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Off the Beaten Path: Hikes, Backpacks, and Travels

I’ve never come upon a grizzly bear while hiking in the backcountry, and that’s just fine with me.    I’ve backpacked  a time or two in grizzly country, but never in Yellowstone or Glacier.  I just know that I’d be wide-eyed all night, bear spray at the ready, waiting for…well…you know: Night of the Grizzlies.    I do hike in grizzly country, but I’m definitely on my guard the whole time.     And, even though I’m not a huge fan of winter, one of its perks is that the bears are sleeping.   Usually.

Last December we arrived back at our car after a long ski in Yellowstone, and turned around to find this fellow on the hill above us.  For cripe’s sake.   Now, I know that bears don’t really sleep all winter, and that they sometimes get up and wander around (or take a long time to actually start to hibernate)  but I was just counting on the odds of actually meeting…

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