Monday, June 23, 2014

The run with the bear

My plan was to get up super early and run.  I wanted half a cup of coffee and some toast before I scooted out the door at 4:30, but then I forgot to put the grounds in the coffee filter and all I made was hot water.  Argh.

So I put more water in the coffee maker and added coffee grounds this time.  Then my husband was up early and I decided it was nice just to enjoy some coffee with him and watch the sun come up while we chatted.  He has been super busy lately and I feel like I haven't seem him too much.  Then my son got up and said "Momma" (they way he says it melts me every time) "can we play some rummy" I decided why not.  I didn't really have enough time to get in a long run anymore before my husband had to go rake hay.

I switched to plan C and played rummy.  My Mom said she would take the kids while I ran so down the hill we went.  I decided to run a loop from my parent's house. 

It was a tough route, nearly two miles of constant up up uphill right away and then gradual uphill for another 5ish miles before I started on the downhill slide. I ran through a field full of grass and these little blue flax flowers.

Through sage brush and yellow sweet clover. 

 Through some yearling heifers. These can be compared to teenagers.  Very curious and like to run in packs

 Cola enjoyed the full water tanks along the way.
 About 8 miles into the run I saw something black up ahead ambling along.  There weren't any cows in the pasture I was running in and it wasn't really ambling along cow like.  I stopped and walked a bit and it didn't take long to figure out it was a small bear.  Although it doesn't really seem to matter how small or how big the bear is when there is nothing but grass and sage brush between the bear and I.  He seemed to double in size as I pondered this.

He didn't seem to notice me at this point so I just let me continue to amble along down the road ahead of me.  After a bit he got off the road and headed down a hill towards a small water reservoir.  Eventually I couldn't see him anymore so I veered wide and started running again all the while trying to remember the best thing to do in case of a bear attack.

can you see the black dot down the road?  If you can then you can see the bear. Cola didn't see him at this point.
About a quarter miles later I looked over and I could see where he was traveling along a fence about a quarter mile away.  Then it happened.  He saw me too. He stopped, he stood up and stared at me for what felt like forever.  I stopped running and ducked down. 

Sorry in a moment of utter blogger fail, this is the best picture I have of the bear.  Can you see him standing up staring at me near the bottom center of the picture?
looks like a huge beast, right?
He started running towards me.  AACCK!  It didn't take long before he was out of sight so I started running again with a rock in hand.  I kept looking over to see if he would come up over the side of the hill, but figured he wouldn't.  I couldn't be that interesting. 

Wishful thinking.

He came running over the side of the hill straight towards me.  I stopped running.  He stopped too and then ran back down the hill out of sight again.

I waited and waited.  No bear.  I called my Grandma, who was the closest person to where I was although still three miles away.  I asked her if she could please come up the hill and get me. 

I started running again, hoping the bear had got enough of me, but nope he came running up over the hill again and ran parallel with me for a bit, then I got my senses back and stopped running.  He stopped too and just sat staring at me before heading back down the hill.

I feel like he was just curious and playing with me. Once I started running again up over the hill came the bear again!  I tried to call my mom, no answer, my husband, no answer.  My sister finally picked up and the sound of my voice talking loudly to my sister scared him off again

I made her stay on the phone with me and started running again.  Thankfully Mr. Bear decided he was done playing with, but I still hopped in when my Grandparents got to where I was.  I got out after 2.5 half miles and finished my run for a total of 13.34 miles. 

Only one more long run and 19 more days until the Missoula Half Marathon, which is now sold out!!

Have you had any crazy wild animals encounters on a run? 
Quick.. what to do if a black bear charges, besides call your grandma for an extraction?  All I know is don't run. 


  1. Oh my gosh! That is crazy, crazy scary. I think you handled it beautifully. No blogger fail on the picture--you had a bear to outrun!!!

    Glad it turned out ok. The only scary thing I've seen on a run was a solo coyote up in the Adirondacks. He ran off as soon as he saw me.

  2. Just knowining their is bears out there would stop me from running outside. Differently I would not run by myself. You are one brave girl .

  3. All I have seen is deer that will run along some of the paths that are out by some wooded areas. That is all I care to see! Even they make me nervous ... LOL. Way to stay calm and collected and finish your run on top of it! :)

  4. OMG, that is so terrifying!!!! and why does no one ever answer the phone when you NEED them too!?!?!

  5. Yikes! Scary! Glad you made it home safely. It does sound like he was just having a bit of fun with you, but you never know;) I agree with Dawn, why the heck does it seem like nobody picks up the phone when you really need them?!

  6. Oh my word!!! Aren't you supposed to make yourself look really big....or is that wild turkeys? I probably would just scream like a girl!

  7. Holy crap I would have died of fright. I can't even imagine that. Truly terrifying. I wouldn't have a freaking clue what to do and thank god I live in an urban area so HOPEFULLY that won't be happening to me, but you never know!

  8. I have seen deer, coyotes, and bobcats on my local trail. We also have a bear, but I've only seen his tracks. I'm more afraid of running into him on my mountain bike because I can get going pretty fast and I don't know how he'll react. Sounds like yours was a youngster just wanting to have fun.

    Here are some tips for bear encounters:

  9. What a scary adventure!!! I see deer, they are as scared of me as I am of them. Although there are coyote in the woods I just haven't seen any. It does sound like he was playing with you, best to not try and figure that out in the middle of it and find out he wasn't. Glad you are OK!!

  10. I think with bears you are supposed to lie down and play dead. With COUGARS you yell and make yourself BIG and don't turn your back on them..... lucky you the bear left you alone.

  11. Holy yikes. I'm glad you were safe!! Sounds like you need to invest in some bear spray!

  12. OMG, I saw a bear the other day as I ran trails, a sow and two cubs (I live in Alaska). They were off in the brush and pretty much ignored me, thank god. I'll bet you were scared, eh? Bears can be so unpredictable, though it sounds as if this one was just playing with you. (Ever wonder what they think when they see us? I mean, we're human yet running as if we were animals, lol.) Glad everything turned out okay. P.S. I grew up on a farm and miss cows. Pet one for me, okay?

  13. OMG!!! I'm scared and I'm 10 states away! What was Cola doing? Glad it all turned out okay. wow. I have no advice. Calling for help seems like the right idea.

  14. Wow, what a punk! That bear was totally messing with you!! The way he stood up and semi-charged at you?! I think you did the exact right thing, especially since I don't imagine you were running with a weapon or pepper spray :) Glad you're safe!

  15. Oh my gosh, how scary! I would have been terrified. Thank goodness he ran off. Did Cola ever notice the bear?

  16. Eeeeek! So scary. I've had (several) encounters with ostriches on the run - those birds are just crazy... But no carnivore encounters to date, thank goodness!

  17. I've encountered a couple of deer and a skunk scared the crap out of me once...but that's it. Glad everything turned out okay!

  18. HOLY SH*T! I would have lost it. Nice work staying calm!

  19. what the what. What.

    That's terrifying. Okay, it's sounding cute from this side of the screen, but terrifying. The scariest things I've seen are rattlesnakes. I see coyotes sometimes, but I think they're cute.

    Gab educated us on what to do in a bear situation, when we were camping at Sequoia Natl Park. I just asked her, because I forget. She says to not stare at it's eyes and walk away really slowly. lols.


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