July 10, 2013

How Top Gear Almost Got Me Eaten by a Bear

*That is the most Jalopnik title I've ever written...  If you get that reference, cool.  If not, just ignore it.  It's a lame joke on my part.

My family and I are vacationing in the Rocky Mountains this week. 

It's a good time.  We hike some, eat a lot, drive go karts, take copious naps, and general enjoy the scenery, the weather, the wildlife, and each other.

Today the family headed down to town to accomplish numerous errands and entertainments for the younger members of the family.  I volunteered to stay home with Kid 2.0 (my youngest), who was overdue for his afternoon nap.  I figured I'd either get a nap myself or at the very least an hour of quiet time.

Turns out downing a coffee right before nap time is a bad idea for me...  Kid 2.0 crashed hard, but I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me.  Instead of tossing and turning the afternoon away, I decided to catch up on this week's episode of Top Gear UK

Like most petrol heads, I enjoy Top Gear.  People can argue about whether the show has lost its edge, if they should have stopped 5 years ago, or if it's still the best car show on the planet.  I don't care.  I like it.  I can see other's points about the show.  I just choose to ignore their idiotic opinions. 

Today I was watching season 20, episode 2.  It's an alright one.  I really liked James' segment, but I was completely engrossed in Jeremy's review of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. 

Screen shot, that I borrowed...  Sorry, BBC!  It's okay though, no one reads this stuff anyway...

 The looks of this car haven't won me over yet, but it's getting closer.  The power numbers from the V12 engine and the exhaust note have had my attention since Ferrari released their trailer for the car last year.  I was totally into Jeremy's review. 

So much so, that I didn't notice the two Black Bears that had made their way onto the porch behind me. 

My mom went out and stood in the same spot after they left.  We think the Black one is about 5'4" standing up.
I had heard some noise from outside, but our cabin is located near some others and I thought that one of the neighbors had been the source of the noise.  Turns out, I was wrong...

This is like a "blond" Black Bear.
Way wrong, in fact.  The only thing that separated me from the bears was the screen door just behind me.  I promptly closed the solid front door.  Then grabbed the camera and started snapping pics.  None of them are very good because I'm shooting the pictures through window glass and screens. 

We've been coming to the mountains every summer for the past 20 years.  I have never seen a wild bear before.  The closest that I had ever come was a Grizzly in Yellowstone when I was 14.  The Grizzly was in fact a pudgy dot inside a telephoto lens.  I don't know if it was real or not.  It could have just been dust on the lens...

These two today were very real and very close.  They were very interested in the hummingbird feeder, which has since been taken down.  We have small kids running around here and the feeder is what brought the bears to the cabin. 

Today's unwanted guests were chased away by a member of the area where we're staying's security team.  Both bears scattered when they realized they weren't alone.  They never noticed me...  The security man was so unconcerned he had his kids get out of the car and run the bears off with him.

It was cool to see bears this close and I'm very glad that no one was hurt. These two did rattle us for a little bit.  When my wife got back to the cabin, I told her the last thing to touch the gate on our deck stairs, other than her, was a black bear.  She was not amused. 

Please remember do NOT feed the wild animals.  It not only puts you in danger, but the animals too. 

Check out this Chipmunk who's had way too much contact with humans.  He isn't afraid at all... 

Isn't phased at all by the humans...
I'll post more once I get back to the land of real Internet speeds.  It took me a day and a half to download the German Grand Prix up here...


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