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Nice to e-meet you! That's internet for Hello. And that's also about as far as I got in planning what to say in this thing...but as a lover of spontaneity and the inability to edit my own words because that would mean actually having an awareness as to the nothingingness that I am about to ramble on about for far too long...I'm just going to go ahead and keep typing. Apparently...

The Bear Necessities

  One of the many downsides of working shifts, is that I often have my days off during the week, when other's are typically at work. This means that on days like yesterday, when it was stunningly beautiful outside and I wanted to go for a hike, no one was around to accompany me. 

I don't think I've ever done a proper hike on my own before, but I didn't really see why I couldn't. I headed to a mountain I've done once before, knowing it wasn't that long of a hike and had some nice views from the top. When I pulled in the parking lot, I thought it seemed strange that there weren't many cars, but I figured it was probably just that it was still early, so I disregarded it and set on my way. 

It was so pretty outside. The birds were chirping, there was a slight breeze through the tree's, and the sun was still peeking through the dense woods. 

My high on nature feeling lasted until I got a bit deeper into the forest, and still hadn't seen a single other person. It was really strange to be completely alone in the woods (and yet, very aware of the fact that I was not at all alone).

I generally don't worry about things that I probably should worry about, but in this case there was definitely a looming anxiety hanging well within consciousness. There were a lot of warning signs for bears, but living in BC I have become accustom to ignoring them. 

Growing up with a very outdoorsy/nature savy family, I knew better than to go out alone without any sort of bear warning off equipment. I kept thinking that I was going to be that stupid girl in the newspaper that people don't feel bad for because they were so irresponsible that they probably deserved it. I remembered back to my camping days where my sister, brother and I were part of Jerry's Rangers (a BC kids program that taught kids about the environment, in which I was a star student). I thought about how disappointed Jerry the moose would be in me for not having a bell or whistle, or spray or something!! I remember them teaching us to always make noise, and they would get us to clap our hands to practice scaring the bears away as we walked. I spent a good part of my hike debating whether or not I was too proud to clap as I walked. I was going to be the stupid girl who got eaten by a bear because she was too embarrassed to clap. 

Just as I got deathly startled by a bird and decided to give it a go, I realized that I could use my phone to make noise. I don’t have many fancy things on it, and it had no reception, so my only option was to scroll through the 5 second long ringtone previews.

This would have been an alright plan, although being that I was already quite nervous, it just so happened that a few of the default ringtones were unexpectedly menacing. This meant that I hiked through the forest, terrified of being eaten alive by a bear, to the fitting tunes of jaws, and the entertainer.

Considering that I had pretty much jumped out of my skin about 20 times by this point, seeing bears in every rock, log, and pile of dirt, I actually took seeing a real bear rather stoically. 


When I first saw the big black bear, it was minding it’s own business (or else extremely clever at deceit whilst secretly planning which limb to eat first). I think it gave me a false sense of comfort, and although I had just spent the last 2 hours planning out my attack (and by attack, I mean debating whether or not I should play dead or try outrunning it) for this very moment, I was captivated by it and wanted to see more. I took a few steps closer and stopped. The second that I stopped, it stopped, turned towards me, and stared directly at me with it’s beedy little bear eyes.

I was unbelieveably tempted to take a picture to show my naïve English boyf of my brave close encounter with a real bear, but he was staring me down pretty hard at this point and I’m pretty sure in the sizing up of it’s opponent, it knew quite well who had the upper hand.

Before it could get to the end of that thought, I backed up and quickly, but not too quickly to make it obvious, walked back along the path, glancing back every few seconds to make sure it wasn’t about to pounce on my back.

It was really actually quite neat! I think I have a big part of Elmira from the looney tunes in me, where I really just wanted to cuddle with it and love it forever and ever. I’ve also always had this sense that animals will like me and therefore not want to kill me. I think I might bring some honey for it next time, as a way of bonding.

One Response so far.

  1. "M" says:

    The only time I ever saw a black bear was when it ran across the highway in British Columbia. It was still pretty cool though. I am a bit a jealous of your real-life encounter.

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