Vista Point Trail: bear

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squidvicious
Posts: 253
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Vista Point Trail: bear

Post by squidvicious » September 1st, 2019, 8:32 am

Saw a bear on the Vista Point trail this morning. That's pretty much the entirety of my trip report. But, bear! I've never seen one that low down on the heavily-traveled trails before, just once up on the basin road.

I wouldn't even have noticed him if he hadn't made a bunch of noise running away from me. I looked up expecting to see a deer, then took a minute or two to work out why a deer was black. Oh, hey, you're a bear! For once I had my phone in my pocket instead of tucked away in my pack, but since I'm so used to not having it I didn't even think to pull it out and snap a picture. Oh well.

I said a polite hello, then made some loud noises to remind it that humans are scary, and went on my way. It's probably home now telling its friends about the weird human it saw this morning.

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Chip Down
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Re: Vista Point Trail: bear

Post by Chip Down » September 1st, 2019, 11:01 am

Wait, you mean in the Wahkeena area?! Stupid bear, everybody knows that place is crawling with humans.
squidvicious wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 8:32 am
I wouldn't even have noticed him if he hadn't made a bunch of noise running away from me.
Exactly! Humans have relatively poor vision/hearing/smell. The best thing an animal can do to avoid detection is just sit still until we pass. I think every bear I've ever seen was running away from me, except one that was running at me (which ended quite well, we amicably parted ways after a brief negotiation in which the bear agreed not to maul me, and I agreed not to soil myself).

squidvicious
Posts: 253
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Vista Point Trail: bear

Post by squidvicious » September 1st, 2019, 11:43 am

Yes, between the Vista - Wahkeena junction and the actual vista "viewpoint."

The bear was uphill from me--not sure how close when he first spotted me, probably closer than I want to know, but it ran a short distance then sat down in some brush and looked down at me. My keen senses weren't fooled by the camouflage of a nest of rustling, scraggly branches hiding the big black bear, though.

Still quite close, enough for a pretty good face-to-face view. Really striking just how *black* it was! Way closer than I ever thought I'd be comfortable being to a bear, but it clearly didn't want any part of me. I felt more concern about the deer on the trail the other day than that guy.

When I got down to the second/new wooden bridge on Wahkeena I came across a bewildered and unprepared-looking couple who asked that inevitable Wahkeena trail question, "How much farther?" We have no idea where we are or where we're going, but is it far? In this case it seems they were expecting to come across the top of Wahkeena falls. When I set them straight on where they actually were and how far it was to the various places they could be going from there, I casually tossed in that if they intended to keep going up, they should know that I'd just run across a bear. Their eyes got huge and I'm pretty sure they immediately decided they did not intend to keep going, or possibly ever to set foot in the woods again.

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markesc
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Vista Point Trail: bear

Post by markesc » September 1st, 2019, 3:57 pm

Holy Bear Story!!

Wow! Congrats on the find!!! Few prob hike with the camera+telephoto lens ready to roll, and then the time to adjust settings in variable conditions/lighting.

So are there now more bears or more people finding bears? I know the huckleberries are in full affect in some areas now!

*** Okay so what is it with these individuals that start hiking 2 hours before sunset with no apparent destination/plan/etc? I ran into a father/son on Bald Mt. that intended to go to Ramona falls and back, with a whole 3 hours of day light + sandy + muddy fork crossing, no bag, no water, nothing. I don't get it. ***

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adamschneider
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Re: Vista Point Trail: bear

Post by adamschneider » September 1st, 2019, 9:43 pm

squidvicious wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 8:32 am
I wouldn't even have noticed him if he hadn't made a bunch of noise running away from me.... For once I had my phone in my pocket instead of tucked away in my pack, but since I'm so used to not having it I didn't even think to pull it out and snap a picture. Oh well.
Sounds pretty normal for an Oregon bear. If you're lucky, you might get a picture of its rear end as it's running away.

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