Vacation, part 2: Bears.

First of all, we did not see bears in the campground or roaming the heights in the mountains. To make up for this shocking lack of ursine visibility, we went to this place just a couple of miles from our campground near West Glacier, MT:

Bears sign
Yeah, it was a roadside attraction but Damn! we wanted to see bears. So we paid our $8 each and drove in.

The bears roam throughout a couple acres of wooded land; visitors drive though — with windows closed — on narrow paved trails. In the distance we could see some concrete bunkers that were probably the bears winter *dens*. I cannot testify to the bears' treatment, but I saw no obvious evidence of neglect or abuse.

Except for the rain.

Bear rain
Bears seem to have such a thick coat that the rain did not bother them.
Bear rain 2

We stayed in the van, of course, but I did roll my window down a few times to get a better photo. This shot, taken out of my open window, gives you a pretty good idea of how far away — alternatively, how close! — the bear was.

Bear car

Using the magic of a 6X zoom and iPhoto cropping, let me show you that bear up close and personal.

Bear fierce
Bear looking fierce.

That was about as fierce as any of the bear looked while we were there.

That was quite fierce enough for me.

One of the employees was working in the enclosure; not sure what she was doing, but I suspect it was NOT distributing bear chow. That is a job where the distributor should be well out of reach of the distributee. No matter; it was not a job I would want. Even if the wires visible in the photo were electrified, given how dense a bear's coat is, an ordinary electric fence would not slow it down much.

Bear pickup 

Bear Our Senior Dog never saw any of her namesakes; she is too old to climb up onto a seat or the bed to look out the window. She may have smelled them, as her sense of smell is undiminished, but mostly she slept through the whole adventure.

Lucy The Junior Dog was pretty excited by the bear park, though. I neglected to get a photo of her dancing in her seat and whining excitedly for us to let her out so she could play with her New Best (Bear) Friend!

Lucy sleep
Suffice to say, she did not resemble this photo in any way.

The park was small, there were only a few bears, and it didn't take us
long to see everything and everyone there several times over. And so we took our leave.

Bear bye
Bye, bye, bears! We may come back to see you again someday!
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0 Responses to Vacation, part 2: Bears.

  1. gayle says:

    Our bears aren’t sensible enough to live in parks. They tend to wander through people’s yards, knocking down birdfeeders and breaking open beehives. (Ask my father-in-law why he gave up beekeeping…)

  2. sparrowgrass says:

    Oh, Ms. Kat, you need to take a trip up to way northern Minnesota to the Vince Shute Bear Refuge. Guides there meet you at your car, walk you thru groups of black bears, and put you up on a deck, where you are caged and the bears roam around. Staff carry buckets of food around to the bears who come from miles around each evening for free goodies–the bears are quite polite and never eat the staff.
    http://www.americanbear.org/sanctuary/bear-sanctuary.html

  3. That looks really fun! I’m sure our Heidi would have tried to get out the window to play with the big dogs, too.

  4. Kym says:

    I love bears. But I don’t think I’d want them wandering near my backyard. . . Apparently, there are some up near our cottage, but I have yet to see one. Tom LOVES bears. . . and was thrilled to see Grizzlies in the wild when he was fishing up in Alaska (Kodiak Island). Me? I’d have been frozen in fear!

  5. Diane says:

    They look so…., I don’t know, cuddly. Love the back end view.

  6. Carrie K says:

    Cool! Bears! I’m always disappointed that I never see them in parks despite the warnings – – although I’m sure if I actually did, I’d be a wee bit terrified. The raccoon in the backyard intimidates me.

  7. CindyG says:

    Great pictures. The second “bearin the rain” looks sort of resigned to life’s indignities – almost more Eeyore than Pooh.

  8. cursingmama says:

    We spent most of our Glacier trip staring at tiny moving black dots in the mountains where bears were – we didn’t have binoculars or telescopes so we had to take the word of serious bear watchers. Until (cue scary music) one night when we were driving back to the lodge after getting some huckleberry soft serve and 3 or 4 bears RAN across the road right in front of us. It happened so quick we were lucky we didn’t hit one – and it happened so quick that I didn’t get a single picture…If we go back, I’m going where you went!

  9. Ryan says:

    If it weren’t, like, the stupidest idea ever, I just want to take a big, fluffy pink towel, warm from the dryer, and rub that bear dry. And then give him a cup of hot tea. Alternatively, I want to rub him all over with hair gel and set his hair in curlers.

  10. Heather says:

    Or just give him a really good brushing.

  11. Sophanne says:

    I would pay much more than $8 to see Ryan (who I do not know) pull that off!
    PS yarn money going out on Monday.

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