After a full day of seeing some amazing gems and minerals at the Bancroft Gemboree, my partner and I decided to stop by a favourite spot at Grace Lake hunting gem Tremolite. My partner decided to wait in the car as she wasn’t feeling well, while I went up scouting around. After about half an hour I found a second occurrence beside the main area. Hunched over digging out around a rock cut I heard a rustling behind me. I looked back and a black bear was about 4-5 feet away sneaking up on me! I jumped up and yelled and he scurried away to about 20 feet, growled, and started to claw a tree. I reached for the bear spray and a big shovel and stood my ground yelling and banging the shovel on a rock. He moved away up the hill still growling and looking back until I lost sight of him. I packed up and made my way down the hill and back to the car, all the while being mindful of where he might be. As I was coming down the hill a truck pulled over to tell my partner that he saw a bear up where I was and was warning us. So I guess I’m just passing this onto all of you that if or when you go rockhounding, be sure to never go alone and pack your bear spray as I was about 3-4 seconds away from being bear food! I’m not sure if he has a den nearby or was just passing through, but either way, be safe out there!
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