Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bear Encounter

When we were on our guided tour of Yellowstone, we stopped so that people could admire a grizzly bear moving around about half a mile away up on a hill.  Along with everyone else I watched, but perhaps would not have bothered if I had known that I was to have an encounter a lot closer a few days later.
Full sized grizzly - I didn't take the picture!
We had literally just begun our return trip and were about three miles from the town of West  Glacier, MT.  Michael was about 150 yards ahead of me and we were doing about 55 m.p.h.  I thought I saw a large dog tear out of the pine forest to my right.  We were on an empty three lane highway at about 6:45 a.m.  Next to the pine forest was about 75 feet of grassy verge and the same was repeated on the other side of the highway.  I soon realised this was no dog but a grizzly, and furthermore he was moving very fast.  Let no-one tell you these guys are slow!  I began to swerve away from him and slam on the brakes but we were on a collision course.  Fortunately his reaction was similar to mine and his brakes were better.  He turned a complete 180 and in a cloud of dust tore back to the forest.  We were about 25 feet away from each other when he turned.  A little too close for comfort!  I've put this account into an upcoming piece for The Sun so apologies if you read it elsewhere.

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