We're Goin' On a Bear Hunt, We're Gonna Catch a Big One!

Sunday, June 24, 2018
We're goin' on a bear hunt.....we're gonna catch a big one....what a beautiful day....we're not scared!

So cleverly written by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, the children's classic story, 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' wasn't so far from our adventure recently when we traveled to Cairo, NY to hunt for the bears on display.   Just as in the story, there were rivers to cross, forests to go through and many, many roads to travel, sometimes a few times....all in the spirit of hunting down bears, 50 to be exact.  Unlike the Catskill cats which are pretty much confined to the main drag, the Cairo bears were spread over a pretty wide area.....probably not as wide as it seemed to us out-of-towners.  Having said that, I will say it took us around 7 hours to track down all 50.  During those 7 hours (not even counting our commute from Clifton Park, we did backtrack more than once due to some less than expert map deciphering on my part) we took some time out to have a donut at Dalton Donuts.  To our defense...that is the site of one of the bears so it was only practical to take advantage of that stop and am I glad we did.  Wow.....I may have to go back to Cairo one day just for a donut.  Those things are a-ma-zing!!!  We also did a little tour of a really neat Tiny House Resort and a Buddhist retreat. I'll share those in another post.  Suffice to say, it was a full and fun, albeit tiring day of hunting but rewarding to be able to say we were able to scout down all 50.  Like the other exhibits, two more bears are on display in Coxsackie and Catskill.  Like the owls and cats, the bears are so beautifully designed and executed and each one so original and clever.  Here's some of my favorites and the rest will be featured on my Facebook page soon:

Wait till you see the rest of this one!!!

Something important to mention here is that Brian Bolde, artist extraordinaire and painter at Quality Auto Body, the sponsor for Amber Glow bear, pictured below, clear coated all the animals on display in all three exhibits.  In addition, he created this beautiful bear as well as one of the Catskill cats!  Thanks Brian for sharing your time and talent!

This is just a few of the collection, but aren't they fabulous?  This is the first year that Cairo has brought the bears back in some time, thanks to the Cairo Development Foundation (http://caironybears.org/).  Just like in Catskill and Coxsackie, the bears will be on display until September at which time a gala will be held and the bears will be auctioned off.  Each artist receives 30% of the gross profits and the rest of the proceeds go to the Cairo Development Foundation for future projects to beautify and improve the town of Cairo and promote a business friendly atmosphere in the town.
One thing we noticed during our hunt......what a beautiful area this is.  We sometimes forget that the Catskills are a big tourist attraction and searching for these bears, we discovered so many wonderful resorts amidst the Catskill Park.  Another example of how easy it is to not realize what treasures exist right under our nose.  I urge you to take a drive to Cairo for your own bear hunt.  Pick up a map in one of the sponsoring shops and see how many you can find.  One hint......don't be fooled into thinking the bears are miles and miles apart.  Although they may look like it on the map, and are definitely spread beyond the immediate town, the actual mileage between them isn't as bad as it looks.  Had we known that starting out, we would have saved a lot of time backtracking to places we'd already been when I decided I couldn't go home without all 50.  Did I ever mention....I'm married to a saint?  Some of the bears are difficult to see from the road, and some are not easy to pull off to photograph, especially in the outlying area. Stay tuned for the full collection, plus close-ups and expanded views on Facebook soon https://www.facebook.com/GAWelter/.   Thanks for reading.  Consider subscribing if you're a regular reader....relying on Facebook to deliver posts to your timeline these days is about as exhausting as bear hunting only less fruitful!  Happy Hunting!
If you missed the Coxsackie owls:  https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2018/06/what-hoot-2018-coxsackie-owls.html   or the Catskill cats: https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2018/06/fabulous-felines-frolicking-streets-of.html 

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