I just have to outrun the person next to me.
What a great line.
Do you know why the grizzly is on the California State Flag? Up until the gold rush, grizzlies were very common in California. Nice climate, plentiful food, seasonal salmon runs. The last California grizzly was killed in 1922.
Once upon a time Grizzlies were native to my home state of Iowa too, right along the Missouri River. I don’t doubt they spent the winters in the stretch of loess hills across the road from my home. Probably ate a lot of the same wild foods I ate as a kid, wild raspberries and plums, chokecherries, wild asparagus, morels– stuff we scoured the woods for.
A grizzly bear can run up to 30 mph. And he can get up to speed in under 6 seconds.
Doesn’t give you a lot of time to react. I spent a week backpacking in Glacier National Park – terrified, just waiting for that bear attack. Never came, thank god. I saw plenty of big horn sheep, mountain goats, and I encountered a marmot that refused to move off the trail and insisted upon sniffing my backpack.
When the kids were little we stayed one night in a cabin outside of West Yellowstone – in an area frequented by grizzly bears. The area was quite scenic, unfortunately the cabin was full of mice, so full of mice they were kind of like lemmings. Yes, that full. The kids wanted to sleep with all the lights on so no mice would run over them while they slept. I decided I’d rather face a grizzly than have my baby chewed on by a mouse so I took the baby and slept in the car knowing full well that an adult grizzly was perfectly capable of ripping off the car door. I chose the possibility of a grizzly encounter over a guaranteed encounter with mice. (My husband does want me to mention that this was the height of the Hanta Virus scare.)
Humans are not grizzly prey, we just happen to get in the way sometimes.
Now a black bear will occasionally stalk a human. A rare occurance, but good to know.
My daughter has seen a lot of bears in Montana this year, most of them black bears but the occasional brown black bears too, and lots of cubs.
Speaking of bears, we went to the beach today. Not a warm sunny beach like you think a beach should be, a northern California beach – cold, misty, mournful, isolated, rough, absolutely beautiful. On the way home my husband took this picture of the Bay. Nice.