Features

Walking ‘bear’ makes it to San Benito County en route to San Francisco

Artist Bearsun left Los Angeles on foot April 12 and expects to reach his destination April 23.
Bearsun northbound Hwy 25 south of Tres Pinos with just over 100 mile left on his journey. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Bearsun northbound Hwy 25 south of Tres Pinos with just over 100 mile left on his journey. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.

After leaving Los Angeles on April 12, an artist named Bearsun walked north on Hwy 198 and Hwy 25 to Hollister. He was tired but has kept walking, determined to reach San Francisco on foot. BenitoLink caught up with him a few miles south of Paicines Store and with just 100 miles to go he was happy to talk about his trip and take some photos with a San Benito family who pulled over to say hi.

Bearsun is an illustrator in Los Angeles and wears the costume of one of his characters, a bright orange cartoon bear. He walks alone and camps at night when he finds a safe spot. He wears the suit throughout the day. He said he camped in Bitterwater the night before and though it was cold, he feels safe and knows he has just three nights left. 

While at first he did have to shop for food, he said now people along the way give him food and electrolyte drinks. People are friendly, he said, adding that he needs to be careful of vehicles. 

“I use all my senses on the road,” Bearsun said. He stops as each car passes so he can listen for another car. 

He came into San Benito County from westbound Hwy 198, and got a little lost before finding Hwy 25. He said he feels good now with several clear paths he can take to San Francisco and expects to get there on April 23. Once there, Bearsun will meet with friends and return to Southern California by car.

County resident Cortnee Bowers, pulled over with her family to say hi and get a photo. She said her oldest, Riley, 4, was a little unsure of the situation but Riley was a trooper and approached him. Kinsely, 2, smiled a lot as we talked on the side of the road. Bowers said of Bearsun’s trip, “This is great.” She thought it was a fantastic idea and she showed BenitoLink some photos of Tres Pinos students who had driven farther south earlier in the day to meet Bearsun .  

 

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Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.