Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cuddly Bear

I was packing up the apartment yesterday. Technically, I don't have to be out until October 2nd, but I figure why pay rent when I don't live there anyway. So I was packing things up. Amazing how all my shit fits into my vehicle. I mean it would, but I made a few trips. I am making the big step of STAYING with BF. Moving in is too big of a relationship word so I am using STAYING with.

Anyway, Hermit was cleaning the apartment next to me and told me that we had a bear in the park. HELLO? A bear in our park. We aren't even in bear country. I mean close, but it isn't where a bear would be hanging out. As I was leaving the park to make another trip to BF's house to drop more of my shit off (he was just concerned if I was bringing the XM Satellite radio), I called Preacher (formerly Forrest Gump) and asked if he found the bear. He said no. But in the background the radio chimed that it was up on the switchbacks. I pulled a u-turn and headed back into the park. I parked below where all the cars were and ran up the hill. Big mistake because once I arrived up there my buddies Bob and John lit fires into my chest. After seeing the little critter, I had to be taken back down to the vehicle because I could bearly (HAHA-really barely) walk. But I watched the bear with all the other visitors and coworkers. She was playing with this raven. The raven was on a rock and she would go over to that rock and make the raven fly to another one. And then go to the raven again. She did this for about 10 minutes. It was so cool.
Bear going after raven again. Raven checking out the bear.

So Preacher dropped me down at my vehicle and I drove up the hill and started back down. Once I got back to where my vehicle was initially park I saw Boss Lady moving her vehicle which meant bear was on the move. I parked down below here and sure enough she (it was a baby girl) was on the move and heading right for my direction. All I thought was cool.
Bear above me. Preacher came back up the hill and we stopped traffic. Sure enough she came over the ridge right toward our path. She stopped and looked at us and then crossed the road and headed down the other side. Bear crossing road.

I went back to my house, threw on a work jacket, a pair of shoes rather than flip-flops, and grabbed my radio. As I was walking out of the house, Boss Lady was coming down the road so I got into the vehicle with her. Miss Bear was causing quite the traffic jam. We watched as she ran along the side of the road. One visitor who had seen her, turned around and headed back up the hill. Preacher was driving down stopping outbound traffic when the radio chimed "I hope this vehicle doesn't hit it". The vehicle that had turned around to get the most awesome photo almost ended her life.

She bolted up the side of the road and disappeared over the ridge. We had already called the Wildlife people and they were there with their dart guns and trap. I went back to the apartment and left the park. I had finally seen a bear.

She was later darted and then placed in the back of their pickup truck and transport back to the mountains.

Update on Bertha--that is what I named her...
She was taken to another town where she will be in a rehab place during the winter because they didn't think she would make it alone. In the spring she will be placed back in the mountains. Some photos of her...


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