Tag Archives: bears

Jake And Maggie


As we left Bozeman, Montana, on our way to Yellowstone National Park, we passed by a huge sign advertising an up close and personal experience with Grizzly Bears.

Fred’s typical response of “Do you want to stop?” was met with silence. I had images of cages of bears behind bars and expensive admission prices; it really wasn’t my cup of tea, as I don’t like seeing wild animals in confinement. But he pulled in and just as he started talking to the woman at the entrance booth, my phone rang and I was consumed with a conversation with our daughter, so really missed his entire conversation, and before I knew it, we were in the lot, parked, and walking around.

Meet Jake and Maggie.


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Somewhere between west Glacier and Bozeman, after becoming insatiated about Grizzlies, I picked up this book “In The Presence of Grizzlies” by Doug and Andrea  Peacock, which is an excellent book about the world of Grizzlies. Thanks to these folks, (an excellent highly recommend book by the way) I’ve learned just how complicated the Human / Grizzliy world is, politically, environmentally, and financially.




Without writing an entire essay on the subject, let’s just assume that Bozeman Grizzly Encounter is a pretty reputable place where they rescue grizzly bears from very unfortunate circumstances. These bears cannot be turned back into the wild, without getting themselves shot, so I guess this is a good solution. The bears are on display for short periods of time, well fed, have a reasonable environment to hang out in, and seem to have good spirits. (Yes I believe these intelligent animals do indeed have spirits.) The place is purely educational, costing $7.00 each, which goes for care and food.

Although I could have stayed for hours and hours watching these guys interact, we only met Jake and Maggie, as the other bears came out on a rotational basis, and we needed to get on the road before it got too late.


Jake Enjoying His Pond


Some Bear Yoga


Keeping Those Teeth Sharp


Oh Sweet Maggie


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Don’t Dare Me


I had another entire memory disk of photos of Jake and Maggie, actually standing up on hind legs, wrestling with each other, and displaying incredible bear posturing. That disk unfortunately became corrupted when the card reader got banged and fell out of the computer during transfer. At least I did switch cards while there, so Jake and Maggie still live on in my photo collection.


Wandering Along The St. Joe

8/4/14 – 8/5/14

Leaving Idaho, we pulled ourselves away from Harrison and the Osprey, and passed by St. Maries, where we wandered along the gorgeous St. Joe River.

Even though campgrounds line the river, many were full of campers / aka fishermen enjoying some fishing.

As night was fast falling, we were kind of grumpily looking for a nice little spot, when we came across a dirt road pullout with two campfire rings right on the river. We pulled in, set up, ate some  quick dinner, and settled in until morning.


View From The Van Door
View From The Van Door


Rugged mountains, clear flowing water, and many colors of beautiful rocks greeted us along with the morning sun.


The Beautiful And Rugged St. Joe River
The Beautiful And Rugged St. Joe River


We walked the river, enjoyed the scenery, collected some rocks, guessed what they were, and wondered about minerals.


Bounty Of Color
Bounty Of Color


At one point in life, we would have hauled this bounty of collected rocks around with us, and taken them home for memories. Now, after learning to enjoy life with less stuff, we created a sacred circle of the rocks on top of a stump and left them for the next person to enjoy, or for Mother Nature to take back to the river with next winter’s storms and flooding river banks. We’re learning to enjoy the beauty of the moment, without having to possess it’s artifacts.


Indian Pipe


Growing right along a path, where back country hikers travel off the main trail to camp in this same spot, we found this delicate little beauty, Monotropa hypopithys.

And lots of these purple Asters.


Wild Asters


Languishing in the Beauty, we eventually packed up and continued down the highway, which, by the way, turned into gravel the moment  we crossed the Montana border. Stopping for a toilet break at the next camping spot we were gently reminded that we were now entering GRIZZLY country.




I really hope that a hunter out hunting bear knows the difference between a black bear and a Grizz,  but I suppose unfortunately there are some hunters out there that really don’t know.  Anyway, I really enjoy these signs posted everywhere.  They are educational for the rest of us!