The Bears Of Spring

Edit: crap, screwed up the post time.  Fixedand posted as soon as I noticed…

Last Friday I promised some pictures from a recent hike, so I figured today would be a good day to trot those out.

One note about the hiking and camping I do: in addition to the “normal” stuff you do on excursions like that, my notebook and iPad are never far away.  The extra weight is well worth having close at hand what I need to write.  I will hike for an hour or two, then write for a bit, hike a bit, write a bit…lather, rinse, repeat.

For anyone who has been to Yellowstone before, these pictures are from one of the trails leading to Cascade Lake.  Normally this trail is fairly easy and short, but in spring – with all the snowmelt and damage from winter – it is anything but.  The first 2.5 miles took me over two hours…

First off, however, is a bit of education: since I joke about getting molested by grizzlies, I figured I would offer some perspective.

IMG_0236For your perusal, I present to you fresh tracks – a few hours old – from an adult grizzly.  Not a particularly large grizzly, but big enough.  My foot is in the picture not because it is so beautiful (it is), but to show just how big your average grizzly really is.

As a further note on the topic of wildlife: there is a ton.  They’re everywhere…and I mean that.  There is a lot of bear sign (tracks, scat, scent marking) even right around where we live and work.  There’s even more as you get towards the back country.  We’ve even had the occasional elk and bison wander through the parking lot…which is, while pretty neat, also a major headache.  It is their home, after all…the rest of us are just visiting.

The trail I was using is mostly along and through alpine meadows. The snowmelt means the streams and rivulets are all raging, and are well above any banks they may have.  There is a huge of amount of water involved. Although this makes for pretty pictures, my boots are still drying out!

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