Driving up Highway 1A to go hiking with friends, we came across two cars stopped in the middle of the road. We stopped behind them scanning the verges and bushes for animals as animal sightings are the usual reason cars stop in the middle of the road.
And there, lumbering through the flowers and brush was the biggest grizzly I've ever seen. And not just any grizzly but the infamous Bear #136 - Split Lip. Instantly recognizable by the large scar, Split Lip is one of the two dominant male grizzlies in The Valley. He is about 18 years-old and enormous. It was such a privilege to see him up close - and from our car rather than from the saddle of a bike!
|Split Lip |
Photo Credit: John E. Marriott
He was in his element, completely comfortable and literally at home. The fact that the road cut through his domain seemed irrelevant to him. Rather than try to capture the essence of the moment with a camera, we both immersed ourselves in the experience of seeing this majestic, huge animal lumber through the grass and dandelions beside the road.