Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bear Spray - Safety Catch Removed

My condo neighbour (ie a few feet away) was sitting in his lounge tonight about 11pm and saw a big bear's nose pushing against the window. First I knew of it was the sound of logs being thrown and shouting. I must confess I had to pull the safety catch off the bear spray tonight.

Weirdest thing is that when there is a 300-400lb bear on the balcony outside the front door of your flimsy wooden condo, just 2ft from where you are sitting, you cannot hear it. The balcony/walkway skirts our 4 block of condos. The front doors open on to the walkway with a nice view of the valley and a 35ft drop to the mountain side below. Really it's more of a back door but the absence of another entrance makes it the front.

After hearing shouts and logs being thrown along the walkway outside my door I opened the blinds and looked out. No sign of a bear in the immediate vicinity so I opened the door to see my barefooted neighbour looking quite flustered and aggressive with logs in hand. He told me it was a 300-400lb male bear, though I'm sure any size of bear looks big when it has its nose on your window. I went downstairs and got my bear spray, unhooked the safety catch, grabbed my bell, and followed my neighbour along the walkway into the darkness, jingling vigourously. We turned the corner and our furry friend had gone.

It may sound weird but I had got completely cool about the whole bear thing until the last couple of weeks. It is near hibernation time and they are hungry and are clearly around the area more than before. I may yet need to resort to singing Rocky Mountain High as I walk around the place but the world is safe for the moment...

It is odd to need to behave aggressively towards an animal. An intent bear could easily break in to our condos, which would be bad news - mainly for the bear, which may end up getting shot. So, for now, we must behave somewhat aggressively towards it in the hope that it will be put off getting food the easy way.


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