Going for a hike in the Sierras this “early” in the season is not all that easy this year. Case in point, our family outing a few days ago.
We all piled in the car (everyone but the cat) and headed for a favorite trail head, only to have it so covered in snow that the parking area was closed (not to mention the trail head wasn’t visible).
Plan B: head for slightly lower elevation.
Success! Parked, leashed/harnessed/bjorned up and hit the trail. Less than 10 minutes in, I see a BEAR. A real one, not 50 yards from us.
Yes, it saw us; looked right at us. Yes, it was really cute. Yes, I really wanted to take a picture of it. But every hair on my body stood on end and the fight-or-flight response was in full effect. We needed to get the hell out of there before the bear noticed our snack-sized dog! (not to mention children) There was no way that bear was going to fuck with this mama’s cubs.
We started heading back to another trail. We could see the same bear heading down the canyon and back up. To the trail. Right in front of us. ABORT! It didn’t see us this time, so I got out my camera, but sadly only got a blurry, sasquatch-sighting type picture. Missed opportunity, for sure. But at least the bear didn’t have the glare from a lens pissing it off.
Plan C: head down to lake level.
We ended up at the dog park, which has a flattish trail loop next to it. It wasn’t the “hike” I was hoping for, but at least we were all able to do it without fear of attack by anything other than a mosquito.