Look what came in the mail, and bear scare

Look what came in the mail yesterday?

Luanne Castle‘s new poetry book. So exciting. I ordered this months ago and feared they had forgotten about me (Luanne, you and Finshing Line Press wouldn’t forget about me, would you?).

Hi, Luanne!

I can’t wait to lounge on the sofa and start reading.

I have to admit that I’m a little bit jealous. I’ve submitted to Finishing Line Press and have received nothing but rejection letters. So, way to go, Luanne. You’re living my dream (and no doubt, your own, too).

I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately. I finished up a freelance feature project and then kind of lost momentum.

Oh, I finished a new poem and I’m working on two different novels but I just don’t feel compelled. I don’t feel driven. Some days I wonder: Do I really want to write? Do I really want to spend the day or most of the night with my ass planted in a chair as I pound away at my keyboard? Is that the way to live one’s life?

When I get stuck in such a mood I head out for a run. Last week I was again caught in such a funk and so I hit the trails. My partner and the dog ran the first nine miles with me, and as we were heading down the windy path on the Viewpoint Trail, a delicious slice of trail surrounded by birch and spruce trees, almost all downhill, with a lot of curves to keep it interesting, I rounded a curve and saw a bear’s nose peeking out from around the bend.


It was a black bear sow with two cubs, one of which scampered up a tree.

We retreated back up the hill, waited a few minutes and then went down to check if they were still there. They were, and the mama bear didn’t appreciate us checking on them either, thank you very much.

So we ran back up the hill, caught another trail and started down that one.

And guess what? The bear did the same damned thing. It’s as if we were both trying to get out of each other’s way. She turned and saw us running behind her and wasn’t very happy.

We headed back to the original trail, started down that and believe it or not, the bear had the very same idea. It was like a comedy routine, except the bear wasn’t very amused. She chased after our dog, who of course ran towards us, and we all took off into the woods with the bear heading our way.


She thankfully didn’t chase us far. And we had bear spray with us, so we really weren’t in danger. Plus it wasn’t a charge so much as a get-out-of-my-way-you’re-irritating-the-hell-out-of-me chase.

We ran back to another trail, took that back to the parking lot, where my partner and the dog headed back to the car while I plodded on for fifteen more miles on trails far, far from where we had seen the bear.

Or so I thought. As I finished up the last few miles, a biker stopped to warn me of a sow with two cubs and an attitude up ahead. And I was like: Whoa! What are the chances of running into the same bear again?

I quickly veered the other way and less than a quarter-mile from the trailhead, guess what I saw?

Yep, another black bear. This one had only one cub and it did what bears usually do when they see people: it scurried off into the brush.

I don’t have any photos of the bears. When a bear is chasing you into the woods, you don’t exactly pull out your phone and snap off a shot. Or at least I don’t. I’m not that stupid.

Seriously, contemplating the complexities of this bear-infested world.

Yet, it’s so cool to see bears, to know they’re walking and moving over the very same trails. That they place their feet near where I place my feet, smell the same things I smell, see the same trees and flowers, eat the same berries. It reminds me of how we are all connected and how even though I live in a city, in a house with central heating, buy my food in supermakets and sleep in a warm, cushy bed at night, I can still, every so often, feel a touch of the wild.

Bear warning on the Campbell Tract trails earlier this month (a brown bear–yikes!).


A favorite wildish place.
Another favorite place.

9 thoughts on “Look what came in the mail, and bear scare

  1. I didn’t know a mama bear was called a sow. I can’t help but thinking how brave you are to venture out on the trail when the possibilities of encountering a bear is highly probable. Good thing you’re fit!


    1. I know, isn’t it odd that a female bear is a sow and a male a boar? Just like pigs, though they aren’t related. Cheers and hope you’re having a great week. P.S. I’m not that brave. A few years ago when a bear followed me down an isolated trail, I peed my pants in fear, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What is bear spray?! I would be so scared although I must say that I have so much sympathy with bears and think they are magnificent. I hear you on the second guessing the writing game. I do that all the time. other times, i can’t imagine doing anything else. I guess it’s part of it all.
    Thank you so much for supporting my writing, Cinthia! I hope you like the book!


    1. Bear are magnificent, but when you see them up close you realize that they are quite large. Still, it is awesome to see them, given the right circumstances. P.S. Bear spray is a big-assed canister of pepper spray. Some people wear it in a holster around their waists, like those old gun fighters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I can see carrying around one of those! If I lived in Alaska I might! Or near Banff, where I first started to think about living near bears and what that would mean.


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