This morning while running with 2 friends we ran into 2 bears. We were heading North on a main trail with thick bush on either side. There’s also a side trail that twists in and out, in and out, of the main trail. I was running about 25 feet in front my friends. All of a sudden, 20 feet in front of me a sizeable black bear comes barreling around the bend. I let out a blood-curdling scream when I realized that the bear hadn’t stopped short immediately and that it was still running towards me. I shouted to my friends that there was a bear and I began clapping my hands and yelling as I backed away from the bear towards my friends. The bear was still running and it veered away to my left onto the side trail and then ANOTHER bear came running around the same bend, this bear also veered off onto the side trail. There was very brief talk of whether or not we should continue heading North, stay put while the bears got away, or retreat and get out of the trail heading South. At this point I had backed up to where my friends were and I even passed them and I was encouraging us to retreat out of the trail back onto a paved road. I was back in the front and jogging South out of the trail, and we were all yelling and clapping as we jogged. So now I’m back in front of my friends jogging South and holy shit one of the bears pops out of the side trail on my left, the bear was heading the same way as were were, it had criss crossed the path several times behind us! I began yelling in earnest all over again and the bear did an about turn and took off North along the trail away from us. Finally the bears and the humans were heading in opposite directions. We humans hoofed it another 20 metres South where we all popped out of the trail and onto a road. We had just begun to collect ourselves when both bears pop out of the trail too! More yelling and clapping and this time there was space for them to head away from us and that’s what they did, this time they went East. Our heart rates were through the roof! After that we adjusted our run route and stuck to paved roads for the rest of the run.
Must say I felt sorry for the poor bears, they were frightened and wanted nothing to do with us and nothing to do with whatever it was they were originally running from.
I must chalk this up to a positive bear experience though it did scare the shit out of me. It just was bad luck that we encountered each other in a really small area full of twisting and winding trails where we just could not get away from each other….that and the fact that I was separated from my girlfriends so the bears did get between us at one point I think.
My last bear experience was about a month ago and it was a good one too. I was again running slightly ahead of the same 2 girlfriends when I spotted a bear. It stopped, I stopped and told my friends that there was a bear just ahead and I began yelling and clapping immediately. The bear took off into the bush and we didn’t see it again and we continued on our run.
So 2 positive bear experiences are a good thing (if you have to have them at all) but I must say that I’ll have the vision of a bear running around the corner right at me for awhile.