Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I knew since the first day I ran it that my sweet little 7 mile snowmobile trail loop near work was bear country. Not really a concern, since when was the last time you heard about someone being mauled by a black bear?...exactly.  But since I'm running solo, in the early morning, and there is that berry patch up in the 1992 burn...figure I should stay alert.  Even tied some keys onto my hydrapak today just to make a little noise.

I think the noise was not quite loud enough.  About two miles into the run this morning, I heard that "scratch scratch scratch" sound that I've heard before, and knew could only be one thing.  And suddenly, there it was, about 50 feet off the trail...coming back down the tree...a young bear, probably 2-3 years old (?), maybe 120-150 pounds.  I think he (she?..I didn't try to check...) heard me coming at the last second, climbed the tree, and then when I kept coming closer decided even the tree wasn't cool, climbed down, and took off...more or less up the trail I was running. I turned around and headed back, stopped and thought I was being silly, but then just kept going.  Went and explored a section of trail I hadn't been on before, logged some hill miles on the dirt road back near the car, got in 6 miles or so and called it a good day.  But I just might get me one of them "bear bells" to let 'em know I'm coming a little farther ahead next time.  First bear I've treed since a run in the Adirondacks in about 1988...

And I'll take my chances with a black bear vs. a Ford SUV at 72 mph any day of the week!


  1. holy crap! the only thing about a young bear . . . where's the momma? keep your eyes peeled, man. good speed workout . . . got your heart rate up!

  2. Yep, that "momma" thing was my first thought and is really my only concern with bears. I'm thinking this guy was running solo, but part of the reason I didn't finish the run as planned was he headed off in the direction I was headed...and if momma was up that way and she sees me chasing her baby, well.....

    And the heart rate...funny thing is, that didn't spook me at all like my dog encounters on the roads have...had my hrm on one day and noticed I spiked to well over 180 when that dog came after me!

  3. No joke . . . a rottweiler with hair standing up on it's back scares me more than a bear! Keep your eyes peeled and stay safe, man. Don't see your name on the VCU entry yet . . .