The bear saga continues
6:45 AM â€“ “There is a black bear just ahead”, the pickup truck driver yells to me. When I see him, or her, I blow my whistle. I stop, holler and then in desperation sing loudly. The bear just stares at me blocking the road. A cock my bear blaster and set off a loud explosive charge. The bear looks at me again while casually strolling into the dark woods. Just as I walk by he returns to the road side munching berries. To retaliate I scream, “Sorry to invade your turf old friend” I am a little spooked by these creatures. I realize they are wild animals and can react unexpectedly.
At Bell 11, Maria, perhaps my age, serves a delicious Sheppard’s Pie. “I am going to Guatemala” she tells me. “My daughter is married to a Canadian but he lives in a remote village. I need to be there to help with the birth. I am a tax accountant living in Prince George. I love Costa Rica. That’s where I have my vacation home”
Birds, Bears and Bikes
Birds and the bears dominate the high alpine landscape north of the Meziadin junction. I continue to see as many bears as flocks of birds. Now ptarmigan startle this lone walker the most. They nest in brush along the roadside. There mottled lichen color makes them invisible until they suddenly flutter and hover protecting their eggs.
Well south of Bell I encounter my first two long distance bicyclists of 2010. Alvaro and Alecia, dressed like twins in matching red and black riding apparel, are making the long trek north along the Cassiar.
Donald Ackerman from South Dakota was riding a big black Harley motorcycle draped with an oversized American flag fluttering off the back of the old machine. “I’m carrying ashes of my buddy who was killed in Iraq. Going to Nome, Alaska to distribute them over the Pacific. This should not have happened. He and I served in Vietnam together. In Iraq he was one of them contractors” And off he rode leaving me with lots of memories of my soldering time in Vietnam.