September 7, 2009

Bearly a Trail

 Those who know Steve know that actually following a trail on a hike is his exception, certainly not his rule.
This was our trail along the Strawberry River. See it?
I didn't, either.
There WAS a little bit of a path between those willows, and it might have been followed by a few humans. The only traveler who'd left a calling card, though, was bear.
Yep, that stuff with all the berry seeds in it is bear scat. (The glove is for size only. Steve wasn't planning to pick it up for examination, thank goodness.)
Bear or no, the fish beckoned, so we burrowed through the tall willows, admiring the scenery when we could.
A Great Blue Heron (I think) posed for us,
giving us a suspicious look before flying away.
The beaver are active along this stream, but the spring flows breached some of the dams.
The beaver built this dam, and put a smattering of 6 inch rocks across it. I've never noticed rocks on a dam before. I wonder how beaver carry rocks. And why? To make the dam sturdier?
We saw yellow monkey-flower along the stream, along with thistle and nettles that made walking a bit uncomfortable.
Steve caught a half dozen decent sized fish, most of them cutthroat, so he was happy. (No photographs.  I was too busy sitting in the shade, reading.) Daisy swam in every available pool, of course.
Late in the afternoon, Steve crossed the stream to do a little more fishing and happened upon a fresh print that looked like this:
Huh. It was either Bigfoot, or a BEAR. Probably the latter.
Steve crossed back over to my side, and we followed the bear-ly there "trail" on back to the truck.
Getting home before dark sounded good to me.

For views from other worlds, click here.


  1. A wonderful hike and fresh fish from the river, you are blessed! I guess it is scary to see one of these big paws and I would turn around very quickly. On the other hand I think it is beautiful to be in a place where still wild things roam. We follow a series "Stephen Fry in America." It is a fantastic show. The landscapes are out of this world.

  2. The bear scat has a rather unfortunate resemblance to some 'healthy' museli type snack bars I've seen! yum!

  3. Janie, I enjoyed your wonderful photos. They show what a beautiful world you and Steve wander in, hopefully without the bears...

  4. What a great hike. Bear scat? bear prints? I am no genius, but I suspect there are bears in the area.
    Happy Monday.

  5. I think I would turned back when I found the bear scat! Lovely shots of your world as usual. I bet the heron didn't like you fishing in *his* area. Glad all of you (including Daisy) had a good time.

  6. What terrific shots! And what a gorgeous place -- bears and all as long as I don't have to meet up with them face to face. Hmmmm that bear scat does look some "healthy snack food" I saw recently!

    Have a great week!


  7. That was a great tour. That blue heron is lovely. These elusive fellows amaze me. I am glad you got those shots. Thanks!

  8. Very interesting Janie. Boy! How you educate me. And a lot!

    What could have happen if you did encounter one and a fierce one?

    No, I think maybe Bears do also instinctively know that you are harmless humans and not a threat to their territory. You reckon I am right? I'm not sure as we don't have that here? Or how much do I know?

    So, what did you do with the fish? I am very good in cooking fish but I prefer broiled or barbecue!

  9. Glad you never caught up with that bear in person so to speak...gorgeous scenery...

  10. NIce photos.I am really looking foward seeing your posts.To be surpriced you are closed to bear!! How do you do when you would see bear? Your trail is great!!

  11. beautiful photos! sad that i live in utah also and have never been to this area, maybe now i will get off my keester and visit! thanks!

  12. What an adventure! I like the glove comparison with the paw and scat. I have not seen bear scat with berries in it. Happy bear-ly trails!

  13. Hi Janie, That bear (or bears) were probably close-by watching you... That was a huge 'batch' of scat.... That bear probably felt pretty good after that one... ha ha

    Love those rocks along the river... That looks a little like OUR area of the country.

    Neat print of the bear. My friend Judy would be going the OTHER direction if she saw that scat and bear print.... She is deathly afraid of bears--although they are probably more afraid of her than she is of them.

    Thanks for sharing us your 'Bear un-Trail' trip...

  14. Your hikes/rides are never dull, are they? I'm glad you didn't see any more of the bears than scat and prints. I'm also glad you got these great pictures and could do some reading while Steve was fishing.

  15. That must be one well fed bear! I hope you let Steve lead to make you some kind of trail. Sure is beautiful country.

  16. I'm glad you didn't meet up with that bear.

  17. Wow... Seems like an interesting adventure...
    My Travelogue

  18. Always nice to drop by here. I get to hike and see the wonderful landscape without really huffing and puffing after 15 minutes :)

    Enjoy the rest of the week.

  19. Oh Janie, your Steve reminds me of our older son and his family who love hiking and the outdoors.He (my son) also likes to take the "road less travelled" Thanks for this lovely interesting post. You are blessed to live and wander around in the unspoilt wilds. Have a great day. You've helped make mine! (((Hugs))) Jo

  20. This is a real hike! I prefer that to the one I made in the city of Rotterdam with its millions of inhabitants. You must have felt free and happy in the natural habitat of bear and blue heron.Thanks for sharing this.

  21. wonderful post! alwasy such a pleasure breezing through your blog!

  22. Perfect place! I like nature but i can't enjoy the walk when i think that i'll probably meet something with a big footprint like this in your photo.

  23. Hi Janie

    I don't know how you could sit and read in comfort knowing who your neighbours are...

    Are they inquisitive enough to come and check you out?

    Happy days

  24. I love your bear-ly there trail and am still chuckling. Nice of the bear to leave the first calling card to alert you to his/her presence.
    Beautiful country and fishing hole.
    I wonder the bear did not follow your fishy trail though.

  25. I am sure the bear wasn't anxious to meet you either, and that is a good thing. Big paw print and impressive sized droppings. Love the juvenile Great Blue Heron. They really have a wide distribution in the continent.

  26. BEAR in mind that your text and pictures are very good! Nest time lets see a picture of a bear!!

  27. Janie: I wonder if you were going to see bears. You certainly saw all the signs of bear life. I enjoyed your romp through the wild.

  28. You are so lucky! What a wonderful place. I like the use of the glove--is that why you take it with you--makes a change from a matchbox or a ruler!

  29. Beautiful and lovely shots Janie !! I enjoyed this trip completely..Great post..Unseen Rajasthan

  30. What a journey! I'm thinking Big Foot - LOL!

  31. Hi Janie,
    I actually thought of you this Am on my trail run - someone on horseback had preceded me. That was one big bear, judging from the scat and the back paw. Looks like you were in prime bear habitat - hiking through the willows always make me start saying, "Hey bear!"

  32. steve responds,
    a word on bears for those interested:
    chances of actually encountering one of Utah's wary black bears [no grizz since the 1920's] in the backcountry are low because they usually fear humans, but one should be prepared.
    how to respond to a bear sighting is complex, depending on species, sex, presence of cubs, age, proximity, your geographic location, time of day, protective gear, size and makeup of your party, etc.
    but bear sightings are becoming more common and anyone going into bear habitat should educate themselves and have both a defensive and offensive plan of action.
    for example, rangers in Yellowstone National Park advise us at the backcountry office to travel in groups of at least 4 since a group of that size will rarely go unnoticed by bears due to scent, noise and size. and they educate hikers on much more as well as any recent reports so a visit with the backcountry rangers is a must, even for a non permit day hike.

    i have seen news of Utah black bear sightings at heavily used camp sites, where i have seen lots of food scraps in the area and unattended coolers full of goodies out on tables all day.

    but i have asked clean camping backcountry horse outfitters and hikers if they have seen black bear near their campsites in backcountry sites and so far the answer has been no.

    "clean camp" definition=not a single scrap of food in reach of a bear; all food, scraps, empty cans, wrappers, etc, either attended or hung on bear line out of reach. and no burning food in fire. no fish slime or food contamination of sleeping cloths. no snacks in tent which is pitched at least 100 yards from cooking site.
    my definition of "backcountry"=no road within 5 miles.
    so the well informed and prepared hiker has little to fear.
    we have not seen a single bear on our utah hikes of the past 18 years. but i bet they have seen us.


  33. Cute post. Glad you didn't have a close encounter with that bear!

  34. Very cool post. We have black bears in Southeast Oklahoma. They haven't made themselves a problem yet.

  35. What a wonderful My World Post. Always enjoy going on your rides/hikes.

  36. My goodness I wonder how close you were to the bear! Nice catch on the heron!



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