Bighorn sheep are fairly darling critters, and it’s not unusual to see them around the Many Glacier hotel.  In the summertime, when people are spilling out of the Many Glacier valley, I sometimes groan when I see the sheep, knowing they will cause a “sheep jam” of tourons and SUVs, generally right at a cliff base where no passing is allowed.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t groan, I should be happy for folks who’ve never seen them before, I shouldn’t play the elitist “local” card, I should be patient.  I should probably floss more often and check my voice mail with greater frequency, too.

But in the shoulder seasons, I’m generally tickled to see the sheep, and if I’ve got the Many Glacier valley to myself, I’ll play the tourist, too.  Unlike most big mammals in Glacier National Park, Bighorn sheep are infatuated with people – they love our salty pee and they love our salty cars, in particular.  I don’t know if they’re just used to folks or if they are complete and total salt addicts, but they will get within 3 inches of you if salinity is involved.  Case in point:

My camera is not zooming in any way here – these sheep are giving my car the wash of its life and I’m hanging out the driver’s side window, above them.  Yes, parked in the middle of the road.  Do not do as I do.  Do not park in the middle of the Many Glacier road for any reason.  Do not encourage the sheep to exfoliate your vehicle.  It really isn’t good for them to be as fearless of humans as they seem to be.  Especially in the fall, when Honeydew roams the hills with a 30-06.

But if you do see them, please admire their tougher-than-nails, cloven hooves that allow them to hop fearlessly amongst Glacier’s gorgeous peaks:

And their hot chocolate eyes:

And their gray tongues:

And remember to flip me off when I tailgate you this summer.  Remember that the National Parks were created “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people,” and not, as I have convinced myself regarding the Many Glacier valley, just for me!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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