Friday, June 25, 2010

My morning visitor

I'm back into the White Mountains, and from the moment I glimpsed my first peak, something clicked for me; I was home.

So, how is this for wildlife viewing: this morning while eating my breakfast in the back of Karlee, my attention was suddenly drawn to a black face looking in the side rear window, close enough to fog the glass. I bellowed, "Hey bear, get out of hear," as the first thing that came to mind. It seemed to contemplate my suggestion for a moment, then lowered down to all fours again and ambled off in no great rush.

This was my first time for seeing the front end of a bear, and not the hind quarters in a dash for cover. At a height of roughly four feet standing, I assume this was a juvenile, so maybe not yet acquainted with what bad news humans can be. So, while it never seemed afraid, it was good to see how easily even a bold bear can be shooed. I'm sure the location helped lead to the situation as well: as it turns out, I was less than a 1/4 mile through the woods to a large public campground and all the food and smells that entails.

In the end, I'm more experienced, and also a little more wary of how easily bear can learn that humans mean easy leftovers.

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