In 2017 my wife and I drove across America on a six-week road trip and I was desperate to see a bear in the wild. But after five weeks and miles of hiking through National Parks (bear bells and spray at the ready), the closest I’d come to a bear was a stuffed specimen at NYCs National History Museum ☹️.
Approaching the end of our adventures we hiked into Iceberg Lake in the stunning Glacier National Park, Montana. I’d had it on good authority from the local fly-fishing shop that bears had been up that way drinking icy glacial water in the hot sun. After a massive mountain trek in the 36° heat I was back to the carpark, sweaty and deflated. I’d spotted deer, squirrel and a beast of a mountain goat but, again, not a single bloody bear!
We hit the road, mission failed. And then suddenly ...a traffic jam (in Montana!). Cars spilt over the road and hundreds of tourists were pointing to the hills. The local ranger was barking instructions at the chaos blocking the road.
I climbed to the roof of the Jeep, camera in hand, heart racing like a kid on cordial. There he was - a GIANT Grizzly slowly making his way down the hill. He stopped, took one look at the crowd and headed for the hills.
Finally, I’d found my beautiful bear! 🐻