Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bear With Us -- Kootenay National Park

Black Bear, Kootenay National Park

Getting tired of seeing bears yet?  Well, we aren’t.  The scoop of how this bear “looked right us” later in our story…

Kootenay National Park

Yes, today was not the brightest of days.  Started to rain lightly last night, continued into the morning.  We left around 11 am headed for Radium Hot Springs so that we could travel through Kootenay National Park again…this is the route we took bringing the motorhome up to Banff, and there was some scenery which just blew by us faster than we liked…especially said bear taken a few days ago.  I doubt the bear in this post is the same bear as we posted on Sunday, but they were within 5 miles of each other.

Kootenay National Park

One thing we wanted to try and capture was the color of the river.  Without the sun rays interacting with the glacier silt, the brilliant turquoise color just was not there.  Yes, it was still sort of a turquoise blue, but it was not like we saw on Sunday.  In the above picture, that is a small waterfall coming off the snow pack.

Kootenay National Park      Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park

Well, so much for that idea.  Should have pulled the motorhome over back on Sunday when the sun was out, and the water was such a cool color…live and learn.

West Entrance, Kootenay National Park

As we got closer to Radium Hot Springs, it started to rain very hard…this lasted just a few miles.  In the town of Radium Hot Springs (there is a town, and also Radium Hot Springs Pools, the latter of which is part of the park system), we got gas and took a break, turned around and entered the park again.  This entrance is very majestic with the narrow walls sort of a slot canyon opening.  The dots on the picture are rain drops on the windshield…nothing we could do about that.

Deer, Kootenay National Park      Deer, Kootenay National Park

Wildlife crossing near BanffWe saw a lot of deer, but they were all safely behind the 10-12 foot high fence which borders much of the highway to “keep them safe”…which also keeps them safe from being photographed by those who love to photograph wildlife.  This area has many crossing the animals can take to go to the other side, most going under the highway.  This picture showing the two car tunnels (taken a few days ago) are more common in the Banff area, where the animals are expected to go over the highway.  It seems to work because we have yet to see any dead animals…but there are some areas where there is no fence, so you still have to be very alert in those areas.

Black Bear, Kootenay National Park

Which brings us to the story of the one bear that we did see today.  We are headed back from Radium Hot Springs, and Marcia closes her eyes for a bit, turns her head towards the passenger window…opens them a minute later and yells, “BEAR!”   I did not see it, but she said it was right up against the concrete barrier which keeps wayward cars from going off the highway…I almost used said barrier when she yelled bear.

I turn around where it was safe, came back and passed where the bear was, turned around again and pulled over…all of this despite the “No Stopping Signs” along the road here due to high bear activity.   It is raining fairly well, and if you look close at the bear you can see the rain coming down.  She hangs the camera out the car, gets the above picture.  “Look over here,” she says to the bear.  “Dave, the bear won’t look over here…”

Black Bear, Kootenay National Park

Well, I have the solution for that.  “Skruffy, give them a holler,” which is my cue to Skruffy whenever I want her to bark.  She obeys.  Click, Click, and we get the two pictures of the bear looking our way…and off I drive before one of the two Sheriff cars comes by that we saw working the highways today.  (In fact, we saw three different cars getting tickets or warnings, all for speeding, while all of Sunday we did not see any officers outside of the boarder guards.   Go figure.

Athena Pizza and Spaghetti House
Tonight I went by Athena Pizza and Spaghetti House and picked up two small pizzas and a side order of Calamari.  They do deliver, but we don’t have working phones here in Canada.  They open at 5, I got there at 5, and was walking back to the car at 5:20.  Marcia did not know about the Calamari, which she devoured, along with one piece of pizza.  Closest thing to Greek food we have around here.  I had to get this picture off the Internet…I took a few interior shots with my cell phone…but I don’t have a signal to send them to my email, and I don’t want to figure out how to get them off with a USB hookup.  The restaurant in on the second floor, and there are nice window seats.  I had a nice talk with Josh, who is from Ireland visiting Canada for two years.

Tomorrow, we are driving up and over to Yoho National Park. 

6 comments:

  1. Never too many bear photos!! Great shot of the bear looking at you:)

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    Replies
    1. Skruffy comes through again, and Marcia was real good on the camera, although she was worried about the rain getting on the lens.

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  2. I have to say the bears look a little healthier this year. Outside the park you won't have quite so many officers to contend with, but watch out for stopped and slowing cars. Love the pictures even without the sun!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think the one bear I ran into (away from is more like it) looked thin, all the rest have been big.

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  3. Skruffy, the great bear hunter. Actually I'm surprised you had to tell him to bark.

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    Replies
    1. Skruffy is pretty short, so she can't always look out the window. We have used her a few times over the years to have animals pop their heads up, or turn towards us.

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