Bear Hug

After three years, the grizzly cubs leave their mom but sometimes some siblings are so bonded they hang out for an extra one or two years, then go off on their own. Here my friends, are two bonded grizzly bears.

Ahhhhhh…….. Awww….how cute. It’s hard not to squeal in delight. Try to make as little noise as possible so you don’t scare them off. They were two young, curious bears that kept walking closer towards the bridge where we all stood. They didn’t feel aggressive, they were sniffing the air and looked at us and the truck, they were young and inquisitive.

Isn’t this the happiest looking bear in the world? Look at his/her smile, the other sibling looks a bit serious or maybe a little sad.

Grizzly bear noses are 7 times better than a bloodhound dog, the average dog is better than human noses by 100 and the blood hound is 300 times better than the average dog. That’s 2100 times better than human noses. The teenage bears kept sniffing the air in our direction and looking at the truck parked closest to them.

Then they walked even closer so our guides told us all to go back to the cars. As soon as we hopped in the cars, the bears headed towards the river so yay, outdoor time again with the bears.

I love how one bear climbed in the water and scared the other one so it took off a for a bit. Awww…what a big furry baby.

Somebody looks naked! It’s Happy bear! Look at that grin.

It’s very rare to see bears play flight. Gary is out everyday guiding grizzly bear tours and it was the first time this year he saw it. Woohoo for us!

Waterfalls and fog.

To wrap up our tour, the guides brought us to a gorge, no salmon can swim up this river as the currents are too strong. I heard they were turning this into a hydro power project and Vic heard they already did, so we aren’t sure whose correct. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot. The tribal council is going to have a meeting and brainstorm ideas on what would be good and profitable for the council since logging will cease for 2 years (they went over their quota). They respect nature and take what they need.

At all times we felt 100% safe and we enjoyed our guides. Our group of 10 split in two, we were in Norm’s car. Norm taught us a little about his native language which he didn’t lose dispute the beatings and abuse he endured at Canadian Indian Reform School, this is where their culture and language was beaten and forced out of them; a very sad time in history. It’s sad Native American languages are being lost everyday, it doesn’t help that young people don’t want to learn it (we need more history buffs in the world, would help a little). But we have people like Norm who have a passion for it and preserve it as best as possible. I see Norm as a hero because no matter what happened to him, he held on to who he is and that is a beautiful story; it’s not easy for a person to hold on to who they are under forced conditioning.

Norm wearing traditional hat made of ceder bark and shawl, not sure what to call it.

We were so sad to leave our furry friends. Vic and I pray the tribal council likes the idea of an eco-inn; Kenny told us that he mentioned it a few years ago and it was shot down, one can always hope because it felt extremely magical in Toba Inlet. We would have paid to stay at the logger’s hotel just to be able to wake up and go to sleep with this view.

The Earth is a very magical place.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.”- Carl Sagan.

Support local mom and pop, locally owned, environmentally responsible companies. Where we spend our money really does matter. If you venture to Campbell River for a grizzly tour, we highly recommend Aboriginal Journeys, they are First Nation owned. We’d gladly book again with them.

Thank You, Gary for an incredible day. Thank You, Klahoose First Nation for welcoming us on your land, allowing us to experience its great wonders and to step foot where your ancestors did.

Equipment & clothing tip: We suggest bringing a rain sleeve. The Nikon D800 is weather sealed and so was the lens, Tamron 150-600m G2 but moisture got into both. Water was building up in the viewfinder and there was some damage, had to send the D800 in for repair. Nature will always prevail. Pack rain clothing just in case, may come in handy.


16 thoughts on “Bear Hug

      1. I’ll be staying in, it’s really cold. Maybe on New Years day we’ll go to the movies. I want to see Jumanji. It looks funny. It snowed a little today which was nice.

  1. Thank you for continually getting a city lover to appreciate the wonders of the natural world (including the lesser spotted Norm!). great photos and engaging commentary.

    1. Thanks! I’m a pure bred city slicker. Took me a really long time to try and get outside my comfort zone. I’m happy I’m doing it but not always happy while I’m out there. The bear were great.

  2. What gorgeous photos of the bears! Thank you for the link to the First Nation touring company. I so agree: “Where we spend our money really does matter.”

    Where did you end up staying during your visit?

  3. Incredible photographs and what a story to tell. I’ve been out in the wild and have only seen black bears ~ and even those were so far off I never got the sense of them. These photos, it seems you are part of the sleuth (I looked up what a pack of bears are called 🙂 ). The Campbell River, this will have to be another destination …so many, and still just in the PNW. Beautiful post.

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