Baer on the run!

The next day, we continue our trip through the hilly terrain. Additionally to the long climbs, we are facing since two days a gusty head wind. It is sometimes so exhausting and frustrating that I swearing in my mind and asks myself what in God’s name I am doing here?! Suddenly, Robi stops in front of me and I almost crash into his bike. Immediately, he grabs his camera. I look around, but cannot discover anything. “It’s a bear” whispers Robi. “A bear, a bear,” I repeat much louder. „Schzzzzzzz, be quite “snaps Robi. I am very excited and my mouth wide open, I see, how a proud black bear mama, with her two cubs, is just walking next to the road and enjoy eating the ripe berries. We watch for a while this fascinating scene from a secure distance. Now almost every day, we can encounter bears close to the road. One day, we can spot, not too far, a fairly big grizzly lady with her cub. They try to catch fresh Salmon and disappear quickly in the woods, when they recognize us. It’s so wonderful. The nature up here in the north, far away from the civilization, seems to be still intact.

As we get closer to the coast, the weather does change dramatically. In the evening, after we set up the camp and had a tasty pasta dinner, the rain starts heavily. It is pouring rain for the whole night and the complete following day.

Because of the steady and heavy rain, there are landslides and already some roads are closed. We decide to wait for a day and hope the weather is getting better. In moments like that, it is good to know, the tent is waterproof. Nothing is worse than a wet sleeping bag! The next day it is still raining, but we decide to continue our trip. Tonight we need urgently a roof, to hang up our soaked clothes.  Soaked wet to the bones, we finally reach the Meziadin Junction, the crossroads of Highway 37, which joins the Alaska Highway to the north and Highway 37A, which leads west to Stewart and the BC and Alaska border.  Both Meziadin Lake General Store and Meziadin Junction Services have closed, so we pitch our tent in the empty log house, next to the former, but now abandoned Gasoline station.  We are not the only guests here. A young black bear, in search for some food, is wondering around. It seems this bear is used to people, then he is not shy at all and Robi has a hard time to scare him away. We have been warned several times of these “garbage” bears. Like the name „garbage“ bears explains, these bears eat kitchen waste, which is not stored away correctly by the local population, but they often attracted by discarded food waste from lazy tourists.  This bears are used to people and lose the natural fear of human beings. In search of food, the bears get very near to densely populated areas and therefore pretty close to humans, which can lead to dangerous situations. Most of these bears are so intrusive, that they have to shoot them.  Before we meet the Yellow Head Highway, we pass through the neat little Indian villages, Iskut and Kitwanga. The Natives are very friendly and welcoming and many of them show interest about our heavy loaded bicycles and our long journey. The tall and impressive totem poles scattered around the village, show how important these places have been for the first nation people, in the past, the presence and the future!

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