By Hayes Baxley, Untamed Americas Crew
We set off on the long journey from Calgary airport in Canada to the far north of Jasper National Park in our seemingly new truck that was packed with gear so tightly that we drove for seven hours with luggage sitting on our lap. The roads were heavy with snow and by the time we reached the small town of Jasper set deep in the Canadian Rockies, our car was hardly recognizable from all of the ice and salt that had covered it. We had a good laugh about how our black truck was now a totally white vehicle.
Later that afternoon, we picked up our field guide and headed out to one of the locations we hoped to find big horn sheep. Surprisingly enough, we found a small group of sheep near the edge of the road and decided to get out for a closer look. Our immediate interest was with the large but timid rams. The females and lambs however, seemed to be a bit more interested in us and were much less timid. We followed the rams away from our vehicle for a short time, before deciding to head back. Walking back to the car down the road, we came around a corner and saw several ewes (female sheep) and lambs surrounding our car. The closer we got, we noticed that the sheep were licking our car!
They had gone all around the car and licked all of the snow off the bumper and the sides of the car. They were so adamant about licking the car that they wouldn’t move so we could drive away. When speaking later with our field guide, he told us that the sheep were addicted to the salt that is left on the roads to prevent freezing. The curious ewes and lambs were bold enough to approach parked vehicles where the salt from the road would thickly collect on the sides of the car. Throughout the rest of the trip, we would always find sheep licking salt off of the road or our vehicle and we always joked that this was the Jasper version of a car wash!
Narrated by Academy Award-Nominated actor Josh Brolin, the four-hour high-definition mini-series event Untamed Americas premieres over two nights: This Sunday June 10 at 9PM et/pt and Monday June 11 at 9PM et/pt.