The morning cloud was a little lower than usual and there was a coolness to the air. A perfect morning to take a leisurely stroll to Lake Brook to warm up before the day began. Along the gravel road we walked with Spruce trees lining the way, the undergrowth was lush with a carpet of sphagnum moss.
Upon the shores of the lake a cool breeze had whipped up. Some thing was in the wind and there was a feeling of the unknown. After exploring the shores of the lake we made our return back to camp. The track we were on came to a “Y” intersection.
At this moment we had a chance meeting with Mother bear and her 3 cubs, a joyous and slightly frightening experience. So unexpected and so beautiful, only 50 metres away with mum a formidable size, and cubs dancing and frolicking behind her. Thoughts flooded through my mind, as to how dangerously close we were and about what might transpire. We back tracked a little and then proceeded with caution to follow this unique sighting.
Nervous but excited we followed the family, watching the cubs with joy. There was one slight problem, the very last of the three little cubs kept stopping and turning to look at us, his innocent little eyes curious as to what we were about. It was only a matter of time before Mum would do the same and sure enough, after a couple of minutes our enjoyment turned a little more serious as Mum stopped and looked at us. Immediately we calmly walked backwards and voiced the mandatory, “Hey bear” and let her continue until she was out of sight.
WOW!! What a moment we had, so beautiful, so incredibly humbling to be in their presence, so surreal.
We took a deep breath and continued on, only to be met on the road by a vehicle who promptly stopped to warn us of the mother and her three cubs that had just veered off the road into the bush. We were relieved that we did not have to worry about her on the track, OR DID WE!!!!
It wasn’t long when in the distance along the side of the gravel road that we could see some fluff just off the road, sure enough, it was Mum. This time she was lying off to the side of the track, resting or possibly feeding we could not tell from this distance we were, however we did have a dilemma. How long would she be? How long did we have to wait before she moved? It was then that we discovered just how thick the carpet of sphagnum moss was. We decided to go off track and give Mum and cubs a wide berth to avoid disturbing the young family. It was quite comical as we walked off track, we came across well used bear tracks and scat. Thank goodness we did not come face to face with any more bears and mother was left to nurse her young.
Overall it was quite an adventure and an experience to treasure for a lifetime.