The Rockies: Bear? Where?


So we saw bison and elk, and two wolves at the river’s edge. They were playing and taking their time, and people were taking pictures from the other side, but just when I was finally almost close enough to start taking killer photos, they decided to leave. Aaaarrrghhh! The photos of the elk in the previous post were my photography high point of the vacation, and these wolves were my biggest photography frustration.

But I did see a bear.

I had seen a bear before, though it didn’t really count. Twenty years ago, before we were married, and before I lived here, T and I went on our Big Trip. It lasted three and a half months and it included a nine-day canoe trip in Algonquin Park in Canada. We were warned that there were bears and that we should hang all our food in a tree at night. So we did. But for nine days, in the total wilderness, we never saw a bear. And then after Algonquin Park, on our way to Winnipeg, we saw a bear sitting on the edge of the highway, waiting for a lull in the traffic so he could cross. T saw it as we drove by, and I saw a brown blob through the rear view mirror.

This bear in Yellowstone I saw and I took a picture of it:

What, you don’t see it? No, it’s not the black thing in the water. It’s asleep near that cedar next to the dead tree.

The cedar and the dead tree in the middle of the picture.

What, still don’t see it? Okay, I admit, neither did I. But there was someone with a very strong telescope and thanks to Photoshop, I could take the very first picture and Photoshop it to pretty much what I saw through the telescope:

Only through the telescope it was sharper.

At the time I thought it was a black bear, but at a later stop someone told us the park ranger had said it was a young grizzly who was sleeping there while he was waiting for an older bear to finish with a carcass the two bears had been fighting over earlier.

Since I couldn’t see the bear with the naked eye, and I only learned later that it was a grizzly, this one also doesn’t really count.

Oh well.

2 responses to “The Rockies: Bear? Where?

  1. Oh I think it should count! I lived in The mountains of western NC for 10 years, home of many black bears and never once saw one. But I had a friend who lived on the edge of town who sees them strolling across her road (and once in her yard) at least a couple of times a year. She puts photos on FB now. Makes me crazy. And once, a bear took a walk on the playground of our sons’ elementary school so they had to cancel recess. But I didn’t see it. Your blob in the mirror and tiny telescope bear are much better than a footprint, which is my only bear photo.

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    • I suppose. We were also hoping to see a bear in Rocky Mountain National Park and didn’t, but we heard later that that same day a mother bear and two cubs were up in a tree in downtown Estes Park! So frustrating!

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