We had just spotted our third bear in as many days on a road trip along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway. As we drove around a curve on the narrow two-lane highway, he suddenly came into view, nosing around in a grassy meadow alongside the road. It was May, which in the Canadian Rockies can be a wild mix of spring and winter. One day, I wore a T-shirt and got a sunburn; the next, we got caught in a blizzard and had to hike through two feet of snow.

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