99 problems and a bear is one (or two)...

Last night I got put on call for work, so I decided to make good use of my time (as well as the excessive amounts of sunshine and daylight that were present) and go for a run up Arctic Valley Road.  John was already headed that way with some friends for a few runs (of the skiing persuasion) in the sun.  

We drove separate cars because I had no intention of running all the way to the top, nor did I want to wait for him at the bottom.  When I was pulling off the highway at the AV Road exit, I got a text message from John with this photo:

arctic valley black bear
 The good news was it was headed "generally uphill."  Thank goodness I have a boyfriend who knows I am deathly afraid of bears and is watching out for me!

Despite the high probability of running into this bear (or one of the other 309 bears in the Anchorage area), we continued with our run as planned.  

Kiva and I were enjoying the sun and the breeze (but not so much the uphill running), and then she started acting strange.  Like, stranger than normal strange.  

When your generally confident and enthusiastic herding dog becomes clingy and skeptical...it's time to go home.  

All of a sudden she was glued to my leg (which never happens, she likes to be in front), her nose was either on the ground or straight up in the air (she not a hunting dog...that's hunting dog behavior), and she kept giving me concerned looks (her looks usually say "why the heck are you running so slow?" not "ummm...I'm concerned and don't really know what to do about it.").  She also barked at her shadow when we turned around and she discovered it had been following her (she's never done that before either).  

So down we went.  I'm not one to argue with a worried dog.  The closer we got to the car, the more she kept checking over her shoulder, which she very reliably does when we are out and people are approaching us from behind...except I saw nothing behind us (even our shadows weren't behind us at that point).  She's generally pretty spot on when it comes to wildlife location, however it's usually impossible to tell if it's a bird or something larger like a moose.  But since she was acting stranger than normal, I figured it was probably something we have not encountered before (a bear, a dinosaur, or a Yetti are all possibilities).  For all I know it could have been a peanut butter covered mouse...but since I am never in the mood to see a bear, I thought we should get the heck out of dodge.  

Overall, a good run, even if it was much shorter than I was planning.

Screen shot 2012-05-16 at 11.53.53 PM
Screen shot 2012-05-16 at 11.53.38 PM
After we got done running, I decided we would take a drive to the top of the road so Kiva could roll in the snow and bark at skiers.  

kiva in the snow, May 16, 2012
Photo May 16, 22 12 15(when you have the keys to the lift and know how to operate it, there is no reason to hike to the top of the mountain for a few runs, just because the ski area is closed...)

What a beautiful evening!

Photo May 16, 22 13 38
Photo May 16, 21 09 58
When we got home, Kiva rested up

Photo May 16, 21 12 26
While I made myself a snack (same muffin in a mug from the other day, but I blended some baby kales with the egg before mixing in the other ingredients.  It was tasty!

green muffin in a mug
Unfortunately, my bear problems do not just occur in the wilderness, or even outside.  I now have to worry about bears IN the hospital.  

The other day when I left work, I saw this sign posted on the same automatic door that had to be disabled because a moose found it's way inside. Only this time...the door wasn't disabled.  

bear auto door
As if my unreasonably huge fear of bears in the outdoors wasn't bad enough...now I have to worry about them indoors as well!