeing them rocking the BMW a bit, I clapped my hands, and they moved to my buddies red Honda! There they resumed there licking, slobbering and sniffing. We clapped our hands together again, and they loped away, but only about 20' again.

Wayne, my buddy, went to his tail bag, to remove a blue towel, with the intent to wipe off the slobber from his windshield, seat and just wherever their big, ole, long tongues lapped. Two of the brazen bulls came over and watched what he was doing, and then he came over attempting to lick on the blue towel!!
He was shocked, as you can see in the picture I took with a cell phone! Wayne has the red jacket, me the 'blond' guy. The other bull picked up his gloves and was interested in eating them, but we would not allow that!

Knowing that these are wild animals, etc., etc., we felt safer just staying fairly still, and acting calmly and quietly, instead of running off, although we had plenty of time to amble away.

What an experience, and I'm glad they were in a good mood!! And, it appeared that those bulls may have been fed at some time or other, or were they just curious? Anyway, that was a good day of motorcycle riding, and all's well that ends well!

Larry Epps