Bearly missed

posted May 13, 2014, 8:28 AM by Paul Wagner

A few people have commented on the bear tracks we found on our hike up Disaster Creek.  Most of them were somehow worried that we might have met the bear face to face and, like Daniel Boone, be forced to fight him hand to hand. 

And just at evening--an ursine visitor, backlit in the sun.©http://backpackthesierra.com
Not exactly, no.  In fact, if you’ve read our website, you know that bears in the Sierra are simply not much of a danger to anyone in the backcountry.  We've only seen two bears in the backcountry, and both of them made tracks (pun intended) away from us as soon as they saw us.
 

So we weren’t afraid.  We were charmed.  And we have to admit that we were just a little hopeful that if we walked quickly enough, and quietly enough, we might catch of glimpse of that bear.

We didn’t.

But we did decided that he wasn’t far away.  Because the first paw prints we saw in the snow were very clear and distinct.  You could easily see each claw

mark and foot pad.  When we returned that way a few hours later, those prints had become less distinct. 

Which means that they were quite fresh the first time we saw them.  Perhaps because the bear either saw us or heard us, and headed up the trail to avoid us. 

Nuts. If we’d only known, we’d have walked faster.  Or more quietly.
 
Above is the famous bear photo---the only one we've been able to take in the last ten years in the backcountry. 

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