Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bears and Sneezes

Ever since I came to Alaska I've been wanting to see a bear, up close (within reason) and not from a kayak (I never said I was a sane person). Well, my wish has finally come true. Let me preface this little anecdote by saying that before heading up north I was talking to dad on the phone and he encouraged me to take a gun with me. In my head I was disregarding him because it's been about 30 years since he's lived in Alaska, and it's more populated than he remembers...I can honestly say he still has a point. The Fish and Game tranquilized and transplanted a Grizzly Bear (brown bear) that was living in town. IN TOWN!!! Since that bear was gone I was feeling much more secure riding my bike around town and going on hikes. day I was riding my bike home from work (a 2 mile ride) with the two dogs that live with us (a boat captain's and a guide's). Thankfully the dogs are well trained and they run next to me without a leash. I was saying, I was riding home with the dogs running next to me when suddenly the dogs veer off and run across the street to a field. I stopped my bike to see what caught their attention and I saw a head pop up in the field and thought, "That's a pretty big doggggg...that's not a dog!" It was a black bear, about 50 yards from me. I broke off any eye contact the bear might think I made with it, to keep it from charging, and got back on my bike to ride home, all the while calling the dogs to follow me. Luckily, the black bear was deterred by the dogs and ran the opposite direction.

Whew! I can now mark a bear sighting off my if only I can see a moose...

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