Saturday, August 4 – Bear!

It was a most interesting week in the marina. Friday a man came in and, upon learning that the native cutthroat trout was catch-and-release only, asked if the otters were allowed to eat the cutthroat. Honest. You can’t make this stuff up.

Saturday a man came in asking for a refund of his 2  hour fishing trip because he hadn’t caught any fish. I’m telling you, Disney has spoiled the world.

Ok, so after a hard 10 hour shift Saturday, the final day of my 4 day work week, Mary Ann and I settled down with cold beers and plans to relax over a grilled flank steak. Not five minutes after we popped the top our neighbor tapped on the door with news that a grizzly had been spotted at LeHardy Rapids and that Mary Ann just HAD to go take some pictures. Mary Ann turned and looked at me, eyes wide and excitement on her face and I knew she just HAD to go take some pictures. Chugalug, chugalug.

LeHardy Rapids is a quick 10 minute drive from the RV park. Now, even though Mary Ann’s legs are longer than mine, I typically walk faster than she does. This time I was caught in her slipstream and I’m not completely certain we didn’t travel through time. Three flights of wooden stairs lead down from the parking area to the boardwalk alongside the rapids (I’m pretty sure Mary Ann’s feet actually did touch two of the steps) and, though the boardwalk was pretty thoroughly clogged, we managed to find a viewing spot.

Strolling lazily along the far edge of the river was a black bear (I’m referring to a bear that is black in color, not necessarily a black bear per se) (more on that  in a moment), with a thousand eyes trained on its every sluggish move. Maybe a thousand and one… a few people had spotting scopes.

Da Bear

Soon we learned there were actually two bears: the one most of us were carefully watching, and another hiding in some dense brush that only those with x-ray vision were able to see. And the visible bear had some characteristics of a black bear (prominent ears, long face) and some characteristics of a grizzly (hump on its back and rump lower than its shoulders) so there was much debate about what kind of bear we were all viewing.

The bear worked its way slowly north along the river, sometimes in the water and sometimes along the bank as we on the paparazzi side scrambled to keep up with him along with our binoculars, scopes, cameras and camcorders.

Eventually he tired of all the attention and hunkered down out of view behind some brush. And we went  home and finally got to eat our flank steak.

Da wet bear

Note to all you bear experts: it was a WET bear.

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