Bad Snow and Bear Spray

The first run of the day  (before the snow turned evil)

There were simply too many people.

I had woken up early, hoping to hit the slopes before the crowds moved in, but unfortunately, other families had similar ideas. The snow was a granulated mush, making snowboarding more vexing than usual. Bald patches of earth peeked through, and after a couple hours, the snow had taken on a dirty-brown tint.

I was frustrated. In my opinion, enjoying nature goes hand in hand with getting-away-from-it-all, a nearly impossible task in the Northern Virginia area. I tried to enjoy the sunshine and crisp air as I made one last run down the mountain, avoiding fallen children and gangs of college kids.


For Christmas, I unwrapped a can of bear spray – a pleasant reminder that I have much more of the country to explore and many more parks to discover. For those of you who aren’t entirely bear-literate, here’s an important fact: American bears (commonly referred to as black bears) are much less aggressive than their grizzly bear cousins. So far, I haven’t ventured too far into grizzly territory, but during the second part of my trip, I know I need to be prepared.

And that means it’s time to start planning, yes? I ordered a 2017 calendar online today, ready to map my route, figure out the order, and determine which adventures I want to have.

Of course, I’ll have to leave room for some surprises!


3 thoughts on “Bad Snow and Bear Spray

  1. Hi Stephanie! Happy New Year and happy travels. We always carried bear spray on Jasper trails. You can also buy bear bells which you attach to your backpack and they ring as you walk. Annoying but they do alert the bears and there are no unpleasant surprises. (They confiscated our bear spray at the airport.). Marlene


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