Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When Grizzlies Are Surprised

Yesterday after a hearty dinner of homemade cheeseburgers (with feta cooked into them, mmm!), Rich and I were feeling the pants a-tightening. Having not prepared by putting on our eatin' pants beforehand, we decided to solve our dilemma by going out for an evening walk with Abby and Skylar down Sawmill Road. The cool fall weather has meant the dramatic mosquito numbers of summer have declined, so we thought our venture to be a safe idea. Wrong!
Abby was a good little girl in her stroller, all bundled up in her fleece. She sang little songs, delighting in hearing the sound of her voice shake as we careened the stroller over the gravel road. Skylar found a stick to hold onto, and Rich and I walked about 20 minutes out to the first cabin before we decided to turn around and get little Miss Abby home in time for bath and bed. She started to whine a bit so the Princess was picked up from her stroller by her Dad, rescued.
Now Skylar, in her habit of darting in and out of the woods chasing chipmunks and other wildlife, is no subtle beast. You can always here the twigs break under her paws and the brush move against her body. That said, she still managed yesterday to take a Grizzly bear by surprise. And that, dear readers, is something you do not want to do.
Rich became alarmed first when he heard the grunts and low breaths of the bear. I saw a second set of movement in the brush that was not attached to the Skylar dog that had since run back to the trail. Then we saw it, a panicked Grizzly, who ran up to see us, then turned around to escape. BUT, the bear's escape route was hindered by the river. It was cornered. Crap.
Rich pulled out his knife, while holding Abby on his hip. I took Abby, sensing it was a bad idea for Rich to handle both a baby and a switchblade.
"Keep walking straight," he said. Skylar stayed right by our side, and we made sure to make a lot of talking noise. But the bear was still running, zig-zagging back and forth between the path and the river, unsure of what to do. It was dark brown, almost black, and had the telltale forehead of a Grizzly. It wasn't full grown, maybe 200 pounds, but enough bear to be worried about.
"Go right, go right," Rich said, indicating with his head towards a path into the woods jetting off to the right. This was towards town, so we didn't risk getting lost on a random trail. I left the stroller on the side of the road and we power walked like mad men away from the bear, looking over our shoulders to make sure it wasn't following us. A few minutes later and phew! We could breathe a sigh of relief as we saw some of the houses in town. We had escaped the bear.
We walked about another 10 minutes around the mechanics' lot and then down the street back to our house.
I wasn't scared. Rich said this is because I didn't realize how seriously in danger we were (partially true), but I say I just knew we'd be OK. I knew the bear didn't want us there, but I knew he wasn't looking for a meal either. We peaced right out of there and let him be. Thankfully, without a scratch.
And that is our story of how we escaped from a panicked, cornered Grizzly bear on our evening walk yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Holy toledo!! We carry either the bear spray and/or my berry-picking-bear-gun (12 guage) when we are in the bush.


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