Tag Archives: bears

Have You Ever Met a Bear?

In Bend the skies were blue, the sun was shining and the mercury had risen. We were both suffering from heat exhaustion and migraines from the sun. I fear there will be no pleasing us as we discovered that local roads in Bend can be snowed in from mid-September to mid-June. That puts both ends of the temperature spectrum at an extreme for us. We have sadly crossed the attractive town of Bend off the list of possibilities of a perfect place to live and gone back to chasing after National Parks.

“We need to have another mishap . .”

“No!”

“ . . so I’ve got something to write . .”

NO!”

“ . . about.”

“No! No! No! No! We do not need anything else to happen to us. We’ve got enough to cope with as it is.” Jimmy’s leg had not improved even with physical therapy and daily exercise. He was annoyed with it and impatient for the nerves to heal.

“I can’t write, ‘We drove to Bend and that was nice. It was hot, but it would soon get cold. We went to Crater Lake National Park and it was very beautiful. Then we went to the Newbury National Volcanic Monument and saw the Big Obsidian Flow, which was quite something and then drove to the top of a lava butte.’ I don’t know how to make it interesting unless something goes wrong.”

“No-o-o-o! You’ll just have to think of something. Make something up.” I didn’t.

Whatever is his problem? We’ve only had a trailer tire catch on fire on the interstate, had a con man take a wheel off the trailer, got caught in a microburst, raced the floods in Palm Springs, hit a bollard on I95 ripping our awning off, were scared witless on the narrow lanes of the George Washington Bridge in NYC, took all the skin off our knuckles with “house”hold chores, deafened ourselves with the trailer alarm, narrowly missed being sliced in half when high winds brought down trees in a state park we’d just vacated, sprayed ourselves with sewage, nearly had my soul stolen by a creepy woman in Kentucky, risked losing a finger or two to a snapping turtle, played chicken with an alligator, got caught up in a Border Control incident, sat in the Keys waiting out a tornado watch and towed the trailer into San Francisco by mistake, got lost and ended up on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We moved on to Glacier National Park in Montana. Perhaps a black bear would step out in front us in the park. Now that would make riveting reading.

I’d like to meet a bear. We have a lot in common. According to the National Park Service website “Individual bears have their own personal space requirements, which vary depending on their mood. Each will react differently and its behavior can’t be predicted. All bears are dangerous and should be respected equally.” Gee, who does that sound like?

We did meet a bear. She did run in the road in front of us. Jimmy kept hold of my shirttail to keep me in the car so my photographic efforts amounted to a picture through the window of her rear-end as she dashed off in pursuit of her cubs. Ten people have died from bear attacks at Glacier in the last 100 years. Isn’t it sweet that himself doesn’t want me to be number 11?

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Here are few of our uh-oh moments:

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/which-way-now/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/which-way-now-part-2-lost-in-san-francisco/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/still-alive-road-kill-for-dinner/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/road-kill-for-dinner/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/the-flim-flam-man/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/wheels-on-fire/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/nightmares-before-bedtime/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/youd-think-wed-know-by-now/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/killer-trees/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/snakes-in-her-hair/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/did-you-say-70-teeth/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/we-should-have-stayed-at-home/

https://whichwaynow101.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/a-brush-with-the-law/

There are more. Enough already!

Bears! Run!

We learned early on when RVing in the U.S. to take nature seriously. One evening, when still quite new to the RV-in-the-back-woods thing and taking a walk after dinner, we stopped at the campsite facilities before returning to our trailer. Posted prominently outside the shower block were instructions on what to do if you see a bear. It seemed at first, for a tourist, entertaining reading. This is what you should do:

1. Stop
2. Stay calm
3. Appear large
4. Fight back
5. Make noise

We were laughing and debating fighting techniques and what stances we would take in order to “appear large.” Jimmy flapped his arms in the manner of a little boy playing airplanes which to me didn’t get across the appropriate level of aggression. My impression of hailing a cab was no better.

We discussed whether we would even have the presence of mind to make loud, scary noises or just run and scream like girls. Then we read the last line on the poster. “Last bear seen at this site on _____.” The “on” was crossed out and written in large caps was:

FREQUENTLY

We didn’t run. We didn’t scream. We didn’t hang around either.

Not the view you want of a bear.
This is better.