I couldn't help myself - I wasn't going to post today before leaving - but I saw a bear and at least one cub in the forest. Seeing ursines in their natural habitat, foraging like bears have done for eons is a true gift!
As I rolled downhill, I saw the bulky black sow, foraging in a tangle of aspens and shrubs, before she saw me. Once the mother bear sensed me, she stood up tall on her hind legs to figure out what I was. Her brown snout stood out from the rest of her jet black fur.Once she identified me as a human, she started lumbering up the hill away from the trail. I clearly saw one tiny jet-black replica of the mother bear walking in her wake. I thought that I saw a second cub trailing a little further behind but I wasn't sure.They'd been feasting at an ant hill that I passed a minute later.And, broken branches with claw marks in the dirt below some bushes told me that they'd been enjoying Buffalo berries along the same trail.Now, we're truly leaving for our vacation. The fire that I wrote about yesterday is out (thank you to our wonderful volunteer fire fighters) so that's not a worry. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes!