“Remember now. What’s the first thing you do if you see a bear on the trail?”
“Take its picture!”
It’s a silly little ha-ha routine we do each time one of us goes hiking without the other, and it never gets old, because we are total derps.
But when it finally happened, we were on a backpacking trip together, and the photo came second. Maybe even third.
I’d just crawled into the tent and zipped myself snugly into my sleeping bag, while Tim was still outside buttoning down our campsite for the night.
The noise came from the brush about 40 feet from our tent, and Tim walked toward it to investigate.
The perpetrator had gone at a large tree stump, probably in search of grubs. Tim locked eyes with him for a hot second, then turned toward me and said, “It’s a bear!” And that was enough commotion to make the bear rethink his position, so he started moving away at a pretty good clip, which is when Tim finally followed directions, and took a picture.
No, we do not know for sure that the bear was male. We based our assumption on information we were given at the ranger’s station when we registered for our camping permit that morning. There’d been reports of a mama bear and two cubs in the area, as well as a lone juvenile male. Guessing ours was the latter.
So that’s the introduction to our most recent backpacking trip, August 27-29, in Olympic National Park. Of the three we’ve completed this month, this one offered the most jaw-dropping scenery, and the most wildlife sightings too!
Descriptions of our other two Washington backpacking adventures: