Close Encounters of the Bear Kind
John and Reni got up very early this morning and headed into Glacier National Park. Armed with cameras and bear spray, they braved the wilds to capture the glorious beauty of Montana at sunrise. Doesn't that sound lovely? Not to me at 5:30 a.m. I had only just fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning, and it sounded like torture and death. (Have I mentioned that I'm not a morning person?) As it was, Ethan woke me up way too early, terribly upset by the fact that his daddy was not in the house on his first day off of work in 10 days. My morning continued in such a way that I was almost wishing that I had joined the explorers. (While I tried to keep sleeping, Ethan watched a movie, ate his breakfast, and ran circles around my bed, beat the side of my bed with a sword, jumped into the bed to snuggle with me - while complaining loudly of his father's absence - and I believe there was some obnoxious paper crumpling going on as well because I woke up once to find Ethan snatching a crinckled piece of paper out from under the sheets where I was laying. I have a vague recollection of him thrusting "contructions" into my hands while I was sleeping. I believe they were instructions about throwing a dinasaour bone and locking up the lions... which makes perfect sense if you've seen "Night at the Museum". It didn't make any sense at all in the dream I was having.) Well, John and Reni decided that the park was too beautiful for the rest of us to miss, so they returned home to gather the troops. The troops - which include a much happier Ethan - have just left me behind for their adventures in the wild. (Have I mentioned that I'm not an outdoorsy person?) Hey, it's barely past lunch time and I still haven't had my breakfast... nor have I recovered from my traumatic morning... You're lucky that my morning tea has kicked in enough for my eyes to be open to type right now. Anyways... yes, there is a point to all of my ramblings... John and Reni came home with a story to end all stories! John's dream came true - they had a bear sighting.
While wandering around taking pictures, they ended up at the same bridge and waterfall where we had our previous bear sighting. They were finally heading back to the car, when just ahead, on the other side of the road, they spotted a black bear. John has estimated that the bear was about 75 feet away from them. They stopped in their tracks and positioned themselves side by side to look as big as possible. John began talking to the bear in a very calm voice, saying "good bear" over and over, as well as speaking words to himself and Reni "stay calm, don't let your fear take over..." The bear continued grazing, without looking in their direction. He obviously knew they were there, but wasn't threatened. They very slowly began backing away from the bear. (To get to the car, though, they would eventually need to pass that point.) As they were watching, the bear looked up and walked into the middle of the road, then began walking in a straight line - directly towards John and Reni. (They discovered later that there were people riding horses, coming from the direction of the car, effectively positioning the bear between the horses and John and Reni.) This whole time, John held both of the cans of bear spray while Reni was taking pictures. John said that his heart just sank as he watched the bear walk towards them. All the while John was speaking in a low calm voice "good bear, good bear". And then the bear took three running steps at them and John's voice rose and got sharper, saying "that's too close bear!" The bear veered away from them, but keeping his body turned in their direction, began to walk past them. John's voice lowered and calmly continued "good bear, good bear..." John later walked heel to toe between the point where they were standing and where the bear passed them - it was 25 feet - nearly the same distance between the walls of our living room. As the bear ambled past, John and Reni could clearly see his claws and his eyes. John is not exactly sure how big the bear was - he's planning on studying one of the pictures of the bear and calculating it's size (I won't explain, because I didn't understand how - something to do with the angle from which Reni took the picture, the hight of the post the bear was standing next to, and the distance the bear was from the post.... Have I mentioned that math was not my strongest subject?) But John does know for sure that had the bear stood up on his hind legs, he would have been taller than John's 5 feet 9 inches. So now I give you the amazing pictures that Reni was able to take. I have no idea how she managed it without fainting dead away! I zoomed and cropped the first several, but the ones of the bear walking past them are how Reni took them - you can tell that they were CLOSE. The last ones are of John, and the black speck on the bridge is the bear - still in view! Hope you enjoy the pictures. I'm off to savor a glorious day - indoors, and alone! Ahhhhh.