Bear Goals

My husband has always had a goal to see a bear in the wild.

I remember hiking with him in Colorado when we were dating and he was determined to run into a bear on the trail.

I set different goals for my hikes. Ones that include getting exercise, seeing beautiful sights, and making it home alive.

As we hiked the Garden Wall trail in Glacier National Park a couple of months ago, he was certain that we’d encounter a bear. The park is even home to grizzlies, but he would have been happy to see a black bear. Any bear. The boy just wanted to see a bear.

That morning on our hike we noticed a lot of “bear signs” on the trail – large swaths or earth strewn across the path where a bear had probably been hunting for a morning snack. We even heard rocks tumbling down a cliff wall right above us that no small woodland creature could have stirred. We did what you’re supposed to do – make a lot of noise and had our bear spray handy.


Standing here. Looking up. Hearing rocks tumble down. Imagining a grizzly.

But we didn’t see a bear. Not on the trail. Not in the car driving through the park. Not one bear.

This goal of my husband’s has perplexed me for years. To me a bear in the wild is a danger to avoid at all costs.

And then I saw this video. And it made sense. If to see a bear in the wild is to cuddle a bear in the wild, then I guess I can see the appeal.


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About Stephanie Y.

I'm a professional news writer in Frederick, Maryland. I blog at S.Y. Ciphers.

4 responses to “Bear Goals”

  1. Christina says :

    Another reason to visit NH! I was driving home late after an event a few weeks ago and I saw a bear just strolling on the side of the road not far from my house. It took a second to register what it was because I’ve never seen one before! (Not sure if a country road counts as “in the wild” though)

  2. stokleyblevins says :

    We got a kids book at Rocky Mountain National Park called “Who Pooped in the Park?” to help with potty training. It talks about all kinds of “signs.” 😉

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