Grin & Bear It
This photo was taken on a beach along BC’s Sunshine Coast – a string of oceanside communities tucked away from Vancity’s urban lights. The day ended with a stunner sunset and began with the first taste of a west coast summer and a hike. Our only company were our own voices, birdy twitterings, and cracking branches underfoot. That is – until we heard the rustling. Our path intersected with a road, and on the other side (less than 50 meters away) was a small, bushy clearing… which was alive! The bushes shook violently and the uncut grass swayed like madmen. Suddenly, two dark shapes launched themselves from the clearing and began to climb the embankment – a large, brown mass and a smaller, black one. Bears! Naturally, we did what anyone in the 21st century would do – we took out our smartphones and googled, “What to do if you encounter a bear?” But, most of the websites said more about preventing encounters, than actually encountering one! Just then, the black bear started to descend the embankment back towards us. NOPE. We scuttled back the way we came, all of us feeling quite jumpy. Every breeze was a bear attack. Every snapped twig was a bear attack. Every rustle was a bear attack. Back on the main road, we hitchhiked a ride with a friendly local and bubbled over with our story about the bears. We made ourselves sound like heroes. When we finished, our driver laughed with deep, earthy amusement, “Bears? Pfft! Wait until you see a cougar!” Gotta love Canada, eh?