Around these parts, living on
summer means sailing. This year we spent
plenty of time on the water—playing on beaches and in driftwood forts, catching
Dungeness crab, and even discovering a few new anchoring spots (after all these
years!)—but we also took some other road trips.
The best of these involved a visit to where we were blessed
with glorious weather, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of wildlife sightings. Mountain sheep, goats, marmots, a
coyote—every turn in the road seemed to bring a new critter to photograph and
marvel at. Glacier
The weather was in the 90s on our journey so there were plenty of stops to swim in rivers, lakes, and swimming pools, but the highlight of the trip (if you ask our son) was when we were walking our dog Skipper along Canyon Creek in
NE Washington (on our way to Montana). Ben and I had been talking about the
possibility of encountering bears, and he had just finished reading a What To
Do If You Encounter a Bear brochure we had picked up at a tourist information
kiosk. As we walked along the trail and
Ben started making nonsense noises (“The brochure said to make noise when
you’re in the woods, Dad”) we heard a branch snap in the woods and Ben said,
“It’s probably a bear!” “It’s probably
not,” I replied. “I’m going to check it
out,” said Ben, stepping a few yards off the trail, into the woods. A moment later he turned back to me, eyes
wide, and said, “I just saw a bear!”
“No, you didn’t,” I said, figuring he was just trying to get a rise out
of Daddy. So I stepped off the trail and
looked in the direction he indicated. I
saw something black amongst the tree trunks maybe twenty yards away. Probably some abandoned piece of mining
equipment, I reckoned (such junk/artifacts littered the area). Then the black “thing” turned its head, and I
said, “THAT’S A BEAR!” We backtracked to
our vehicle, hearts racing and smiles plastered on our faces….
Momma had to work, so she was not with us on this particular trip. Although she was sad to miss all the Glacier sights, she was just fine with missing our bear encounter!
Summer vacation ended last week, but the memories will last a lifetime. And now it’s time to return to writing….