September 15, 2011


Wednesdays are our recovery days so we are encouraged to go on some adventures with our friends. Sadie and I, both recovery from knee injuries, have been building up our running strength and were looking forward to heading out on a Wednesday Adventure. We decided to go up a valley to Rabbit Lake. I had done half of this run before but didn't make it to the lake and Sadie had never been up there. The trail starts by heading uphill through some low lying bushes for a couple of miles and then opens up into a big alpine meadow. When we reached the meadow, it was blowing really hard. We were barely moving trying to push through the strength of the wind. Eventually, we made it to the lake, but because we were so cold we didn't spend a lot of time up there, just turned around and began our journey down valley. Glad that we could finally hear each other talk with the wind at our back, we were chatting up a storm. We came over a knoll and I stopped dead as I was starring right into the face of a big brown bear! He took one looked at us and turned to run behind a bush. This only made things worse as Sadie and I could no longer tell which direction he was travelling and if we were in danger. Sadie was utterly panicked and scrambled to get the safety of our can of bear spray. I was feeling rather confident after my pleasant encounter with Patrick so I calmly asked if Sadie had her phone so we could take a picture, but Sadie was having none of it. So we walked across the other side of the valley where we could see the bear. He seemed uninterested in us and started running up the other side of the valley. However, as we continued down the valley, he too continued down valley, on the opposite side. This made me nervous as I was unsure if bears had a stalking of herding method of killing their prey so we tried to pick up the pace a little and managed to put some distance on the bear. When we reached the bushes, we stopped to take one last look back and it appeared as if we had put enough distance between us that we were safe so we just ran as fast as we could back to the car. By the time we got back to the house, I realized that indeed that was no little black bear, that was a big grizzly bear and I suddenly became much more frightened. I will admit, I had horrible bear nightmares all night and have not been too psyched about running in the mountains since. I can now say I have seen a griz, face to face and would be content to leave it at that! I wish I had a picture for proof, but my story will have to do.