02 December 2014

Bridger-Teton Grizzly Attack

Well, at last, my next installment on our Fall trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons.

My last story took us into the Gross Ventre an incredibly beautiful area you don't want to miss if you are visiting Teton National Park.

This day September 21, 2014, we headed for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. For those just joining us we don't do much inside the national parks on accounta they don't let my kind hike on their trails. What a lot of people don't realize is, surrounding most national parks are equally beautiful places without the crowds. Forget I told you that.

Up and at 'em early we headed out. From the RV park we were staying in it was a pretty good distance. Kinsey has decided when we go back we will plan ahead and make reservations at Colter Bay, inside the park. It's a much better location to reach the places we want to go. Kinsey is generally all about planning but this year she was out to lunch. I duh know, maybe it's her age. Thank goodness she's doing that Luminosity thing. Maybe it will save some brain cells.

From Moran Junction we headed east to Road 50 which takes you to the Buffalo Fork trails, north and south. Kinsey had her eye on Buffalo Fork South which looked on the map as though it was a nice walk along the creek. The trailhead is a major staging area for the outfitters and the place was packed with horse trailers not tourists.

Off we went. As soon as we cleared the initial rise we saw that the trail headed down for about a quarter of a mile and the drop off was a good one. The trail was nice and wide as trails go but Kinsey, rightly, doesn't trust me not to get excited about something and yank her right over the side. It was a long way down. You might wonder why she didn't just let me off the lease. The problem with that, remember Taylor Creek? If some riders were coming up whilst I was headed down, my irrational exuberance could very well get somebody else hurt. the only sensible thing we could do was abort.

Buffalo Fork Trail
Kinsey had hoped to get a little professional help with my exuberance this past summer but the trainer took her money and skipped town. And, get this, a neighbor recommended the trainer!

As luck would have it there was another trail nearby, the Clear Creek Trail.  Kinsey didn't realize you cloud drive over to the trailhead so we walked to it through a meadow. I didn't mind because I got to get off leash and stretched my legs. There were bear warnings everywhere and Kinsey has a hard and fast rule, no running free on mountain trails where visibility is limited.

The Tetons
The trail was a pretty good aerobic exercise and the views, like the one above, were beautiful, but, to get anywhere really cool was about six miles. Me, I coulda done it easy peasy but you know who has her limitations. The truth is, neither one of us really cares if a trail turns out to be a beauty gold mine. We just love being out in the wilderness. We saw some bear scat and a couple of tracks but no bears.

Molly Montana on the Clear Creek Trail Bridger-Teton NF
You will note from the above photo I was still looking trim in my Naked Girl cut. Boy, I sure hope I get that hair do again next year. Just not at Petco.

On our way back, as we crossed the meadow, we ran in to a Forest Service person. Whilst Kinsey flapped her gums I took the opportunity to run around like a banshee. Wheeee! From her conversation Kinsey learned there had been a very nasty bear attack just the week before. According to this person, all they'd found of the guy were a few body parts. The man was a researcher and known to the forest service. He apparently didn't believe in either bear spray or guns. What was that Forest Gump said? "Stupid is as stupid does". That guy was just asking for it. Kinsey carries both. Her plan to defend an attack: Hit the bear with spray. If that doesn't work, let the bear get as close has you've got the guts to let him and empty the gun close range. Thank goodness we've never had to test her resolve. But, we don't doubt for a second that it could.

The Fall colors this year were exceptional. On the drive back out we saw this pretty, bucolic scene of horses in a pasture. Truthfully, the only interesting thing in that photo are the horses. I bet they'd love to run with me! Can't you just see it?!

Ranch Along the Buffalo Fork

The colors were so beautiful we even had a great view at the RV park. If you like color you gotta come here in the Fall if you not done it. It's really amazing or so Kinsey sez. :)

Teton Fall
Ciao for now!
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

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