Not every bear is my idea of cute. The mama grizzly and her two cubs were cute. The grizzly that headed my way at Grand Teton was not cute. I was kicking around the condo scrounging dinner when I decided to take a late afternoon drive. I was nearing the end of my vacation so I didn’t want to waste a late afternoon, the best time of day for animal sighting.
There’s a road from Teton Village to Moose Junction. It’s a major shortcut but it was easily the worse road I’ve ever driven. Most of the road is dirt and it clearly had not been graded in a long time. If it wasn’t a washboard it was loaded with pot holes and ruts. The pot holes were deep and huge as were the ruts. I missed my SUV! Your car could bottom out and the tires still hadn’t hit the bottom. I drove this road when I first arrived and swore I’d never take it again but it’s a good place for moose so against my better judgement I found myself picking my way through the pot hole minefield.
Critter Jam Ahead
As I approached the swampy section of Moose-Wilson Rd. I could see a lot of cars pulled over. At least they were trying to pull over. Too close to the edge of the road and they’d be mired in the swamp muck. I pulled over too, As I walked past the parked cars I bumped into a man coming my way. I asked him what was going on…accident or animal? He said a bear was in a tree right next to the road.
This bear is cute
Ok that is worth walking closer. As I came around the curve in the road I saw even more cars double parked and a crowd on the edge of the road. To say the shoulder would be a lie, there was no shoulder. Sure enough there was a little tree, more like a shrub, right next to the road and sitting in the tree was a very fat cinnamon colored bear. He didn’t have a hump and was much smaller than a grizzly. In spite of his color he was a black bear and all he wanted to do was eat the berries in the tree. The crowd was far closer than the recommended 100 yards but this bear didn’t seem to mind. He was having a great time with the berries and the crowd was having a great time watching him.