Thursday, September 24, 2009

Walking for your health?

I took my customary lunch time walk along the 3rd avenue bypass today, and just as I came to the large rock outcropping above Gorge St., a black bear stepped out from behind the rock.
We both came to a complete stop and eyed one another for a second before the bear turned around and started climbing up the rock. I crossed the street to the upland side, turned around and saw the bear standing on its hindlegs looking down the street. A van drove between us (I'm pretty sure the driver didn't see the bear), and I started walking toward town. I glanced back and the bear was crossing over to my side of the street, so I immediately crossed back over to the sidewalk and then watched the bear scramble down into the gully where the little waterfall ends.
Looking back on the whole thing, I don't think I behaved quite as I ought. I didn't run (that's a good thing) but turning my back on a black bear (and - hello!- not turning off my mp3 player) was probably not the wisest thing I've ever done. If you are a frequent habitué of the bypass, you might want to brush up on your bear encounter etiquette. And perhaps carry a whistle.

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