The bear in the woods


I went out for a walk yesterday. I've been trying to keep up with my daily Crunch hike up a 2km walk here in Coquitlam which is building up my level of fitness as it's directly uphill the power line cut-line of the mountain. I was feeling pensive and as I exited the house I thought I'd change things up, reviewing in my head about 3 other alternate routes in my part of town.   In the end I just felt my way along and adjusted my route as I felt led to.

I was into a wooded area just blocks from my house, and enjoying how the sunlight dapples itself thorough the leaves. I stopped to take a photo of the trail... then kept walking, and stopped to take another photo.   As I continued along I looked up and there before me was a medium sized black bear.. walking nonchalantly towards me about 5 yards ahead.

My initial response was, wow, what a great picture! But I quickly put that foolishness aside and looked for my exit. Luckily I was behind the college and the path took left just feet from me... I moved forward than took the exit trying not to panic. As soon as I had the turn and a tree or two between the bear's view of me, I instinctively took off like a shot in mad sprint out toward the college and out of the woods.   The words "Don't run" were going through my mind as I ran as fast as I could.

It took me about half hour to settle my nerves, and during that time I called my daughter to get her help in calling police or alerting the news to get the word out on social media. After all it was a Sunday evening and many people were out enjoying the summer day.

I hung around the area to warn anyone who was walking near...funny there were not too many people around at all.  I decided to continue my walk around Lafarge Lake and posted the second photo I'd taken online announcing I'd just seen a bear.

I dodged the wood trail after my circle around the lake and took most of the street way home, but just near there, I decided to quell my fears by walking a short distance through the woods to my home again, just to get settled.  It was beautiful.

When I got back to my computer I pulled up the last shot I took in the woods hoping that there would be some sign of the bear, and there he was... very unnoticeable in that last shot I took. I blew up that portion of the photo and indeed I had captured him.

It's made me realize the importance of safety this time of year, and in particular in the area of Canada that I live.  A woman passed me a week prior on another trail which was very open with high traffic. She jingled as she walked. For bears I thought... She's smart!  I should follow suit.


(ps. This sighting was at 5pm, June 29th on the Hoy Creek Trail, Coquitlam, just inside the entrance to the woods behind David Lam Campus, Douglas College)