Seeing a Grizzly in the wild for the first time is something we won’t ever forget.
On our first morning in West Glacier, we woke up really early to drive around and see if we could spot one. Five minutes later, around 6 am, there it was. A beautiful, healthy, young grizzly. It was probably two years old, had just left its mother after hibernation and was looking for a place to live on its own. It was really close to the car when we saw it (about 30/40 yards), but as soon as we stopped, it ran away. Then, it stopped at around 100 yards from us, and looked back. “What are those scary creatures?”, he probably wondered. We took some pictures and he ran away again.
Seeing a grizzly for the first time is magical. There is excitement, there is wonder, there is fear, and there is a dream-like feeling that you are not quite yourself.
Our first encounter with a grizzly was the perfect encounter : very safe, not too far but not too close, and of course a scared and non agressive bear.
We saw this grizzly a few times more, in the car and always in the same area, and once, when hiking with a very nice couple we met there. Every time, it ran away.
We stayed 10 days in Glacier National Park. Waking up at six, we would drive around very slowly until nine o’clock, and do the same thing again from about 6 to 9 pm. The weather was with us, and the wildlife abundant. Bearwise, we saw 5 grizzlies (one of them being a cutie one-year old) and 7 black bears (3 of them were adorable little cubs. Unfortunately, they were too far away to take pictures of).
Alex went out of the car sometimes, to have a better angle, or to get closer (while staying not too far from the car, and his bear-spray ready). I was terrorized, waiting for Alex to return in the car, or to jump out of the car, screaming and bear-spraying (fortunately, the latter only happened in my imagination). I still wonder what is the most stressing situation, mine or his.