Saturday, June 28, 2008

What Would Bear Grylls Do?


So I promised some more exciting stories and hopefully this will suffice...

Aside from apartment hunting and being completely exhausted, we have managed to do a few fun things in Boulder. Thursday night after we got in (and saw house #1 for rent) we went to Whole Foods for dinner. They have a great salad bar! Then we went to Neptune Mountaineering for a presentation on sacred mountains and glaciers of the Himalaya. It was somewhat interesting, but the presenter had a lot of great pictures.

Friday morning I went running through town. It was awesome to see the mountains every time I turned west. Friday night was our first visit to the Pearl Street Mall (open air mall with shops, restaurants, and performers--think Quincy Market area). We also had dinner at a Himalayan restaurant--good Indian and Nepalese cuisine.

So then comes Saturday morning. We thought we would go for a morning hike before doing work and apartment hunting related things. So, we picked out a good trail that went along the base of the Flatirons and Boulder Mountain Parks. The Mesa Trail is not terribly difficult, but it does connect Chautauqua Park to Eldorado Park 6.1 miles away. We hiked for about 2 hours going south until we got a good view of Devil's Thumb. We turned around and started walking back.

As we turned the corner at Bear Canyon we were 50 feet from a 300 pound black bear. So, we started walking backwards (never run away from a bear because they'll case you!) to get out of his way. We warned some other hikers that he was in the neighborhood and waited for a while with a man and his two young sons. Another party coming up from the trail told us that the bear was drinking at the creek and it was probably safe to pass him on the trail. So, we started walking back down the trail and there he was again, lumbering up the trail going for a stroll. Again, we walked backwards and got out of his (or her?) way. Not taking any chances, we opted for a side trail to avoid the area. When we got to a more main trail we saw a pick up truck with two rangers heading towards Bear Canyon. Hopefully they were just there to direct people around the bear, and not for a EMS mission. Our re-routing got us on a different trail and so we needed to go a round-about way back to the car. We ended up at NCAR and explored their lobby/museum. Five hours from the time we started, we returned to the trail head. We did take a moment to talk to the rangers and ask about the habits of black bears. Apparently in the fall they will actually make it to the parking lot or people's homes looking for food so they need to shoot them with rubber bullets or tranquilize them.

So, the question of the day, is what would Bear Grylls do? Would he just have backed up slowly? Would he have sprayed the bear with specially formulated bear spray? What do you think?


John de Raismes, Jr. said...

you're supposed to run up to the bear, stick your thumb in his bum and say "Crikey he looks mad now!". Bear grills is a sissy, he'd just drink water from where the bear pooped.

Brian said...

That's wicked cool that you weighed the bear before going around it!