20th Week In Review: Bear Fixation

I was dreaming of bear all week as we backpacked into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a home to both black bear and grizzly bear.  We were constantly reminded of their presence, working along Black Bear Creek Trail, taking pictures of Bear Grass, learning about the Grizzly Bear study in the region we were exploring…  But where were they?

bear fur on tree

A sample of bear fur stuck to the trees where they are collecting it to monitor the Grizzly population

We only saw 2 black bears this week, and both times we saw them from inside our car on the Forest Service road.  Also from the safety of our car we saw a moose, lots of deer, a group of mountain goats, and a coyote.  Out in the woods we saw less intimidating fauna such as mule deer, white tail deer, rat snakes, chipmunks, ground squirrels, marmots, a spotted sandpiper, lots of robins, and more.  We also cleared about 60 trees from the trail and backpacked for 16 miles.  It was a strenuous and memorable week and we look forward to sharing more stories and lots of pictures over the next few days.  Next week we head back to Canada to volunteer with a First Nation community, the Piikani, in southern Alberta.

Sharon at Bear Creek

Sharon in front of Bear Creek near our campsite

Hours volunteered: 24 hours (combined) or all week long depending on how you figure it…. we did 12 hours of actual trail work, but were getting to or participating in the project all week long.

States & Provinces:  1, Montana

Bob Marshall Wilderness

Just one of the many amazing views along the South Fork of the Flathead River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness

Budget:  UNDER!!  After our most expensive week yet, we had probably our least expensive week of the year, since we were away from civilization all week and unable to spend any money.

People Visited: none

Nights under the stars: 6, all in the Flathead National Forest, 5 of which were in the Bob Marshall Wilderness

Best meal: not a meal, but huckleberry milkshakes from Patchy’s Alpine Grill in Hungry Horse definitely deserve a shout out

Best beer: We did not bring any beer into the wilderness, so our only brew this week was a Fat Tire that Jay was given by a generous Forest Service employee when we arrived at the Ranger Station (they were having a potluck)

Deer in Bob Marshall Wilderness

Can you spot the wildlife?

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4 responses to “20th Week In Review: Bear Fixation

  1. Well, not meeting a bear is generally considered a good thing. Getting close to a Griz is really really not a good thing. The lesson i learned, if you can climb the tree a black bear can too, and a Griz can just knock it over. Glad you stayed safe and had fun!

    • Yea, I’m glad I didn’t encounter a bear on the trail… All of the other group members carried bear spray, but I was afraid of operator error.

      • I always figured that if a bear eats just about anything.. really dead rank things, bugs and grubs, and other stuff, why wouldn’t he like the taste of bear spray?
        mmmmm that is a nice peppery flavored mist, golly I am kinda hungry, oh ohh yippy yea there is choice thing holding that stuff. This should be yummmy!

  2. Were you working as a group together, or did you and Jay go off and work on your individual projects?

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