Mr. Fox (or Foxy, as I affectionately began calling him) looks both ways before crossing the street in Big Sky.
LAST SUMMER in Big Sky, I went on a jog with a fox.
We weren’t regular running buddies, hadn’t planned to meet up in our sneakers and running gear or anything. I didn’t even ask him to join me. But as I ran out of my driveway, he trotted up alongside me.
I looked at him, afraid he would run away if I moved. He looked at me, nonplussed.
I began to jog. He began to trot.
We jogged along together for about a quarter mile as I shot him sidelong glances, unsure of fox-running etiquette. Was I going too fast? Too slow? Was he going to bite my ankle?
Mr. Fox seemed less worried – unconcerned with the apparent dangers of inter-species jogs such as accidental tail-stompings. Bored after a few minutes, he peeled off onto a fox trail, leaving me to jog on the road.
But a mile or so later, he was back, popping out of the forest to trot at my heels.
It was around mile two that we finally found our groove. Foxy hit his stride at a 10-minute/mile pace, and I relaxed my gait. He hit the fox trails a couple more times, always rejoining me on the road a few minutes later on my five-mile loop. Back at my driveway, I waved goodbye, unsure whether I had passed the test as Foxy’s running buddy. After all, I only have two legs.
But running wasn’t Foxy’s thing, and as I stepped up my training he didn’t join me anymore that summer. It wasn’t until yesterday that I saw my old friend again, trotting along the side of the road down to Lake Levinsky. I stopped my car to say hello, but he was nonchalant as ever. Just in front of my car Foxy paused, looked both ways, and crossed the street.
Wildlife is always abundant in Big Sky, but there have been more sightings than ever now that summer is winding down. Moose, elk, and bears are out foraging for food before the cold weather begins, trying to bulk up for winter. Check out some footage of recent sightings of moose, elk, Bighorn sheep, and mountain goats in Big Sky. But keep in mind, most wildlife aren't as friendly as Foxy. If you spot one of these creatures, keep your distance.
For the ultimate experience in wildlife, use Big Sky Resort as your Basecamp to Yellowstone National Park.