“Sometimes,” he said, apologetically and strangely, “the radio just SWITCHES ON.”
My serious suggestion? Check the radios after the guests leave. If they inadvertently left them on a wake-up-alarm setting for 3 AM because they needed to catch a bus to somewhere an hour later or something, there is no reason whatsoever that the NEXT guest in that room, let alone one in a room next door, should have to share the early start a day later without any pressing reason. I mean, REALLY. Someone DID come up and the music died, but I was well and truly awake by now and it took me another hour or so to get back to sleep. I finally got up at some point after 8:30, having well and truly zonked out at some point, and grumpily enough went in search of breakfast and (more importantly) of coffee.
Well, tea instead of coffee, but anyway, having had both, I immediately felt better, and I phoned up my dicey bear- watching tour (I had been the only person signed up and they had a minimum of 2 so if nobody else had showed I wouldn’t be going either…) and discovered that two other hardy souls had signed up for it So at some point in the early afternoon I moseyed on up to the Upper Village at Whistler, where I had never been before. I had a classy latte in the coffee shop in the Fairmont Chateau hotel overlooking the mountain, and then found myself with a bit of time to kill before bear tour pickup. Waited in a nice congenial restarurant, sitting outside in the sun, next to an open fire pit so I was nice and snug and warm, in sight of the bear rendezvous point. A couple of people to whom I spoke in passing said that they had seen a bear down in Whistler Creek village just two days ago, IN the village, snuffling around some greensward, probably after easy garbage. And here I am chasing after them into the mountains – and they wander into town at will, apparently… there’s a thing with a yellow warning sign on it that says “live bear trap do not approach” parked in a side alley up here in Upper Village/ Blackcomb area so appatrentty they get some use (Yes, I took a picture… nerdy tourist…) and I tore an article from a local newspaper to take home and show [Bad username: rdeck] when I get home – a bear got into a local restaurant through the back door (probably more garbage rousting) and actually charged the chef. The bear-faced cheek of it all..
We all connected in good order, the bear tour leader and us tourist types (the other two were a nice young couple from Germany) and off we went, up the back roads of the mountains - if you could call those goat paths roads - I swear, our 4WD truck really had to earn its stripes, the dirt roads that wound up and across the mountain being rutted and pitted and full of rocks and then, eventually, at the top of the mountain itself, covered in ice and snow. The view from up there is spectacular, truly spectacular, and the trip would have been great for that alone.... but then, the bears, the bears, the bears.
We saw five, three females and two males (and the second of those was a full-on alpha male weighing in at a minimum of 450 pounds and our German girl kinda annoyed him by taking a photo of him in the fading light using a flash. He didn't like that much, not one little bit. He GLARED. We, um, left....
I have pictures. Haven't downloaded yet, but will. There will be a pictorial report when I get home.
Am all packed and ready, tomorrow I am catching the bus back to Vancouver and thence the train back home.
Writing and bears and all, I had a ball.