Taking the bus in a new city is always an adventure – you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen.
In Juneau, Alaska we’d read that the best way to see the Mendenhall Glacier was to take the public bus to the closest stop and hike up for the view. They were right – it was spectacular.
We were walking back to the bus stop, chatting about our adventure when we heard a commotion nearby. A huge grizzly bear emerged from the brush, swung her head warily, then fixed her gaze on us. Oh great!
Then she motioned for her two cubs to cross the road.
With a final defiant glare at us, she disappeared into the woods behind them. Whew!
Unlike our friend Curt over at Wandering Through Time and Place, who is fearless in the presence of bears, we were glad to see the backside of her!
Here’s to Bear-Free Bus Stops,
2. By Cielo de la Paz via Wikimedia Commons
3, 4. By Denali National Park and Preserve via Wikimedia Commons
I guess the people who live there are used to this but I would have found it scary.
I must admit Darlene that I don’t think I could ever get used to it. It still spooks me … especially remembering how she locked her eyes on us! 🙂 ~Terri
We were sure surprised! ~Terri
hey! whats up? i’m loving this recent post of you.
I have also blogged about some 10 good reasons why traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
here’s what my recent post is all about…
What can you say about it? would be so nice to hear from you! 🙂
All the best! xx
deanna ( http://www.talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com )
Thanks Deanna, So glad that you stopped by. I read your post and really like “#3. It restores your belief in humanity.” We all could use a good dose of that! 🙂 All the best, Terri
thank you for your response! hope you are doing well! following you now! keep me posted! cheers!
D ( http://www.talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com )
Holy crapcakes! That’s the sort of encounter one is jealous of…until it actually happens to you. But since nothing horrible happened, I’m going to go with jealousy. 😉
Great expression – I nearly splurted my coffee! 🙂 Yeah, that’s exactly what we were thinking. Trust me, there is nothing to be jealous of – we were just trying to catch a freakin’ bus, never expecting that kind of adventure. ~Terri
I think I would have been scared legless. Great photos though!
Alison, I must admit that my main goal was to get the flimsy bus shelter between us and her, little good I guess that would have done! 🙂 I was just so glad that we weren’t between her and the cubs. ~Terri
I am always amused by that piece of advice that says that if a bear comes close lay down and play dead! I saw warning signs in Yellowstone but never the real thing thank goodness.
Andrew, I always thought that advice was for saps … but there are those who swear by it. I am so glad that we didn’t have to find out! 🙂 Glad you didn’t have any encounters at Yellowstone. Are there bears there in the UK? Terri
No, nothing dangerous in England. Bears and wolves long gone although I did read that someone wanted to introduce them to his country estate in Scotland but there was a lot of objection from local people and farmers. There are wildcat in Scotland and wild boar in some of the forests in England. They can be dangerous!
Bears at the bus stop. Whoa! That will make one give second thoughts to public transit! Great story James.
Sue, it was truly an unexpected experience. We’ve camped and hiked all over, but to encounter one at a bus stop, of all places. Yikes! How about you two – any bear encounters? ~Terri
We have thankfully never had one up close and personal. Quite a few in the distance or 50 yards at least where one can step back. Hiking out of Mt Assiniboine with girlfriends the grizzly scat was steaming on the trail that’s how close we were. Se sang so loud for those hours. Someone was attacked the next week there and managed to survive. Definitely none at bus stops. 🙂
Oh wow! What a great story and quite an experience 🙂 Glad she minded her own business and not interested in you!! Wonderful photos.
Hi Le and David, I must admit it was the last thing we expected – especially being in town …. at a bus stop! I guess it’s a really good thing that she had her mind on her cubs and wanted to hurry them along. 🙂 ~Terri
those images of the bears are wonderful! wow, her ‘look’ is so intense, it’s as if she wanted to say that she was harmless and just wanted her little ones to be safe!
LIsa, it was quite a surprise to say the least. Luckily, she was more concerned about getting her cubs across the street than in us – which was fine with us. It’s a memory that’s stuck with us for sure. ~Terri
The glacier is probably a fraction of what it once was, right? Hope to see you back over at Late Bloomer soon! 🙂
This was my first glacier Kaye, and it was beautiful. Not sure of it’s relative size, but it makes sense that global warming has done its work on this glacier as well. ~Terri
Ohhhh c’mon I love them!! I am crazy to see one, its funny but I am fearless when it comes to bears… maybe I shouldnt be hahaha but I hope to see them close one day 🙂 great shots!!
Allane, I agree that bears are gorgeous animals and there’s nothing liking watching a couple of cubs frolic. But I will gladly trade places with you when it comes to getting up close and personal. 🙂 ~Terri
hahaahaha deal…. maybe after that I will change my mind about being close to a bear hahahaha 🙂
Not many people can say they saw a bear with cubs at the bus stop, very! I’m sure her main concern was the cubs crossing safely. What a neat encounter!
You’re so right Laura, and I think that’s what saved our bacon. 🙂 Do you have bears up there in your neck of the woods? ~Terri
We have black bears, but I don’t see them very often. We had one, several years ago, that lived in the woods behind our house. I’d see him 2 or 3 times a week, but he moved on.
Scary! But what a great experience once the bear had safely wandered off into the woods!
You know Emma, when she gave us that final glare before disappearing into the woods, I could almost hear her muttering, “You don’t know how lucky you are!” 🙂 ~Terri
The views are most certainly stunning. The buildings are so colourful and impressive (well kept up).
The bears are another story. I’ll skip that bus stop. 😀 😀
Tess, Juneau really is a beautiful place. When we were deciding where to visit, it came out way ahead of Anchorage. And did you know, that there are no roads into and out of Juneau. If you get there, you fly or take a ferry – and it’s the capitol of Alaska. Needless to say, the bear encounter was a shocker, but it turned out OK, and makes a good travel tale. ~James
Must have been the look on your face that changed the Mother Bear’s plan to take you out. Just because everyone else has to fly in, the bear thought, doesn’t mean I need to. Ha ha hahahahaha. Sorry. Can’t help it. Great story for sure.
Wow! But look at the shots you got! I’m assuming these are from the encounter? Although I’m not sure I’d have the courage.
Bailey, it all happened so fast and took us totally off guard, so our photos are all a brown blur. 🙂 Really! The bear photos are from Wikimedia Commons (Photo Credits at the bottom of the post) taken by the brave and talented folks at Denali National Park. I think they were much better prepared than we were (and probably had their bear spray on hand). I was just so glad she was preoccupied with her cubs and decided to move on. ~Terri
I am so glad as well! You take care of yourselves! 🙂
Wow! The clarity and detail that you captured are incredible – we would have been shaking!
Thanks, but we can’t take credit. It all happened so fast and took us totally off guard, so our photos are all a brown blur. 🙂 Really! The bear photos are from Wikimedia Commons (Photo Credits at the bottom of the post) taken by the brave and talented folks at Denali National Park. I think they were much better prepared than we were (and probably had their bear spray on hand). I was just so glad she was preoccupied with her cubs and decided to move on. ~Terri
Love your story. We were there in early June – but didn’t see a bear! So incredibly beautiful.
Many thanks Louise. We thought Juneau was a joy and were thrilled to see the glacier. However, we could have skipped the bear. 🙂 ~Terri
Thanks for the link James. Encountering huge animals with sharp teeth and big claws is always guaranteed to get the adrenaline flowing. 🙂 And a mom with a pair of cubs is even scarier. Great photos. What magnificent animals. And Juneau, a fun town for being a state capitol. It is very Alaskan in nature. I was there several times when I worked as the Executive Director of the Alaska Lung Association, mainly to lobby on tobacco and air quality issues. –Curt
You’re very welcome, Curt. I’ve always been so amazed by your bear encounters – truly amazing. We loved Juneau and the Glacier – really spectacular. Were you living in Alaska when you were the Executive Director? ~Terri
Brilliant and terrifying, especially having just watched the movie ‘The Edge.’ GGGRRRRRR.
Steve, I’m not sure who was backing up faster, me or Terri. I’m sure that you’ve heard the old joke: “I don’t really need to run faster than the bear, I just need to run faster than Terri.” ~James
I lived in Anchorage but my job took me throughout the state. It was quite an experience.
What a great story! When we visit Alaska we always make some noise by dragging our feet or talking when we are in the bush – the opposite of what we usually do. Don’t want to surprise any bears or moose!
The funny thing about this story Pam, is that there were hiking trails all around the glacier that were closed because of bears. The salmon were spawning, and I guess it was picnic time for the bears. We didn’t mind missing the hikes, but to be waiting for a bus and spot 3 bears nearby was a hoot. ~Terri
How neat. I know people pay alot of money to see bears at Katmai – you got a close look without doing that!
Hahahaa that is terrifying, I would’ve died! But cheers to a great story!
Thanks Lucia. Luckily, this is one of those events that happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to be scared. The mother wanted her cubs across the road, and she didn’t tarry, thanks goodness. It was more shock at the time, and fearful head shaking afterward. But, I can say that we were watching our watches for the arrival of the next bus. ~James
Wow! Bear encounters are one of my biggest fear when we are out in the woods…and to meet one at a bus stop!
On what I remember as my first hike with Gordon, in Yosemite, strolling along making our way back from our hike I spotted a bear down the path. There was nowhere to go as he was foraging along our route. So we back tracked and waited for what seemed like an hour before Gord convinced me we could not spend the night where we were. Eventually we venture past where we had seen him. Making lots of noise (more like me yelling swear words) we returned down the trail. It wasn’t until we got home and looking at the pictures from our trip that we discovered Gordon had captured a photo of the bear in the distance. And I hope to never experience a bear again:) – Ginette
Quite a story!
Shelley, it was one of those times when you pinch yourself afterwards and ask, “Did that just happen?” 🙂 ~Terri
What a story Ginette! I would have been singing at the top of my lungs, too. We’ve hiked and camped all over, and fortunately all our bear sightings have been from a long distance. But the bear at the bus stop changed that! James said jokingly, “Maybe we need to rethink this public transportation thing.” 🙂 ~Terri
I think I would have been equally glad. I’ve heard all sorts of stories about bears and I don’t relish the thought of a close encounter!
I’m with you Bronwyn, I’d much rather admire them from afar! 🙂 Did you ever have to work on a bear as a veterinarian? ~Terri
No! Not native to anywhere I’ve lived, and being a zoo vet is this whole other career path 🙂
Great post and what an encounter! We’re hiking the Bruce Trail in Ontario right now and our biggest fear is crossing paths with a bear…glad yours turned out well.
Yikes Carol! That sounds like bear country to me. I love a sign I saw in one of those hiking shops that sells the bells you tie to your backpack to frighten away the bears. On the sign that read Bear Bells someone had crossed out Bells and written BAIT! 🙂 I hear the Bruce Trail is gorgeous. Have fun and stay safe. ~Terri
Maybe she couldn’t ‘bear’ to wait for the bus?!
Too funny Martha! 🙂 It looked like she “bearly” had time to catch it! ~Terri
What a great story about a beautiful spot. I took a more adventurous route to view the Mendenhall Glacier by taking the gondola up to Mt. Roberts and then hiking the ridge until the glacier came into view. This only works on clear days, of course, but if there were any bears I would have seen them from some distance. No bears on that day, but I did see a few marmots.
Your story brought back some fine memories. That was the 2005 trip where I met Florence. 🙂
Mike, what a wonderful story. You definitely took the adventurous route – I’m so impressed! I bet the view was spectacular – the perfect vantage point for seeing the glacier … and bears. Glad you had a bear-free visit. 🙂 Are you and Florence home yet? ~Terri
We arrived in LA Sunday afternoon. We will be moving on to Olympia, WA at the end of the month and beginning our domestic adventures! – Mike
Way too close for comfort but a great photo and story!
Anita, I just wish we had a photo of the looks on our faces! Totally incredulous! 🙂 Terri
Wow, I would have had a heart attack! I am scared of bears and being an avid hiker that has it problems. I would love to go to Alaska someday though. Beautiful pictures!
I’m with you Nicole. I would prefer to view bears from afar. Like you, we’re avid hikers, but we’ve never had a direct bear encounter. Fingers crossed. 🙂 ~Terri
Great photo of the glacier! I’d be happy to see the backside rather than the teeth-side of any bear, let alone a grizzly! Fortunately, even with all the camping and backpacking that we’ve done, we have not had a close bear encounter.
The glacier truly is beautiful. And like you, after all our years of hiking and camping, we’ve never had a bear close encounter until this one … at a bus stop! Go figure. ~Terri
WOW! Incredible photos! She is beautiful.
True Kelly, she is a beauty – she just looked better “going” than “coming.” 🙂 With all of your adventures have you had any bear encounters? ~Terri
I can’t imagine living somewhere where bears wander around the bus stops.
I agree Marie, it certainly gives one pause for thought! Are there any bears around where you live? ~Terri
No bears in England unless you count teddy bears 🙂
I’m not sure I could have held the camera steady to take those fabulous pictures. We spent two years in Yellowstone and I always felt on high alert whenever we went hiking. If it wasn’t the grizzlies, it was elk, bison, or wolves. Hubby loved the excitement of it all.
Thanks LuAnn, but we can’t take credit for the bear photos. It all happened so fast and caught us totally off guard, so our photos are all a brown blur. 🙂 The bear photos are from Wikimedia Commons (Photo Credits at the bottom of the post) taken by the brave and talented folks at Denali National Park. I think they were much better prepared than we were (and probably had their bear spray on hand). I was just so glad she was preoccupied with her cubs and decided to move on. ~Terri
I guess I missed that, being so enamored with the photos.
I love the pictures of the bears!
They are definitely beautiful animals … from afar! 🙂 ~Terri
Encountering a bear at close range, without one of us being safely ensconced in a cage or sturdy vehicle, is a scary thought. I hope to never find out whether or not I would wet my pants!!
Joanne, I was certainly wishing I could snap my fingers “Bewitched-Style” and produce a bear-proof cage. 🙂 Alas, non appeared. I was never so glad to see the back end of an animal in my life! ~Terri
Wow, what an adventure. Nothing nearly so exciting happened to me on my hike to beautiful Mendenhall Glacier. Last night, I did see three deer on my evening stroll in my neighborhood, not quite the same thrill. A couple of years ago, I did lock eyes with a mother bobcat in my neighborhood, so I would have to multiply that scared and enchanted feeling a hundred times if I encountered a grizzly bear.
Wow, a bobcat! That’s pretty amazing! How big was it? We had a strange, but funny bobcat experience a few years ago. We had driven to a remote trailhead and were planning to take a hike. Before we got out of the car I heard soft meowing outside my window. I looked out as a tiny kitten emerged from the brush, quite determined to meet us. I said, “Awww” and started to open my door. Then I saw her complete body … no tail!!! We both said, “Yikes.” We did not want to get between the kitten and her Mama! As we drove away, Mama emerged from the brush. Whew! 🙂 ~Terri
The bobcat was about the size of a large dog. She parked herself in a grassy area along the walking trail we have in our neighborhood for a day. Her three cubs were across the street in a tree overhanging the deck of one of my neighbors. By the time I found out about the cubs, mother bobcat had herded them somewhere else. She really gave me a stare! And a scare!
Amazing and beautiful animal… but I’d be so scared!
I agree with you Renata, bears are beautiful, majestic animals. And it’s so fun to watch cubs play together. I just want to do it from farther away. 🙂 So glad that you stopped by. All the best, Terri
Amazing story, and great photography! 🙂
Thank you Christine. It certainly wasn’t what we anticipated when we started the day. 🙂 I’m really enjoying your cabinet of curiosities – one of my favorite concepts. Glad you stopped by. ~Terri
Oh, run of the mill stuff for Curt but rather wonderful, if scary for you! How lovely the photo of the family is.
Yeah, Curt probably would have been teaching the cubs how to play chess in a few minutes, with Mama Bear looking on approvingly! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. ~Terri