When a mama bear stands up to a on coming car to protect her cubs, and when you are in the on coming car, believe me…you STOP! On our drive today to Stewart, which is in Canada and only 3 miles from Hyder Alaska, we were the first on the scene of this proud, protective mama and her two little cubs. We have LOTS of pictures, which we shall show later, but I just had to open today’s blog with this wonderful picture. And I will always remember the picture I missed…when before mama stood up to the car, one of the cubs stood up to the other cub as they played out in the middle of the highway! It was one of those “hitting the off button instead of the zoom button” type of things. As I realized what I had done, turned the camera back on, the little cub was back on all fours again. Darn…opportunity missed.
We had not been on the highway very long this morning before we started to pass Eddontenajon lake. There was a rest area turnout, but numerous travelers were already parked in there so I continue on…after all, we had only been driving 9 miles so far. Marcia yells, “Stop!”, so I start to slow. What is it? A bear? A moose?? Nope, it is a rainbow out in the middle of the lake. No wonder people were stopping at the rest area, and thank goodness there were other small pullouts where we could stop and get pictures too. But the camera is not working right…every time she snaps a picture it says, “still writing…” Hmm, sounds like someone forgot to put in the SD Card into the camera. Quick fix, and Marcia gets her pics of her Rainbow. Now we both own Rainbows.
But that is not good enough for Marcia…we drive just a short distance and its another “Stop!” She gets this picture of a double rainbow. If you look closely to the right of the big rainbow in the picture above, there is the start of another rainbow! Marcia got a Double Rainbow!
The next 40-50 miles the scenery is awesome (above pictures). More lakes, distance mountains, blue skies with wonderful fluffy clouds. We couldn’t ask for a better morning. You wonder how long can this go on for? (below pictures)
That takes us another 40 miles or so…this is just so mind blowing, so pretty, so awesome. What could be nicer? And then…
I spot a black dot in the road ahead…”Marcia, do you see it?” Yep, she is on it…window down, and she takes this shot. Always try and get a shot first, no matter the distance…you never know when wildlife will just dart away.
After the first shot, you zoom in just a bit…”There are two of them Dave,” she says. I am still slowly bringing the motorhome to a halt…quick stops make noise…and we need to find that right distance where we can observe, but not be in their way.
I have come to a stop, moved to the right, have flashers on…no other cars in sight. Marcia hands me the camera because with her hurt arm, it is hard to keep the camera steady for a full zoom in. You zoom in with a camera, and you have to have a steady hand. Also, leaning out the left window you can hold the camera steady with your left hand, and zoom, focus, shoot with your right…and hope that you don’t turn it off!
So my first shot is zoomed in a bit…and thank goodness mama has decided to go back to the other side of the road, giving me just a few more pictures to take.
And add to the above list…getting child number two from out of the grass.
With full family in tow, mama starts to make it to the other side…
…then she stops and smells.
Safely back to the other side, mama looks back to the left…
…another quick look at us…we are still the only vehicle around, and I am sure she told the kids to stay in place, and off to the left side she heads. But danger is at hand…
I saw the car first, and I quickly flash my lights at it…the car slows, I get back on the camera and mama is nearly to the other side…but “junior” wants its mama, while the larger cub obeys and lays in place.
The larger cub sees the car coming, runs to tell mom (who I am sure knows of the oncoming car, but she is still sniffing into the brush)…
…whatever it is, she does not want to rush in there…and now it is time to confront the oncoming car. The cubs don’t sense the danger that she knows all to well. The people in the car…well, they just slowly keep coming…there is now a car behind us too, but they stop far behind us, the guys gets out and has his camera going.
And mama takes a stand. In the opening picture of this LONG blog she stands, and the car stops. Now in the shots directly above the car has moved over, and the passenger is hanging out taking pictures. Mama gathers the little ones, who are in WOW of mama standing up to this this mechanical creature which was headed toward them, and she shoos them to the side of the road.
In an instant the cubs are gone, and mom is right behind them. WOW, did we actually just see all of that? For 3-5 minutes we had the show of a lifetime. First it was a private show…then it was a group show. The oncoming car starts back up and we wave at each other. Part of me wanted it to be our “special wave”, because I felt they violated the space of this mother bear and her cubs. On the other hand, due to this violation, we got a show which we could have never imagine happening to us. Eventually the people behind us, who I had talked to previous and who also are from Florida, honk and wave as they pass by. It was such a special show…
This post is too long as it is…and our trip today is only half over…and we have two more bears to share and lots more scenery including some glaciers with all shades of blue. So absorb this post, and move on to part 2 when I get it posted.
We did not have Internet for three days, so "IF" you did not see the previous post "Cassiar Highway is Breathtaking – and a Moose with a Calf", just click now. I will try and have part 2 posted tomorrow (August 2nd) along with another post about our time in Stewart BC and Hyder Alaska.