This is not the tale of hiking down a trail and spotting it on a hillside in the distance. This is not the story of clicking on the porch light and seeing it in the trash.
This tale begins at 10:00 AM in space 28 of 50 in a campground in Northern British Columbia, Canada near the Yukon border. It had been a rainy night, and was still sprinkling off and on through the morning. We were camped in a well-treed space surrounded by three-foot bushes and shrubs. Mike had taken Zeb and Mango for their morning walk while Geneva and Seri tidied up inside the van and drank coffee.
Seri began to growl. Not the “don’t bother me” growl and not the “keep that puppy away from my van” growl. It was that throaty “there is something out there” growl. Geneva told her to shush, as it was just probably Mike returning. But she growled again, even more earnestly this time. She was serious that something was out there. So Geneva looked outside the van door and scanned around the campsite.
There it was, about 30 feet away. Right on the line between the bushes and the gravel was an adult-sized black bear. Cute and curious as it was, this bear was headed for camp.
Seri continued to growl steadily and menacingly from inside the van. Geneva stated the requisite “HEY BEAR!” And clapped her hands together loudly. The bear took its front feet off the ground about 18 inches. Then turned its body and put the feet back down facing sideways, thus turning itself around on the path. It then walked slowly in the direction from which it had come. Within seconds it had disappeared into the brush.
Seri stopped growling and shook her collar in victory. Geneva grabbed the bear spray and moved it closer to the van doorway. The rain began to fall again.