Black bear, Brown picknicktable and a White Lars ...
Pitching my tent at Jenny Lake campground I heared some children shouting all the time.
' Ho way hair !'
What are they doing I thought, keep it quiet !
' Go away hair !' It kept going ...
Now I listed a bit better and heared they were shouting : ' Go away bear !'
I listened even better and yes, they were definately shouting ' Go away bear !!!'
Yeah, right .... As if you could chase away a bear by shouting ' now go away you naughty bear !'
But they kept shouting so I decided, curious as I was, to have a look ...
I grabbed my camera and walked over, it was just behind some bushes where I just pitched my tent.
I saw a woman in between the trees, not children, wearing a safetyjacket and a walkie talkie.
' Eh, mam ?'
' MAM !?'
For a split second she looked at me and I asked: ' Is there a bear ?'
' Yes' she said.
' I am camping right behind here mam, am I safe here ?'
' Yes' she said, ' go back to your tent and put all your food in the bear box'
' Oke ' I said and when I walked back to my tent I saw the bear in the bushes, 50 metes away from me.
Now I know not to run away from any animal but it was ' far ' away and I followed my instinct and ran, oke, quick-walked to my tent and climbed on top of a picknick table.
Just in time, here came the bear, right towards me !
I shoot some pictures but the bear kept on coming, right to where I was standing !
10 meters away now ...
Two rangers behind the bear, chasing it away ...
5 meters ....
' Mam, I am disabled you know, I can not do anything !'
My eyes were fixed on the bear, no time for pictures anymore ... ( wouldn't be good pictures anyway, a bit shaken I was ... )
The bear so close !
4 meters ...
' Mam ?!?'
' You will be fine sir !
In the mean time I grabbed my 25 % ammonia bottle and opened it ( it can spray but only a short distance, like a meter ... But some americans I met 12 years ago gave me this tip, ' It can knock a bear down' they said and since then I carry this little bottle with me.
The bear tried to climb a tree, right next to me but decided against it and ran away.
Close call !!!
A bit shaked I climbed of the table ...
For weeks I am telling everyone I really want to see a bear, now I saw one and even smelled it
Great experience, like the elephants in Botswana !
The rest of the afternoon and evening I was very alert, looking at everything in my surrounding that moved or little sounds I heared ...
Next morning there was a huge deer grazing 10 meters from my tent, completely confident !
The days before were great as well, cycling for three days in Yellowstone NP.
Saw many bisons, in the fields, on the road and in the picknick area where I just stopped to have a lunch. Unloading my bike I saw a huge bison comíng out of the bushes.
And one more...
And many more !
They walked 7 meters away from me, a littlle close but there was this toilet I was standing next to and could hide in if a bison would charge me. It was a pretty sight, saw calves as well and some really big older ones, protecting the calves.
The day after I saw many more, blocking the road. When they were just of the road I decided to move on but just when I started to paddle a few tried to cross the road again, saw me ( at 5 meters, even a blind one would have seen me
) and were a little afraid of me ( so was I ) They jumped of the road and I coulde cycle on, close call !
Yellowstone is full of geysers and Old Faithfull is the most known and highest one. In the past it erupted every hour I think and very punctual. Now it is 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus or minus 10 minutes. So me and a couple of hundred other tourists sat there and waited.
It smoked all the time but when it really started the smoke and water came out high !
Not as high as I expected and hoped for though.
When I walked back to my bike a couple I spoke earlier said it was a bit disapointing.
' It is different any eruption ' the man said, ' maybe next one is much better !'
So I decided to wait a little longer, dried my tent in the meantime, ate second breakfast and went over for a second round.
Much better !
The water spraying 30 meters high, the smoke like a hundred meter !
Glad I waited for a second eruption.
Now on my way to Jackson, where tomorrow morning I have to take a bus to Salt Lake
City, not enough days to cycle it all. If I only booked my flight one day later I could have cycled it all the way. Now I fly back on sunday and I need to fix a bicycle box in a bicycle shop so I have to be there saturday. Such a shame ... It is so great here ! One day later .... Ahhh, but that is looking a bison up his , well, never mind
Hope I see another bear on the road, a Grizzly this time.
But not that close !!!
'... een mens is het gezondst en gelukkigst als hij onderweg is ' ( Bruce Chatwin )