The next morning we set out for a hike around a lake. It is early and we are pretty much alone on the trail, which, of course, they tell you not to do. But they also tell you to make noise so you don't startle the bears, so, of course, I was walking along singing and clapping my hands. I truly didn't care what anyone else thought.
The first folks we meet tell us their friends saw three bears on this same trail the day before. My heart rate ramps up - not good. The good news is I'm terrified, but I'm still enjoying the beauty around me and being with my husband in this gorgeous place. Somehow we make a wrong turn and get off the trail. We backtrack and get back on.
Soon we come to a bridge over a lovely stream. At the far end are a few people with cameras aimed at the woods. We cross over and ask what's up.
"Oh, you just missed a grizzly bear - it just walked across this bridge." She has a picture on her phone to show us what we missed.
My heart feels like it's about to leap out of my chest. All of a sudden I'm furious at hubby about the bear spray. He says, "hmm, if we hadn't gone off the trail and backtracked we would have been here at the same time as the bear." I wisely stay silent.
I sing louder the rest of the way back to the hotel, clapping continuously.
That night, we attend a ranger talk. I raise my hand. "Do you think it's wise to carry bear spray when hiking in the park?"
"Absolutely. Even if you follow the guidelines and back away slowly, make noise, etc., these are wild animals and bear spray is a proven deterrent."
I literally want to turn to my hubby and stick my tongue out, na na, see, I'm right. But instead, this wise voice inside me says, "Important lesson here, Karen. If you need something to make you feel safer or more comfortable like purchasing bear spray when hiking in bear country, you don't need anyone else's validation or approval - just do it." Duh!!!!!!!
P.S. Here are some more photos of Glacier Park
|the view from our balcony|