On Sunday and Thursday last week, Willow and I went for bike rides on some of the woods and ATV trails around East Scotch Settlement. Sunday's ride was in the evening and a little later than I usually go (especially after a not-so-fun incident earlier in the year where I promptly got lost for about half an hour in the woods about 30 minutes from home.) So, on Sunday, I turned from Annidale Siding Rd onto the marked ATV trail (830), biked around a corner and saw a large black bear trotting about 20 feet in front of us. The bear was heading in the same direction and Willow first saw it, ran closer and barked once. Once she saw the size of the bear, Willow took off in the opposite direction, leaving me in her dust. I yelled out and startled the bear enough that it too took off into the woods. Because the bear had took off in another direction, we continued biking along the trail. For the rest of the short ride, Willow jumped at every snap of a stick or odd sound from the woods beside us. She came back panting and took a couple of hours to settle down. It was quite the sight! I've always had a personal rule to make lots of noise in the woods — and using that rule of thumb, I've never had any close run-ins with bears until this time when we were a bit more silent beforehand than perhaps we should have been. To not see a bear means you're doing your job!
On Thursday, we went out again unphased for the most part, this time in the rain and with some more music from my bike bell. We did see some more bear scat along the way on most of the trails we've taken, but I've yet to see what kind of bikes they're riding! Here's a photo of Annidale Rd.
Here's a huge blueberry field just off the 830 trail leading to Salmon Creek Rd.
They had already harvested for the year, but there was still some trail mix available.
An old cemetary in the old community of Boydsdale off Annidale Rd.
A photo from last year's trip with Kris around the same area. We found a great paw print from Mr. Bear. There's some good weight displacement there!