Monday, July 30, 2012

Glacier Weekend: Two More Bears

Like I mentioned, after camping in Two Medicine in the back of our Xterra, we got an early start in the morning (left at 5:15 am!). We were heading up toward Many Glacier to hike the Grinnell Glacier Trail. 

I love driving on the edge of the National Park in the morning - the sunrise isn't blocked by other mountains and so the beautiful morning light hits the park just right :)

Well, the excitement started on the Many Glacier road - only a mile or so away from where we saw our first grizzly bear earlier this summer while showing my parents around Glacier. This little guy crossed the road in front of the vehicle in front of us. Of course we stopped and took pictures. He's much smaller than the one we saw earlier, but he was so cute just chomping on the shrubs :)

Interestingly enough, the fun didn't stop there....
 We were on the trail by 7 am. One other group was ahead of us, but only by about 5 minutes or so. About 15 minutes into the hike (just toward the end of Swiftcurrent Lake), we came around a bend and there was another bear! This was our first grizzly sighting while not in a vehicle!! The bear was bigger than the one above, but smaller than the one we saw with my parents.
Above you can see Grizz crouching like a bear to show about how far away we were when we saw it.

 Here Grizz is counting the paces...
Well, I saw the bear first, said Grizz's name and then turned sideways and slowly walked away. You are never to look a bear in the eyes, you are never to turn your back on them, and you are never to run away from them. I knew all of these things, and in my head, I was doing everything correctly... of course, Grizz says I walked away too fast, but hey, it was my first bear-on-the-trail sighting! Scary!!

 He counted about 30 paces, so we were about 30 yards away from a bear!
Thankfully, the bear didn't even look up at us, so we got away just fine. We stayed down the trail for about 5 minutes before Grizz thought it was safe to continue (yes, we continued to hike after this). We both carried bear spray as we walked onward. No signs of the bear, and we never saw another one. All I can say is that my heart was pounding for a good hour and I made a lot more noise after the encounter!

Glacier Weekend

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