Oh my. I was listening to a speaker at an AA meeting this morning. He had gotten a terrible night’s sleep at Hickory Run State Park, because there were so many bears. They kept him awake all night!
That cartoon above came right to mind. “So many bears!”
First of all, Black bears are EXTREMELY territorial. They will fight to keep other bears away from their area. if you see a bear, it’s likely that the next bear is miles away.
Secondly, they are VERY afraid of humans, with good reason. We are a real threat. Pretty much nothing else in North America will ever attack a bear.
Yes, you will encounter bears on the AT if you hike enough. I’ve seen dozens. All but one ran. That one held its ground at about 50 meters from me as I passed. I found out later that she was becoming to accustomed to humans. They may have to relocate her.
Now. Night time is a whole other thing. Almost all sounds are bears at night, in my head, if I’m alone. If there is one other camper, I feel safe. That other can be 60lbs and 10 years old! One of my thruhiker friends says the the best defense against the fear of bears at night, is earplugs. Earplugs!
I love the bears out there. They keep me alert. Focused. Rattlesnakes and Black Bears.
A little stress is good out there. It’s exciting! The first time you see a bear, I promise you, your pulse will rise.
You’ll get scared and then in an hour or so, you’ll wish you could see another. 😊
2 thoughts on “It’s a Bear!”
My bear story…. years ago, Stoddartsville, winter. Dick and I are visiting my folks and have another couple along…. that in itself sounds odd. These days I would not be inclined to ask my parents if I can bring another couple for the weekend. Anyway,
The guy “Tom” is a macho type. At that time lived in Hapotcong, NJ in a neighborhood that long before belonged to bears and Indians.
My dad declares it is time for a walk in the woods. Dad was known for his declarations. Off we go, Dad, me, Tom, and I think Dick was along but my memory is not clear on that point.
We are not far into the woods when we come upon a dark, melty spot in the snow; pretty much in the open given the options of rock shelves and gullies nearby.
In the middle of the dark spot is two brand new bear cubs… eyes not open.
Dad says, “Let’s see if we can find the mom!”
Sounded good to me…. Tom was not enthusiastic but could not imagine trying to find his way back in the snow falling our tracks for the less than 100 yards we had traveled so far.
We probably walked for another half hour but never say her and her tracks took off into heavy bush difficult to follow so we turned around.
By the time we got back to the place of the cubs, they were gone.
She had managed to circle back on us, pick up the cubs, and disappear without making a sound… and you know how quiet the woods are the day after a 6″ snow.
And we humans think we are so smart.
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Amazing story. Some magazine would want it.
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