Grizzly Bear Ranch - Tuesday

Published: May 19th 2012
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Monday - drove from Osoyoos to Meadow Creek through Grand Forks, Nelson and Kaslo along the Kooteny Lake. Arrive at Grizzly Bear Ranch early evening and meet Julius and Kristin and their two Alsatians, Kuro and Masha. Julius is a Brit but has a Hungarian dad and Kristin is Estonian. Julius was a war correspondent for the Telegraph and has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last winter he was asked by the British government to work as a peace negotiator and spent months again in Afganistan whilst Kristin ran the ranch. He is definitely an adrenaline junkie! Settle into our cabin which is basic but got everything we need bar enough electricity for my hair dryer or straighteners. The ranch is completely off grid so electricity is from solar panels; gas is from cylinders and not quite sure where the water comes from but there is a huge river running right through their land.

Tuesday - morning spent discussing the differences between Black bears and Grizzly bears. Black bears come in black, all shades of brown and white (no white ones around here) and Grizzlies are brown but have a hump on their back. Very hard to tell the difference between male and female bears unless they have cubs, then they will always be female. Male adult bears kill cubs. We watch a video showing us how to react in a bear attack which scares the shit out of all of us. If the bear is acting defensively play dead lying on your stomach but if the bear is acting predatory then fight back with anything and everything. Not sure you'd actually have time to analyse the attack and make the right decision so I decide best thing to do is stick by the guide with the bear spray! We go out in the Jeeps, Julius driving us and Lily taking the other guests. Lily is a local who Julius employs as a guide, she is a pretty phenomenal woman who has the looks and figure of a model but who has worked as a logger up in the mountains. We see a small black bear on roadside but he ran off before we could get close. That evening after dinner we go out in the Jeeps again. We see a bigger brown black bear on roadside. We climb up a forest track looking for Grizzlies but the Jeep gets stuck in the snow on the mountainside and we have to wait for Lily to catch us up and tow us out! Julius loses lots of man points having to be rescued by a girl!

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