Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nervous Nellie in the Wild

Two boats tied up to a dock. Just to give you an idea of the size of our boat - the small one. It's 25 feet long. The other is 62 feet long. We were usually the smallest boat in any marina or anchorage. But I think we had just as much fun as the big boaters. The important thing is getting out there to enjoy all the beauty.

Normally, we anchor the boat and often stern tie it to land, especially if things are choppy on the water, or an anchorage has a few boats in it. 

One of our destinations was Toba Inlet, a narrow fjord that winds its way into the mainland of the province. Anchorages are difficult to find, hence the tie up at the marina dock. Another plus was the hot showers available at the marina.

We like to hike. We see some great scenery and get good exercise huffing and puffing our way up mountains. (One of us huffs and puffs; the other is steady as a metronome.) 

We asked the marina host, Kyle, for a trail recommendation - "about an hour's climb," we said. He gave us directions and off we went.

"What about bears?" asked she of the nervous disposition.

"Haven't seen any for quite awhile."

"Good," thought she. But she was glad that her hiking companion, Mr. Woodsman, had along his bear spray.

(You can probably figure out where this is going....)

We got to the viewpoint, had a drink and some gorp and I took lot of photos. In the photo above, the waterway opening in the center is Waddington Channel, coming into Pryce Channel, our route from the south to Toba Inlet, which stretches to the left of the photo.

We began our descent. 

Rustle. Rustle. Something was in the bushes. 

Mr. Woodsman didn't say anything, so I assumed it was just a bird or squirrel.

Rustle. Crash. Crackle. "It's an awfully big squirrel," thought she of the nervous disposition. "But I'll be brave."

That lasted just a few seconds. "Mr. Woodsman," said she, "stop for a minute and listen."

About 50 feet in front of us Mama bear and Baby Bear broke onto the trail from the bush below. Baby bear hightailed it into the bushes on the other side. Mama Bear stopped to take a look at us.

"Get behind me," said Mr. Woodsman. 

Nervous Nellie didn't hesitate for a second. But she did remember her camera, and had a momentary pang that the zoom lens was in the case and not on the camera.

"Scram!" said Mr. Woodsman, and clapped his hands. So Mama Bear scrammed, stopping to take one last look just to make sure we weren't following her.

We had just passed a fork in the trail and decided it might be prudent to back track a little and take the alternate route down the mountain. You can bet Nervous Nellie scrammed as fast as the bear!

How wobbly would your knees be after a hike and a bear encounter? Nervous Nellie's knees quivered for quite awhile.


  1. Amazing story and shots. So lucky you got that zoom lens in time and that mama bear stopped one final time for you. That must have been exciting.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. Oh my god! Good for you, Lorrie, I would never have kept a head cool enough to take a photo.

  3. Wow, that was a close one Lorrie. What a good thing you didn't find yourselves in between mother and baby. I remember when we walked in the woods in Northern BC with my daughter, she said 'We have to sing, loudly'. We did, and saw no bears, not surprisingly! But the week before, a tourist had been killed by a bear roaming in the woods.

  4. Great photo catch with your camera even in the midst of a bit of stress! This was my fear when we were hiking this summer -- almost everyone saw a bear around our cabin but me. Maybe it's just as well!

  5. Anonymous4:12 AM

    Well...I like to 'walk' on sidewalks. :-) Encountering a bear is not something on my bucket list. I'm glad you had a great hike, took terrific photos, saw the bears and survived to tell about it.

  6. HA HA!!! I noticed that Nervous Nellie was brave enough to hold her camera still! KUDOS to you! :)

  7. HA HA!!! I noticed that Nervous Nellie was brave enough to hold her camera still! KUDOS to you! :)

  8. The scenery is breath taking. Love the last photo. As for bears, fortunately they were smart enough to be scared of humans. Here we have a bear problem. Most are so accustomed to people, that they pose more of threat. I have never seen a bear in the wild. Hubby has. I'd be shaking in my boots. You are brave.

  9. Oh my!! What an unnerving (and yet fascinating) experience!! I think it was totally appropriate for Nellie to be nervous in such circumstances!

    A story well told!

  10. How exciting (and totally scary)! You are a true photographer to get a photo of the bears before making a retreat down the mountain. Thank goodness Mama and company took off.
    Lovely, lovely scenery Lorrie! Totally enjoyed this post -- I am in the "huff and puff' and "nervous Nellie" category too:)

  11. Oh My! I'd have been having heart palpitations for sure! Glad though you thought to snap a few photos!

    The scenery is amazing!


  12. Oh yes ma'am, my knees would be a knocking! Yikes. Glad you got the photos!

  13. Oh I'd be terrified too Lorrie! I'm glad the bears moved on, in particular mama bear and that your husband had the bear spray with him. Beautiful scenery and views. Take care.

  14. I'm always noisy when I'm hiking because I'm a Nervous Nellie as well. At least you got some fabulous photos and a great bear story! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I'm with Nervous Nellie - take another path back down. Growing up in Southeast Alaska I had several encounters - as a kid - with grizzlies - nothing to play around with. Fortunately for us they were far more interested in something besides us. The photos are great - you didn't even shake the camera.

  16. And I like your little boat - sometimes it is more fun to be closer to the water in a smaller boat. You seem to experience it more.

  17. I think your boat is wonderful! And full of character. If it serves the purpose, who cares how many feet long it is!!

    The scenery is just gorgeous where you tied up and the hike seemed to be perfect until the run in with you-know-who! I would have fainted. My husband brought pepper spray on his hiking trip in Colorado last spring. I think I actually put the crazy ideas into his head. Your pictures are incredible-I'll have to show him. All in all, a great adventure! :)

    Thank you for your very sweet comment on my last post.

    Jane x

  18. Now that is one outing you won't soon forget! So glad you had your camera 'at the ready'!

  19. Gorgeous photos, Lorrie! It's because of this kind of views that everyone dreams of travelling in Canada...
    Fortunately your adventure ended safely and happily. Here in Eastern Finland, I still am hoping to have a glimpse of a bear sometimes. They are more numerous now than when I was a child, but they definitely avoid meeting you if possible. I needed to google bear sprays; I think they are not used here.
    Thank you for sharing and have a lovely weekend!

  20. I think that nervous Nellie had every right to be nervous at the sight of bears! Glad that you got the photos though and that all was well! xx

  21. Mine are quivering now! I've exclaimed so much that John has asked what I'm reading. So the method now is to speak up and make noise? Sounds better than playing dead. Your boat looks just the right size to me!

  22. Yes, with all the bears in the news I'd be a little nervous but the bear sanctuary north of us always posts lots of info on their FB page and say the bears don't want a confrontation. They'll clack their teeth together to show they're nervous. Hmm, you didn't mention this aspect did you....
    Good shots and one of nature's beautiful creatures.
    Your boat is perfect for two to get around and enjoy the gorgeous scenery, I'm thankful that you share it with us.

  23. How exciting and scary all at the same time. What a beautiful adventure.

  24. Oh boy, after a recent show I watched where the hikers were not so lucky, I'd have frozen!
    It has made me think of running into a bear and asking him what we'd do. Now you know. You say scram! Glad it turned out well for you.

  25. Lorrie, so many amazing (and anxious!) adventures in this one beautiful (and suspenseful!) post!

    Kudos to you for your bravery, shaky knees and all; I don't know if I would have managed to stay so cool. Your heroic hubby must be your knight in shining armour!

    Glad you are both okay, and thanks for the lovely photos - great illustrations to this page turner!


  26. Whenever I read "hiking posts" on my Canadian and North American friends blogs... I think to myself 'but what about the bears'!
    So you must have been reading my mind Lorrie!
    We don't have wild animals in New Zealand apart from deer and wild pigs.

    I think you were incredibly brave and hats off to Mr Woodsman for protecting you!
    I know I would have frozen on the spot and missed the photo op!!

    How lovely to see your boat - ours will be the 'little one' in the group too.
    Ours is 32ft, hopefully we will be back in the water before Christmas. It's been a long restoration project for my husband!
    A shame we don't live on the same continent - it would be lovely to meet up on the water - no hiking with bears though!!

  27. I love to "go along" on your adventures. Bears aren't scary at all from this vantage point!

  28. wow. That was quite an unexpected adventure in your lovely hike! Absolutely amazed you captured photos of mama and baby. Nervous Nellie may have had shaky knees, but her hands were certainly steady. Thank goodness for Mr. Woodsman keeping so calm and collected. Glad mama bear scrammed and you safely went your separate ways. How long until your heart stopped racing?

  29. What a fantastic encounter!! Glad it ended will remember that for a long time. We see these things on the t.v. but there's nothing like witnessing wild animals for real to bring home their majestic, raw power.

  30. Woah!! Great story Lorrie, glad it had a happy ending!

  31. Oh my gosh I might have been scared spitless had I spotted a momma bear and cub. - Lucky you to have a prepared hubby with that bear spray and how neat you got some shots of them. It's a lovely area for sure.

  32. Hahaha, what a fun adventure! I would have stopped and put my zoom lens on. But I am well known to be bonkers about bears!


Thank you for commenting. Each comment is a connection between us. I read each one and will usually visit your blog in return. If you are a no-reply blogger, then I will not be able to respond to you directly. If you have a Google+ blog, I am unable to comment there.

Snippets from the Mountains

  On the first Sunday of September, we locked the door and drove to the ferry, towing our travel trailer behind us. Once across the Strait, ...