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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I think Wednesday was the best day of our Colorado trip. All the days after the getting there day were good. I caught my limit of trout every day except one, but that was ok because the one fish I caught that day happened to be the biggest. I kept my allergies under control until Thursday (a new record), but Wednesday was the best day because that’s the day we saw the bear. My parents have been dragging me to all parts of Colorado my entire life. I have pictures of me in a backpack on Mom’s back hiking through the Colorado country side and stories of the many adventures (or misadventures) that my family has shared there. But in the thirty years of all these trips I have never seen a bear. Bear sightings had become a joke in my family where someone would yell out “BEARâ€? then “Just Kiddingâ€?. I had decided that bears didn’t actually exist in Colorado.

I was drifting in-and-out of sleep somewhere around 6:00AM Wednesday morning. I really needed to get up and go pee, but it was cold and I didn’t want to move. Then I heard my sister yelling my name. I thought that meant breakfast was ready so I mumbled something like “OKâ€? and slowly started to roll myself out into the cold. Then I heard Janell say “bearâ€?. Well, that changed everything. I flew out of bed and started flinging clothes and stuff all over my tent looking for my camera. Once the camera was found I had to find shoes. The whole time I’m thinking I’m going to miss the cute little bear because I can’t find the zipper for the door. When I finally fall out the tent door, I look up and see a BEAR. Not the little cute one in my imaginary world, but a big brown one, the kind that can potentially attack people. It was…right…there.

The bear was standing very close to Melissa’s tent. It had turned over one of the garbage dumpsters and had dragged garbage all around the campsite. It was still snooping about to see if there was anything tastier left around before settling on the dumpster stuff. The crazy thing is that Janell had gotten up and walked to the bathrooms and back probably walking right by the bear and hadn’t even noticed. She bent down to get a blanket so she could sit and read for awhile when she glanced up and saw the bear. It had pooped right next to her tent!

I took some pictures, but I don’t know how well they turned out. Once I was out there I suddenly realized that I probably shouldn’t get to close. I mean it is a wild animal much bigger than me…with teeth. The bear wasn’t the only wild life we saw. We saw deer, big-horned sheep, chipmunks, otters and antelope. But obviously the bear was the highlight.

Thing to see and do during life time # 108: See bear in wild. Check!