After pulling out of the driveway this morning, on my drive into work, I always slowly cruise past our front pasture, and check out the lambs grazing and chickens scratching. Everything looked normal, and a bit soggy — it was a dark gray drizzly day.
Less than a mile down the road, I was shocked by a half-grown Black Bear came charging out of the woods on my right, and ran across the road directly in front of my car. This bear was really galloping — I don’t think that I have ever seen a bear moving so fast – the strange straight-legged loping gait that one often sees in a bear, traded in for a racehorse gallop across the public way.
I guess that the bear was helped by momentum – coming down from a hill on the right, and traveling “down” the decline.
Seeing how fast the darned things move makes me all the more thankful for a “patient and tolerant” black bear momma with cubs about fifteen years ago – I was on a health kick, and got up at 5 a.m. (still dark) and jogged on the road. Jogging in the dark: Great for neighbors to be spared from seeing me jog, great for my health, great to get it over with early in the day. Not great thing about jogging in the dark: you are r-i-g-h-t on top of the momma bear and her cubs crossing the road, before you hear her snuffling and quiet grunting over your wheezing, labored breathing. I did not say “Rats!” — rather another short word, slowly stepped backwards about ten steps and then turned tail and sprinted back home… all in the dark.
Notes: 1. It is very stupid to run near a bear. 2. Do not get between mom and cubs. 3. Jogging is not all that it is cracked up to be.