Bears are always a factor for me when I am going to be in Yellowstone National Park or really anywhere in grizzly country. Most especially if I am sleeping somewhere that might require getting up in the middle of the night to find an outhouse or bathroom. We do carry bear spray, but I don't want any midnight encounters with or without it. I did though want to be able to sleep in the Lamar Valley which meant some thinking about how to work that out.
That night as I lay there, I thought how hard it was on my body to sleep on a bunk that was only as wide as my shoulders, where I couldn't bring my knees up to my chest when I lay on my side as I love to do; but it was so incredibly wonderful for my spirit to be under that night sky and look out the window at a wilderness I love. People were camping in tents nearby and maybe it was safe. I slept sounder in the canopy.
Later driving down through Yellowstone we saw a black bear way across the Yellowstone River where it forms a deep canyon at a place called Artisan Point. The bear was coming from lower in the canyon and trying to reach the top. It's hard to say how this story had begun or how it would end given the steepness of that canyon with a thousand feet to fall if it began to slide.
We and many many people watched, cheering it on, as that bear tried different routes, had to turn around and then try another. We left before it had totally gotten to the top but after Farm Boss said he could tell that it would make it. I suppose they don't always; and if it had fallen, it would have been fatal as it was a very deep canyon.
We walked to the top of a small hill and got a surprise to see her a lot closer than we had expected on the same side of the river as us. Still she had no interest in humans, and I figured if she got aggressive, we could run faster than some of the others there which is all we'd have to do. She and the cubs were digging for small mammals at least that is how it appeared to us.
Once again I was reminded how hard life is in the wilderness for the animals... predator and prey. That sow had to find enough food to store fat for the harsh Yellowstone winter. She had to teach her cubs to survive and be with them long enough to see that they could do that. Time was running out in late September.