Friday, June 6, 2008

37 Mile Lake 2

continuation June 2 2008

The road is very good for biking. different butterflies are out. Different animal tracks on the road. Bear tracks going in the opposite direction, which is good, because at least we are not following a bear. On several occasions we hear : "quick three beers,quick three beers." Which is the call of a flycatcher. We come to a place where the road is close to the creek. There's a pond close by. We see a few birds, but nothing confirmatory. One probable Sandpiper, it sits so still, I wouldn't have known it was a bird.

After a while we sometimes get a glimpse of a mountain , which should be close to the lake. I like the shape!, I call it a butte. The trail goes uphill for a while and then at we descent, over a few kilometers a few hundred feet, towards the lake. We do wonder if we will have a hard time ascending it on the way back. The end of the road disappears into a swamp. we leave the bikes there and find our way to the lake which is hidden from sight. We come a pond and are greeted by a beautiful Swan. It is calm and quite close to us. We watch it for a while and continue to get closer to the lake. It's beautiful with the Butte right behind it. The one Swan joins another one on the lake. We see a black bird but don't know which one. Mary wonders if it's a Rusty Blackbird. She's been asked to watch out for them , because they might be on the decline. There's no way we can tell if it is. We're listening to the little birds in the thickets. And very much enjoy our lunches. The weather is perfect too.

Soon we have to return again and start our uphill climb. This time we do follow some Bear tracks. One set of bigger ones accompanied by small ones. Erroneously we find that they don't look fresh. But the soft sand fools us. And reminds us to always be alert. Because.... as I round a corner; There is mama Bear and a cub (a yearling) in front of her. Simultaneous as I holler, the cub dashes into the woods to the right. We stop and Mother Bear comes running to us. It displays typical protective behavior. We both shout. Mary holds up her bike and I pull out my can of bear spray, and release the pin. But I don't need to use it. I make my self big.
I think we did the right thing, because the bear stops coming towards us. And after lots of shouting it retreats. Unfortunately it climbs a tree and the tree is on the left side of the road. All we can do is giving it a wide berth and go around it on the left. Lucky for us the woods here are open enough to easily get through and to see some distance.

I tell you we had no problem biking up hill. For me this is an experience that I don't seek out as I think it is potentially dangerous. I would have suggested to go back if this had happened on the way in. It is very much part of life here though and I hope that like today, I am always ready to do the right thing. And really while being out, without the protection of a car, this is only my second encounter in my many years of enjoying the wild.

The remainder of the trip was very pleasant. I made it home by six.Safe and sound. And gratefully so for another amazing day.

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