After spending a few days on the ranch we organized a bike ride to Pearson’s Lake and onto one of the trails for a wilderness adventure. We had spent a little time the day before to prep our bikes, route and other equipment that we would need. James and I had not seen any bears in Canada yet so we were excited to explore the wilderness and see some wildlife. We were feeling pretty confident about leaving the ranch as we were with Georgina and we had both completed our bear safety orientation – From this we had arranged to take two bottles of bear spray and a radio to keep in touch with the ranch.
The route was fairly straight forward but we deviated off of one of the trails by mistake and ended up in bear city! The trail and surrounding area turned very green and looked like ideal habitat for bears in Canada. We noticed a few piles of scat and that the piles were becoming increasingly frequent and closer together. We quickly realized we were right in the middle of bear territory and cautious of not wanted to be too quiet we started singing and remembering songs from our teenage years. Using our newfound cowboy wisdom of ‘Don’t go in if you don’t know the way out’, we made a group decision to turn back around and head into another direction pretty promptly!
We did not see any bears on the ride but the fresh air and scenery was fantastic and we realized that we should take the opportunity to go on bike rides together when Georgina comes home. It felt like being a child again and we laughed a lot and had a picnic. At one point I laughed so much I nearly fell off of my bike with my lack of mountain bike skills!
Sadly work and general life gets pretty serious at home and it is all too easy to forget how important it is to take time out and enjoy nature with friends. We will come home with a lot of great memories from our time at the ranch and although we will have to leave the bears in Canada, I will endeavor to ensure that I can make regular allowances at home to take time out to enjoy nature and with friends and family.