The colours of Autumn
We were not sure whether our timing would be O.K for the amazing change in colours in Tombstone Park. We hit the jackpot, the summer has been one of the mildest in a long time and the colour change has waited for our arrival. It is breathtaking, there is a mixture of spruce trees, aspen minature beech and willow all of which turn a different colour at this time of year. The hills are blanketed in vivid reds with streaming yellows following the course of little creeks down the slopes and different shades of green. We are warned about the large population of bears in the park including black and grizzly bears. The warden asks if we have bear spray? Didn’t think of that. She loans us a canister as we set off on our first hike. The spray is a concentrated amount of capsicum spray under pressure with all kinds of serious warnings on the side.
The current method of staying safe in bear country is make lots of noise to warn the bear of your approach, nothing worse than a surprised grizzly and then once encountered speak calmly but firmly to the teddy to convince them you mean no harm and will just back off out of their way. Should this not work you than need to decide whether the charging bear is just curious or means business, in the first instance stand your ground an he will veer off at the last minute if he has his ears pinned back and is drooling at the mouth it means he intends to make a snack of you. At this point wait till he is within 1-1.5m then use the spray to deter him. Should all this not work decide whether you need to play dead (bear just saw you as a threat and is happy that you are not moving) or fight for your life being as mean and aggressive as possible. Since a bear runs at about 40km/hour there is a lot to think about while he approaches!!!
We manage to enjoy our walk and only encounter a large bear pooh on the track, all is well.