Go closer ... closer ... no, it's totally okay. Go ahead and pet it. They like that.

  • Posted on: 13 June 2008
  • By: Michelle

So I am driving up to Whistler yesterday, minding my own business, rocking out to talk radio (CBC's Search Engine with Jesse Brown, if you really want to know) when all of the sudden every single car in front of me (a good five or six vehicles) slam on their brakes and pull over to the side of the road. So of course I follow suit, thinking, geez, there must be a horrible accident, or maybe there's a police chase or perhaps a small airplane is landing on the highway.

A few seconds go by, and there are no sirens or explosions or car crashes, and I begin wondering what's going on, when out of the corner of my eye, what saunters into view?

A black bear.

A stupid bear? This is what the drama is all about?

It's a good thing all y'all (thank you, four years of university gymnastics with a Texan ... ) slammed on the brakes and very nearly caused a massive pileup that WOULD have involved explosions and sirens. Too bad you didn't succeed. At least the poor saps behind us would have something worth looking at when they pulled over to the side of the road behind you tools.

So, muttering under my breath, I hit the gas and blow by all these giddy, clueless tourists. (They had better be tourists ... if I find out that any Sea-To Sky corridor residents are pulling stunts like that for something they can see out their back window, I'll have more than just a blog posting for them ... )

So wait, you ask yourself, if you didn't pull over to gawk at Smokey here, then how come there's a lovely shot of the bear leading off this post?

Okay, well two hours later I am driving home from Whistlerr, minding my own business, rocking out to talk radio (Apologetics.com ... ) when I happen upon an oncoming section of the highway with a lineup of cars pulled over to side. And who is there, wandering around, but the SAME STUPID BEAR.

Now before you call me out for pulling over and taking pictures, let's review the facts:

  1. Obviously, the only reason I needed to take a picture (or twenty) was to accompany this blog posting. So the stop was strictly business.
  2. As I approached said business opportunity and realized the necessity of diverting from my original route, I calmly checked my rearview mirror. Upon seeing that there wasn't a single vehicle behind me, I applied pressure to my right hand turn signal, and gently coaxed my wagon out of the flow of traffic and onto the shoulder of the road, at which time I activated my hazard signals to notify any approaching travellers of abnormal conditions.

Yeah. Brilliant. Maybe move in a little closer. They like to be scratched right underneath their chin, just like one of your 18 cats.

Hey lady, here's a hint. BEARS EAT YOU. Maybe you want to go out in a blaze of glory, but the rest of us living around this area would prefer to die in our sleep, as opposed to ending up half digested in the stomach of a black bear. If you want to get close and cuddly with ol' Ursus Americanus here, try the zoo, or maybe the circus. I hear they have a fabulous dancing bear act. But stop teaching our wild bears that humans are harmless (and apparently stupid).

But, wait, MiloMacsters. It gets better.

After completing my business photo shoot from a safe distance, across the road and ... oh I don't know ... INSIDE MY CAR, I continue on my merry way back to Squamish. And I am just getting back into my rockin' talkin' radio, when what catches my eye?

That's right, maybe a kilometer up the road, this time on my side, Smokey's cousin is out snackin' on some grass (a common provincial passtime... )

So, for purely business reasons of course, I carefully and responsibly check all my mirrors, signal and pull to the side of the road. As I am sitting there quietly IN MY CAR, who pulls up in front of me, hops out and starts snapping away on her camera phone? ARE YOU KIDDING? One tussle with death per day is not enough for you?

I don't even want to know how and why you were originally headed north on the road and now you are headed south, because I am fairly certain that it must have involved an illegal u-turn in the middle of a four-land highway. So yeah, uh ... dont' mind me back here. I am just going to wait until you have cleared out before I continue on home.

Oh, also. If you are going to be a moron, and wander within 10m of a bear to take a picture, at least have the decency to use a high end camera and not your crappy 1.2 megapixel camera phone. If you are volunteering to go out in a blaze of glory while endangering all the residents and tourists that come through the corridor, then I want to see it in 600-dpi, poster-sized prints.