Bear Meetup

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    • #1997

      Was exiting solo from a long all-day’r via South Fork trail this past Sat evening, roundabout sunset.  Admittedly no longer paying much attention beyond getting one foot before the other…recurring thoughts of post-mission cold beer rewards…now taking things for granted I guess, following past uneventful trips through this start/finish zone in pre-fire days.  Suddenly then a parting Wilderness wake-up: my first-ever wild bear sighting!

      Came steaming around a bend to find an adult-sized surprise foraging just off trail, approximately 40 feet ahead.  Bear came immediately to attention, we’re both frozen and staring at one another for a sec or two…when fortunately for me, bear just spins and calmly trots off eastbound into the brush!

      Encounter took place roughly midway between the Grinnell Trail junction and South Creek crossing (lower-right sector of CalTopo Quad 26), along east side of SF trail).  They might range widely on a daily basis and this one may well have since moved on from this particular area–i know little of their behaviors and must defer here to those who do.

      But i’ll thankfully accept this gift encounter and lesson relearned: Situational Awareness is indeed called for at all times whenever and wherever we wander in the (unpredictable) SGW.

      [in the excitement i fumbled a shaky, low-light phone pic as now-disappearing bear turned around to look back–sorry about the resulting poor quality]

      South Fork black bear

    • #1998
      Ranger Steve

      Wow, glad you are OK and knew what to do (and what not to do). People are always asking me about bears on the trails. I know a mother and cubs visits Forest falls most nights and it is good to see they are on the north side as well. This reinforces the need/requirement for bear canisters and for treeing our food (and other items). Your image is still good (at least you can make out that it is a bear) and taken in the moment. Thanks for the information.

    • #1999

      Very cool!  I need to start doing some solo trips.

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