Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hey, Bears

On Sunday the hills were alive, not with the sound of music, but with yells of "Hey Bears!" as I hiked somewhat nervously toward an alpine lake (note: the usual call is "Hey Bear," but I prefer the plural, in case there is more than one bear).  The hike is short, and usually attracts other hikers, but today, early in the season with snow blocking the parking area and covering much of the trail, there was nobody else.

Stay or go?  This area is known for bears.  I know people who won't hunt here because there are so many.  But I had driven an hour to get there, and it was normally a popular hike.  Surely the bears were wary.  I forged on.

It was worth it.  I've been to this lake several times, but never this early.  Without other hikers, it was quiet.  The ice was just starting to melt out around the edges of the lake, and the sun lit up the snowfields on the mountains to the south.  The bears, if they were there, stayed hidden.


If you live here, you live with bears and mountain lions, and wolves.  You think about that here.  If you see a group of ravens in the trees, look around: there may be a carcass nearby, with a bear guarding it.  Carry your bear spray in a place where you can get it.  Look behind you too; sometimes mountain lions follow people.

But don't be too scared.  Go on the trails.  Take a buddy if you can.  Yell "Hey Bears" and sing, even if you don't sound like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.  Don't miss out on seeing a mountain lake slowly losing ice to the sun.



9 comments:

  1. Glad you didn't see/hear/smell any hungry bears and that you enjoyed your hike!

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  2. Beautiful! Glad you hiked here - and I'm glad you didn't encounter any bears.

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    1. It's a great, easy hike for those days you don't get an alpine start!

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  3. I remember that lake...breathtakingly beautiful in summer and now we can see, in end-of-winter, also. I also remember bear "leavings" right in the middle of the trail! Thanks for sharing the just waking up lake and mountains with us.

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    1. I love that lake! It's so easy to get to and so pretty.

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    2. Easy for you, Hiker Gal. Puff, Puff, Puff for us flatlanders, but worth every puff. Remember "Hey, Bears" on Kachemak Bay and Grewingk Glacier?

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  4. That lake looks amazing!!!

    I can't believe you guys have bears and mountain lions over there! I think the worst things we have to deal with in the U.K. is urban foxes, but they're hardly a menace unless you leave your doors open!

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    1. Yes we don't think about them all the time, but definitely when we hike in certain areas. Foxes will come in your house?!

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