By Karen and Michael Miller

As newcomers to the charming Town of Andes, each week brings a new experience that lifts our spirits and humbles us. Living up on the Barkaboom and sharing the land with the native wildlife we learn something new every week.
Recently, on a Thursday early evening while crossing the Shavertown Bridge, we caught a glimpse of a large black object seemingly floating in the center of the Pepacton Reservoir.

Stopping our car in the middle of the bridge (not a wise thing to do) we were frantically trying to comprehend what we were seeing! It wasn’t floating….but moving fast! Could this be a beaver? Our hearts racing, we realized it was a huge black bear. The setting sun was glaring on the water as we struggled to keep our focus on this fast paced swimmer. We knew as he swam effortlessly across the width of the reservoir that he was keenly aware of us, and that in itself was humbling.

At that moment a police officer arrived thinking we needed assistance. Noticing the bear forging ahead at a good clip and feeling our excitement he graciously offered his binoculars to enhance our shared experience. It was remarkable. Instructing us to keep our eyes fixed on the determined black bear, as he would disappear the minute he touched land the binoculars offered us the opportunity to see every facial characteristic of this majestic animal. When he climbed out of the freezing water he quickly shook himself off and disappeared into the woods.

We are well aware what we experienced was not an everyday occurrence and wanted to share our gift with each of you and also take the opportunity to welcome back, from his long winter nap, the magnificent black bear.

Karen and Michael Miller