Posts Tagged ‘Black Bear’

The last few weeks have been hectic at best, so when we decided to do some caching today, I was looking forward to a day of strolling through the woods and getting away from all the craziness that is going on in our park.  We picked out two separate series of caches, the first on the northeast side of the Au Sable Rive near Glennie, and the other series took us near Curtisville to the southwest side of the river.  I knew the woods would be full of mosquitoes and other biting insects, so to prepare, we brought our head nets and made sure we had long sleeves and long pants on.   The day started bright and sunny with a good breeze so I again packed a picnic lunch and off we went.

After about thirty minutes of driving, we turned down a dirt road on the way to the first cache and just as we crested a small hill, what we saw in front of us totally surprised us.  A very large black bear was walking on all fours across the road!  Now being from Michigan, I knew there were bears and other large predatory animals here, but we always thought they were confined to the Upper Peninsula.  Not so!!!  We turned and looked at each other with eyes the size of saucers and the first word out of my mouth was “BEAR!” and Robert immediately said “Where’s the camera?!”  We fumbled around and by the time we got the camera out, the bear had finished crossing the road and was gone into the woods.  I was hesitant to drive on, not knowing if cubs were in the area, so I slowly crept up to where the bear had crossed and we looked into the woods on both sides to see if any more were in the area.  None were seen, so after letting my heart rate come back to normal, we drove on.  I immediately began to think of all the things we DIDN’T have with us, like bells on our shoes, a hiking stick (or bear stick as we call it), bear spray, etc., etc.  So by the time we got to our first cache, I told myself I was not going to worry about making noise in the woods today.  For me, the noisier, the better!  I wasn’t going to surprise anything.

Our first series of caches was a mixed bag of finds and DNF’s (did not find).   One of our DNF’s was a micro, or very small cache, usually a bison tube or medicine bottle or smaller.  After decoding the hint, we still could not find it, and with bear still on my mind, we decided to move on.  The two-track we were following ended right on the banks of the Au Sable River at an area that is well off the beaten path and I’m sure is not seen by many people.  I snapped this picture on our way to the cache hidden not far away.   I named this post “Our Beautiful Au Sable River” as all of us that live here in Northeast Michigan will agree, it is a beautiful river.


We picked up one more cache on our way back down the two-track, this one required a bit of a hike, all uphill, and just as we were coming to the top, a beautiful Broad-winged Hawk flew up from the ground which froze me in my tracks as I watched it try to gain altitude and fly through the trees.  We couldn’t see where it landed, or if it continued to fly on, it always amazes me that most wildlife is invisible until you are right on them!  We found the cache easily and then hiked back down to the Jeep.

With this series done, except for the two DNF’s, we decided to try to find the start of the other series we had picked out.  After a few dead-ends, that didn’t get us into the area of the caches, we realized that the caches were a series that follows a section of the Shore-To-Shore Trail.  This trail is for horseback riders and hikers and travels from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.  While I’ve been wanting to hike this trail, we weren’t prepared to do this portion of it today, so we decided to leave that series for a day in the fall, when we can dedicate an entire day to pick up those caches along that series and enjoy a good day hike.

So we decided to go down to Thompson’s Landing, which is a canoe/kayak put-in on the Au Sable River and eat our picnic lunch there.  It was a beautiful afternoon and watching the river float by is very soothing and calming.  Much needed for me today!

So our wildlife spottings today were:  1 black bear, 1 Broad-winged hawk, 2 garter snakes, 1 Kingfisher, and 4 Common Snipes, and an unknown butterfly or moth (pictured below).   A good day indeed!

Happy Caching,



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