We were out riding our bikes in the local forest the other day. I took a wrong turning and was cursing because it meant missing a particularly fun section of trail.
But then we came around a corner, and there was a very large and beautiful black bear wandering down the track ahead of us.
I stopped in a hurry, and Andrea, confused, pulled up alongside me. “Bear! Bear!” I said, gesticulating wildly, which had entirely the wrong effect – Andrea got all excited and wanted to go and give him a hug. The bear paused and looked over his shoulder at us. We shouted “Hello Bear!”
He turned, gave us a long hard stare, nodded, then carried on up the track and off into the trees.
These encounters aren’t that unusual around here, although they happen quite a lot less often than they used to.