I have MS and I was in a wheelchair for 12 yrs but have recently gotten stronger and have just started jogging, which I am thoroughly enjoying! Making up for 12 yrs stuck indoors!
3 days ago, I encountered a HUGE black bear. I was jogging along, enjoying my music, and got a very strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. The feeling got so strong I stopped and looked behind me, only to discover a very large bear was running up the trail behind me! It was so surreal, I couldn't believe my eyes, like watching a video, this can't be real I'm thinking. And for a few seconds I just stood there watching his fat body bounce and his long brown fur twisting/swaying back n forth across the middle of his back with every stride. Then he got about 20-25 ft from me and I realized, he/she was not stopping!
There was no where for me to go, there was a steep hill to my right side, and a drop off to the river on my left, I slowly started backing away, but it kept coming closer, still not sure if it seen me or not. I don't seen how he couldn't, but maybe bears don't see that well, I dunno. Then I moved my hand and he/she ran up the hill away from me. Thank God!
Actually, I can't believe how calm I was, until after it was gone, then my heart was pounding hard out of my chest! And my car was parked at the opposite end of the trail, which meant I would now have to walk past that section where the bear was and then go 1 1/2 miles through thick trees to get back to my car. Plus, there wasn't another soul on the trail the entire way back. I called my husband on my phone so I wouldn't feel so alone until I got past the section where I had seen the bear. I could hear rustling in the bushes, now I was scared! I quickly walked past it and made loud noises and talked loudly, til I finally reached my car.
I'm using a different section of the trail now, but just learned that people have been seeing another bear, in this section too, a Mamma and 2 cubs. I've started carrying a whistle just in case I do see another bear, Everyone keeps telling me "They're more scared of you than you are of them, just make noise, they'll leave you alone".
For a couple days, I felt better about enjoying my daily runs, just by avoiding those areas and making noise.
Then today I hear on the news that a 12 yr old girl was jogging at her grandfathers property and got attacked by a black bear. He knocked her down twice, she picked up speed, and the bear pursued her and knocked her down a second time. She said after the 2nd time, she played dead and screamed for help. A neighbor heard her and sent her dad to help. They went onto say, that her dad chased the bear away. She had surgery and was able to go home today,
She was jogging at 9 p.m. at night,(it was 11:30 a.m. when I seen that bear).
Then tonight I hear, that 6 people were attacked by bears in one day in the U.S. - Coincidentally, on the same day I seen this bear....gee!
I love the outdoors! I want to explore everything I can while my MS is in remission. I'm getting stronger every day, but I want to be safe.
Any suggestions? What else I can do make noise, I don't want to use a whistle unless I see a bear, but since I'm jogging I need some way to let them know I'm coming and scare them away.
EDIT: I'm sorry, I should have mentioned I am in Colorado, and the trail is located right here in town, it is a park trail which is goes approx 7 1/2 miles through a forest with alot of trees/berry bushes/ creeks and a river. There are usually hikers, joggers and bikers on the main trail every day, mostly in the mornings. Other joggers have told me there is a mamma bear and 2 cubs been seen 3 or 4 times since I have seen this one.
The particular section where I seen this bear, has kindof tight quarters, w/steep hill on one side of the trail, and a short drop off down to the river on the other.
UPDATE: I just learned something I didn't realize, I've been wearing a perfume spray, in case my deodorant is failing, not to offend anyone passing me one the trail, lol.
I feel like an idiot for even having to say this, but the fragrance is called "Cherry Blossom".... "HELLLO!!!" Maybe THAT may be what brought that bear out to run up the trail behind me, Makes me think, how could I be so stupid!