I can never get my camera out fast enough to get a picture of a bear on the Mesa, but they are out there and there are quite a few of them.
There are local rumors regarding an underground bear revolution brewing amidst the scenery of the Grand Mesa.
In all seriousness, dear runner, bears make the Grand Mesa their home for whatever reasons. During the race last year, one of the race directors had a close encounter with one of these charming creatures while remarking a section of trail at 3:00 AM. Although bears or their tracks have been sighted on all of the trails used in the race, some especially hot spots along the route include the lower section of Crag Crest Trail, the Grand Mesa Lodge to Flowing Park, and the Mesa Lakes Loop. These areas are more heavily timbered and are close to lakes, campground trash cans, and the unattended picnic basket (Hey, Boo-Boo!). These are also areas which you might be running at dawn, at dusk, or at night.
To protect both yourself and our large, furry friends, stay alert. Although this can be difficult after you've logged 80 miles and your eyelids feel like bags of wet cement, it's your best defense. It's best not to blasting down the trail at 2:AM with Metallica cranked on the Ipod.