my early 20s, after a summer job working in the Colorado Rockies, I headed back north with a group of friends. Our plan was to finish off our season with a backpacking trip in Grand Teton National Park. En route, we detoured through Yellowstone National Park, where I was to experience my first close encounter. We had the giddy thrill of being caught up in a buffalo jam. Our tiny car was forced to a standstill as we were engulfed by a giant herd of buffalo leisurely crossing the road. I was awestruck. Years later, en route to the Yukon, my husband and I were travelling the famed Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia and stumbled upon the Pink Mountain herd calmly grazing on the side of the road. For anyone who has had the privilege of viewing North America’s largest land mammal (they tip the scale at an average of 700

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