"We Wanted to Vacation With the Bears" Meet a couple who chose to go face-to-snout with black bears in Minnesota on their vacation. Budget Travel Friday, Apr 1, 2011, 4:00 AM One of Minnesota's 27,000 black bears (Jenny Ross/Corbis) Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

WELCOME TO THE CUB HOUSE

"We Wanted to Vacation With the Bears"

Meet a couple who chose to go face-to-snout with black bears in Minnesota on their vacation.

I wake up before sunrise at the sound of a loon calling, and take the opportunity to make use of one of the camp's canoes. As I paddle the lake, the sun rises and slowly filters light across the water.

That afternoon, and every afternoon for the next few days, we hike a few easy miles into the woods to track the dozen or so bears and cubs that Lynn has collared. Reminding us to keep our distance until the animals recognize him, Lynn steps ahead and calls, "It's me, bear, it's me." In the woods, far away from the lodge, the bears are more cautious, but when it's apparent we don't intend to do anything more than observe them, they lose interest and go on about their business. That's when it gets fun.

I find a spot to sit on the carpet of sweet fern and spend whole afternoons watching a mom nurse her three cubs. It's enthralling. At one point, one of the cubs crawls so close, I can't resist. I put my hand out to see what he'll do, and he leans in a bit more—just as curious as I am. I touch his fur for an instant and am shocked by how soft and downy it is—a sensation I'll never forget.

 

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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