Our guide was comically, if understandably, cautious about predicting what wildlife we might see whilst in the National Park. On the way there, she played a DVD of the sort of animals that roam the park as a sort of precaution. Before we entered the Park she pointed out the ubiquitous prairie dogs on the plains and we were happy to spot a coyote. Once in the Park we saw chipmunks and squirrels, of course, and she urged us to see the humming birds feeding at the back of the Fall River Visitors’ Center. Later, we saw a marmot sunning itself on a rock, and our guide relaxed; if we saw anything else, she declared, it would be a bonus. At the Alpine Visitor Center, high up in the tundra, we decided to skip the gift shops and take a walk along a trail we had spotted. We were soon rewarded with a close sighting of a solitary female elk. An elderly German tourist pointed to where the rest of the ‘harem’ could be seen, quite close to the road. Sure enough; when we set off along the Trail Ridge Road again we soon came to a group of about twenty elk grazing nonchalantly some 100 metres from the road. Our guide was now positively beaming; such sightings were not so common. So nothing prepared us for what happened next. Rounding a bend in the road, we saw two elk stags not more than ten metres away (in retrospect, maybe dangerously close but they seemed completely uninterested in us). Now our cups were really running over….!