By Maria Capezio Crookes
We got out of the car with a water bottle, knife, gun, gloves (just in case), and 2-5 gallon buckets from a builder supply store. At the head of the trail, we saw them: another group with a bucket, but without all the gear that makes you local. “Great day for berry picking!” someone in the other group said. “Shame about the bears…” I said, almost in a whisper. They exchanged concerned looks, as my companion—unnoticed—placed a bear warning sign that we had printed at home. We filled our buckets with delicious berries, unbothered, in the secrecy of our berry picking spot. No tourists in sight. No precautions needed… this time.