Saturday, July 26, 2008


You know how when someone tells you repeatedly to do something and you ignore them -- only to have circumstances play out that proved that person right? Well, this is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I've hiked for years by myself in the bush and have had my share of encounters with black bears, grizzlies, moose, cougars,and the like. I have never carried bear spray and to be completely honest, I have never been afraid of bear encounters. I mean, if I see one, I see one, big deal right?

I know a lot of people can't go anywhere near the bush without bear spray and bells and worry -- I have never felt the least bit worried about wildlife. I am excited to see wild animals out and about, but I am not scared, worried, or terrified. When people explain how cautious and scared they are of bears, they might as well be speaking a foreign language: I just don't understand!

Mike's mother has told me for years to carry bear spray while out on my solo rambles. Now, she is a qualified expert -- she had lived all her summers in the middle of the bush and has had MANY bear encounters. Still -- I know better! LOL!

I was just up at the horse camp a week ago and was told by Leslie (Mike's Mom) that they have had a Momma Griz and two younger grizzlies skirting around their camp this year. She suggested (for the umpteenth time) that I carry some bear spray with me or run with a bell. I refuse to wear a dangling, jingling bell whilst out on a trail run. The whole point is to get away from noise and traffic and into the solitude of nature. Besides, I periodically yell "WHOOP!" to scare away any lurking animals. And carrying bear spray? Do you know how close the bear would have to be before you deploy it?

5.5 meters or 18 feet. And the can empties in 8 seconds flat. So you better be on the windy side if you run into an angry bear, and you better shoot right the first time.

ANYWAYS -- in keeping with Charmaine's training schedule this week, I have been running hills, hills, and more hills. The kind of hills that are on mountains and nestled in the woods. Steep, rocky, gravelly hills -- that make me pant and gasp and swear. Great fun!!!

Yesterday, I headed out in the heat of the afternoon for my hill repeats. Susi -- you remember the lake we swam at? Well, it was on that same road to the lake that I parked my car, and then headed off into the bush. It's a trail frequently used by dirt bikes and ATVs - and it is an amazing mish-mash of steep downhill and steeper uphills. My plan was to run to the end of this particular trail and then start my hill repeats.

I had just rounded a corner coming downhill -- so I had some speed, when I noticed a cow sitting in a big puddle in the middle of the trail. My first thought was, "That ATV I saw back there is going to have a fun time trying to drive around that thing!" LOL!! I kept running, and the cow looked at me and I looked at it. Suddenly the "cow" jumped up and barreled into the bush -- errrrr... that's not a cow --- that's a grizzly!! LOL!!!

Yes, I had my contacts in; and no, I hadn't let out a "WHOOP!" in a while. It's just my poor little brain was not expecting to see a bear -- but I run into cows all the time. Heh-heh-heh!!

It was funny, for a brief moment, I thought, "Now that he's gone, I can continue to my hill." Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and I turned around and headed back to another monster hill. I made sure to tell the ATVers that a grizzly was up ahead and then proceeded to huff and puff up and down the hill.

Moral of the story? Ummm, I promise to yell more when I am out alone in the bush. As to carrying bear spray --- Well...I do have Charmaine's extra bottle that I forgot to return to her after our 4.5 hour mountain bike ride today (YAY! AWESOME RIDE!!). So, I have no excuse to not carry it with me tomorrow!

By the way -- I have FINALLY melded with my mountain bike. I had no problems with my clipless pedals, and had a great ride today. I think Susi must have blessed the pedals when she rode it, and taken away all the bad mojo. Heh-heh-heh.

I eat WAY more when I mountain bike, and my right armpit really stinks too. Only my right one, and only when I mountain bike. I call it, "The Smell of Fear." Hahahahaha! I gotta go have a shower...

:) :) :) :) :)


Susi said...

one word.... SPAZZ!!! glad the bear decided to run off in another direction. eep! mental not run on path julie pointed out to me before.

glad nothing else happened. although i hear they only like decomposing flesh...ew.

ps did a 'safety moment' in a meeting at work this week. about bears. and how to avoid them. and something about grizzly scat smelling like pepper spray and having wee jingle bells in it. LOL. perhaps i should send the notes from that to you?!

runningman said...

hee hee damn everyone else always sees the bears. I wanna see a bear. I even mentioned that to Curtis on our long epic ride today. Maybe I should carry bear mace for the angry motorists, that would do the trick eh?

Julie said...

Yeah Darryl! You seem to piss off everything: wasps, dogs, and people! LOL!! Poor Darryl -- we still love you! :) :) :) :)

Streaker said...

Right armpit? I love you! That story is classic Julie. Since you end bumping into a grizzly bear with my right armpit smells!

You crack me up

Also, bear bells work very well, annoying? yes but also annoying to the bears!