Monday, August 20, 2007

Un'BEAR'ably Adorable

This was a perfect weekend. Awesome country to explore. Compatible riding buddies. Good horses. Blue skies and comfortable weather. I'll share all that later. This post, I want to focus on the cutest experience of this trip.

All weekend there were 'reports' from fellow campers of glimpses of a small bear scurrying about the area we set up in. Saturday night we were star gazing and enjoying the shooting stars when one horse out in the meadow acted up a bit, the owner checked the horse and claimed to have seen 'the bear'. We organized an impromptu bear hunt (recall those snipe hunts), laughing and stumbling about in the dark, we weren't too surprised not to find 'the bear'.

Sunday morning a small group of us headed out on a ride before breaking down our camps. My cowboy, the mighty 'tracker', was ahead scouting out the area as we headed out. He knows of my great desire to see bears/ cougars/wolves/big foot..... while out in the wilderness.

He soon hollered back to us, "HURRY, run this way! BEAR!" All hesitated to dash forward, I am sure that all were thinking the same as I, "CRAP, do I really want to see 'the bear' up close and personal while on a horse...." Jerry yelled again, "KATHY, get up here!" So, thinking we haven't been married long enough for him to wish me harm, I urged "Rock" into a trot (note-not a gallop) and passed the others to join my craz-- I mean 'cowboy'.

Following are a few photos of the tons I snapped of 'the bear' .

Our bear turned out to be just a CUB. She was thin and no momma bear around. As we rode closer to her, she started up a tree.

She started climbing down again so Jerry 'woofed' at her a few times and she climbed back up.

We were on the far side of the tree and encouraged the others to come closer for a look at 'the bear'. All were relieved the cornered beast was merely a CUB. No sign of a momma bear anywhere.

She made it up to the nearest branch and settled down, I think she was trying to be invisible.

We all rode closer for a better look. She was very cute! Our horses were a bit jumpy at the scent of bear. 'Rock' had seen her scramble up the tree and she kept prancing about trying to look behind the tree.

She shifted about so we could admire her lovely markings (or possibly scouting out an escape route).

We admired her for a few more minutes, snapped a bunch of pictures, marveled at our luck to get so close, and worried about how such a tiny lone cub will survive the harsh mountain winter.

As we rode away, we saw her climb down the tree and rush off into the woods.


Anonymous said...

cute bear not big enough to be afraid of. diane

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

that last one from david

just mom said...

Cute baby bear, good thing momma didn't show. It's sad when one has to leave and know it may not make it through the winter.

Jenn said...

How very exciting to get to see a wild one up close and personal! Even more lucky momma bear wasn't around. So, what kind of bear was it, do you think? Black bear? Brown bear? Are there are "breeds" of bear out there?