Part of the beauty of living in Montana is nature and all that comes with it. We get some amazing sights and breathtaking views right in our own backyard. We also deal with plenty of animals and have to know how to be prepared for an encounter. I will say it was a bit of an eye-opener when I moved to Missoula and people started telling me about needing bear spray when going on hikes and trails. I had never lived anywhere that was so close to bears. I did live in Florida for a while and had to worry about gators. Just like the bear spray lessons of Montana, it didn't take long for people to preach the dangers of hanging out on the bank of any sized body of water.

If there is one good thing about the threat of bears though, it gives me a built-in reason to avoid physically straining activity when people ask me to go hiking. As soon as the invite is there you can cue the automatic reply - "no, I'm going to pass, I don't feel like running into a bear." And once they say that's ridiculous I hit them with "if you're going to make me feel bad for being bear aware, that's on you for being a bad friend."

Photo: Becca via unsplash
Photo: Becca via unsplash

For those that do get out and enjoy hiking, this has to be both a thrill and a scare! While aimlessly scrolling on Facebook, I found this video that somebody shared while encountering a grizzly bear on a hike through Glacier National Park. I was planning on having the video embedded right about here and all you had to do is click play, but that doesn't seem like it's working. And now we're at the point where I either give up in frustration or power through without an embedded video. So we'll move right along.

The video is pretty crazy. The person that posted it says the hikers up ahead yelled for the group in the back to turn around. They did turn back and after about a 1/3 mile they found a place to get off the trail to avoid the bear that was coming toward the group. Thankfully, the bear passed without caring much about the hikers that were watching in awe. You can't get much closer to a grizzly bear than that!

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