My summer began last year with a hike into the Great Bear Wilderness in northwest Montana. Two years ago I had hiked the trail with a friend from the other end. We wanted to try the trail as a day hike into the first camp site. It was early in the season so we were being extra careful about bears. We each had bear spray and we made a lot of noise as we hiked.
We crossed into the wilderness area and the trail flattened out so we could see a few hundred yards ahead. It was a quiet morning and I was watching for mushrooms. I was moving ahead as I often do and I came to a tree that had fallen across the trail. I had to duck under it and when I came up on the other side a bear reared up on it;s hind legs roaring at me. It was amazing and awesome and horrifying. I was stunned and could not move. When he dropped down on all fours he came toward me and it was obvious he was in a panic. I was too stunned to be panicked or to do much of anything. My friend was behind the log I had just gone under and he was yelling and got out his bear spray but did not discharge it. The bear came toward me and we had a face off. My only thought was that I hoped it would not b too painful and that he would get it over with quickly.
I was so relieved when he finally turned and headed up the hill to my left. To the right was a steep hill heading down to the river. He was not done with us yet though. After a few seconds he turned around and faced off with me again, advancing tentatively. I could not go back because of the tree down behind me. I stood silent still in shock. He was only a few feet from me and then he heard my friend who was right behind me yelling as loud as he could. The bear turned tail and headed up the trail and truned into the woods to the left and disappeared.
We became so excited at the retreat but we decided we would turn around and head to another trail and away from that bear. to be continued
2020 has been a real journey into the unknown through fear and darkness.I have survived so far. Teaching drawing online at a distance has been difficult and other than introducing new students to the tools and concepts of art, it has not been my favorite experience.
This summer was eventful and although I was able to be face to face with students even though it was through a cloth mask. Still, it was rewarding and taught me many things about myself and reinforced my ideas abut teaching.
In my opinion art should be a collaborative experience, with students learning as much from their peers as from myself. I try get them to feel to them that they are navigating through the process, gaining information and understanding technique