Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bear Encounter at Yellowstone

Watching grizzly bears in the wild was one thing we looked forward to during our 7 day stay at the Yellowstone National Park two years ago. We hiked on the trails which had good chances of bear sighting, we went to marshes that bears usuaully hang around ...despite many attempts, we did not catch even a glimpse of the bears in the first 6 days there.

The last day, we had a fantastic morning - driving a motor boat in the Yellowstone lake, first ever for all of us. In the afternoon we went to Cascade Lake Trail for an afternoon hike, and also our last chance of bear sighting.

It was a breezy, beautiful sunny afternoon. The blue sky was spotted with snow white clouds. After about a quarter mile in the woods, we walked into open Meadows full of wild flowers - white, purple, red and yellow, crystal clear water running in shallow creeks. There were few people there. When we reached cascade lake, we were all by ourselves as far as eye could see, with the company of two hawks flying above the valley.

After snack by the lake, we were on the return hike. As we entered the wooded area, I sensed something moving near a stump by the side of the trail ahead of us. We stopped, the rest of the group saw nothing. "False alarm! You want to see bears too much." Lily teased me.

A few seconds later, a dark brown animal was in sight. "Grizzly bear!" The boys exclaimed, starting to run to the bear. "Stop!" I shouted out in a suppressed voice. "Be careful!" Lily's voice was a bit shaky. We stopped there, watching the bear and took a lot of pictures. The bear apparently did not notice us, snorting around, occasionally raising its head to smell the air, walking slowly toward the lake direction. We stood there watching the bear until it disappeared into the meadow. What a sight! Wow!

We were lucky.

On the way back to htotel, Lily spotted something white in a pond we drove by. We decided to turn around to check it out - We were thrilled to see a trumpeter swan. The lucky day just got luckier for us.

Exploration made it so much fun.

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