Thursday August 27, 2020
I have my alarm set for 5am. I want to get into the Wild Basin Enterance of Rocky Mountain National Park before 6am. After 6am you need to have a timed enterance permit to enter the park. The national parks are very over crowded and I think this is one way they are trying to limit the number of people entering the park each day.
I head out in the dark and find the enterance. Once I pass the toll booth it is a dirt road all the way to the trail head. As I get closer to the trailhead the road narrows. I’ll probably want to wait until later in the day to exit for less traffic on my way out.
When I get to the trailhead it is just begining to get light. I take Berkley for a walk down the dirt road we came in on. As we are walking he stops and his ears are up. That usually means there is something there. I look down the road. Holy Shit! It’s a bear! It is less than 50 yards away. Berkley noticed it before the bear noticed us. (My heart rate accelerates because I have Berkley with me) I slow walk toward Berkley before he attemps to chase after it. As I am picking him up he starts barking letting the bear know we are here. The bear sees us and takes off running away from us. Berkley’s barking chased him away! Thank goodness because I didn’t have my pack with me with the bear spray in it.
It didn’t look very large and I think it was a black bear, but I can’t be sure. I’m usually not worried about bears, but having Berkley with me is a different story. I though he would be a bear magnet, but that wasn’t the case this morning. He chased it away by barking!
I talk to a coupe of park rangers after my hike and tell them about my bear sighting. They me no one has reported a sighting in the area in more than four years. They also tell me that someone else reported seeing a moose and her baby today. They said the moose is more dangerous than the bear!
Berkley taking a nap after sighting and scaring a bear away.