|Moonrise in Mauve|
Now, for the story I ripped off from Erin's Facebook page. She is Miles's mom.
I was hiking up Mount Healy Overlook trail in Denali National Park in August, accompanied by a young man named Simon. He had joined me after stashing his mountain bike in the woods when hikers coming down told him the trail ahead was too steep for a bike.
Simon was from Bulgaria and was working two jobs at lodges in the commercial zone outside the park entrance. He asked me about bears, saying he’d been told to run downhill if he saw one because bears couldn’t run downhill very well.
“Don’t ever run from a bear,” I said. “It triggers a chase response and they might go after you even if they hadn’t intended to do so.
Fast forward to Saturday night in Moose Pass.
My 16 year old neighbor Miles had five of his buddies at his house Saturday. The boys were playing flashlight tag in the dark around the house and creek. One of them pointed the flashlight at what he thought was another boy.
The boy turned out to be a large brown bear looking for spawning salmon in the stream about 30 feet from them. That’s about 1.5 seconds in bear speed.
“You never saw boys move so fast,” said Miles’s mom Erin. “They got to the house pretty fast.”
I can imagine. Miles and another boy are state champions in cross country running, and several others are members of a state champion running team.
“So much for not running from bears,” said Erin. Miles and his younger sister Kara have lived with bears in their yard and looking in their windows since they were born.
Incidentally, Miles won another race Wednesday, posting a time of 16:54 in the USA Track and Field Alaska Klondike Advertising 5K run, beating the second place runner by 7 seconds.
Elsewhere in the 'hood, someone saw a black bear. It's that time of year. Berries are about gone and the bears are porking up on spawning salmon, which just happen to be in our neighborhood.