The Eagle River picnic area was empty this afternoon, until we reached some covered tables. Fifty or sixty people—-kids through adults—were chatting there. One of them told me they were having a U.S. Coast Guard party. The woman also said that she just saw a cinnamon bear eating grass in the nearby field.

            Sometimes running into a big gang of folks blocking the river trail makes me grumpy. But the coasties and their families sounded so happy. They also stayed near a table loaded down with food. We could slip by them and onto the otherwise empty river trail in seconds. But I had to see if I could find the bear.

            Aki’s other human placed her on a leash and were started across the bear’s field. Hearing the coastie kids laughing and the voices of their parents as they chatted, made me realize that the bear could no longer be near. But that it did not make me grumpy or frustrated. Children’s joy on a fresh Spring day will do that for you.  

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