Every week for Throwback Thursday we’ll post an image from the (slowly uploading) archive – a scanned slide or still – I took from one of my family adventures as a kid to the wilds of Yellowstone and the Canadian Rockies, or from my trips as a teen to the Great Bear Rainforest to help document the spirit bear.
I’m not sure if this bear ever received an “official” name from local photographers, but I think my mom gave this boar the perfect name: Smiling Bear.
Between 2000 and 2005, we saw this grizzly every year near Yellowstone’s Sylvan Pass. And one hot July day, he acted like a joyful dog – swimming in Sylvan Lake, relaxing in the shade and displaying his remarkably long tongue.
I maintain that he is the father of the grizzly bear known as Raspberry and other bears that I’ve seen near the east entrance. But after 2005, I never saw this beautiful bear again. I like to think he moved to greener pastures in Yellowstone’s backcountry – and undoubtedly, he’s still smiling.