Bear country

Time for a new blogpost. 

Canada is great. It is green here, there is a lot of water everywhere (we can drink the creekwater without filtering it!), it is wide, calm and wild and we are here exactly at the right moment when the bears are around.

Oh no, not that one. This one:

This is mister black bear and we met him on our second day of cycling, just before Whistler. We have had eight bear encounters so far. The closest one was today. Peter and Esmé went to the Millenium Park here in Castlegar to have a swim. Peter was sitting on a bench and suddenly Esmé said: “Look, a bear!” Peter turned around and mister bear got frightened and ran off. He was only two meters away from Peter and Esmé. Normally we do carry a bear spray, just in case one would attack us, but in a town at a playground Peter did not expect one. Anyway, this one was clearly not interested in the chewy meat of cyclists. Furthermore Esmé is very funny with bears. When we see one she would say: “Come on, let’s go there!” As if we were in a zoo or she wanted to cuddle it. Peter and I feel releaved when we are far away from it again.

This is what you should do with your food when wild camping in bear country. Hang everything that smells in a tree, also your toothpaste and trash. It is a little adjustment we had to get used to, especially in the evening. The kids now can’t eat anything anymore after dinner, also not if they are hungry. Food has to be cooked at 100m distance from the tent and also the teeth have to be brushed there, to avoid a bear coming to the tent. It is a little hassle and slows us down in the evening and the morning.

We have done some rough routes already, though none of them has been as tough as in Guatemala or Mexico. In general the dirtroads are very good and the climbs are not too steep.

This was the logging road along Lillooet Lake and Harrison Lake:

We did parts of the Kettle valley railway, an old railway which now is a recreational path. It is about 600km long. The old railway bridges and tunnels have been a lot of fun, especially for the kids, but unfortunately the surface of the trail is often very bad. It has just a little bit too much sand or rocks on it to make it uncomfortable to cycle on it with the weight we carry. But the views have been great and there is no traffic there:

Besides bearspotting …

… and relaxing …

… Ben is busy constructing huts in the forest …

… and making campfires. This is the first campfire he made and kept going himself:

Peter enjoys beautiful views during walks on restdays …

… and feeds baby raccoons who lost their mum:

Esmé just got her own Weehoo (she outgrew the childseat at the back of Peter’s bike) and she loves it! 

And I? I enjoy taking those pictures and sharing them with you. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Bear country

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