A Norwegian, bears, and a High School reunion

The road has taken us further up the west coast, into the state of Washington. We’ve enjoyed some solid fun-packed days here now.

The first thing we did when we got here was picking up a friend of ours at Sea-Tac airport who’s come over from Norway to visit. His name’s Audun, and he’s going to be travelling with us for a couple of weeks. Then, we linked up with a friend of mine from High School (I had a year as an exchange student down in Harrisburg, Oregon). My friend from High School is named Peter. So we stayed with him and his wife Sydney for a few days, we had an awesome time.

One of the highlights was a hike we did in the area around Lake Wallace. It was a beautiful sunny day in the forest. Washington is nicknamed the Evergreen State, and the forest in the area we hiked surely lives up to the name.

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We passed by some nice waterfalls on the 21 km hike.

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Here’s the gang, catching their breath πŸ™‚

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But the absolutely extraordinary experience of the hike came towards the end. We were hiking along a gravel road and came around a bend, when all of a sudden we spotted a black bear with two cubs! The distance was about 70 meters! They turned around and looked at us for a second, then they ran off into the woods. We were thrilled to have seen them, if only for a few seconds. Anyway, we kept on hiking down the road, and after ten minutes the bears reappeared on the road! This time a little further away but it was definitely the same mommy bear with the two cubs. We kept our distance to them and tried to be quiet despite our high level of excitement. Naturally, one needs to be careful when encountering a bear with cubs, as getting between the mother and her kids could have been catastrophic. But they didn’t seem to mind us too much, they just trotted along down the road in front of us for about a minute, then they disappeared into the woods again. This was my second bear encounter in under a week, and I can only say wow, this was something really special. To see a bear from the car was amazing, but to meet a bear with two cubs out in in the forest qualifies as magical πŸ™‚ Here’s the evidence, although you might need to put your specs on πŸ˜‰

Black bear with cubs (2)

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