Sunday, July 10, 2011
Do Bears Sit in the Woods?
The first half mile was a gentle incline. Within three minutes I was sweating enough to fog my glasses. I peered helplessly through the condensation wishing for windshield wipers as Lori and Caroline pointed out deer sign and salamanders. The trail followed the ridge top, climbing and descending several times, but the fog was too thick to see the views. Before our walk, we had had a serious discussion about what to do if we met up with a bear, so we were a bit jumpy. The heavy fog made it worse. It closed around us like a heavy, wet blanket and we couldn’t see very far into the woods. About two miles up the trail, we almost stepped in a large pile of very fresh poop. We circled it suspiciously. What does bear poop look like anyway? The gray woods began to look even more ominous. We continued downhill, jumping at every drip and crackle. Surely a hungry bear was lurking behind that tree or that rock waiting to pounce. We made it another quarter mile before we gave into our fears and turned around.
We were moving at a fair trot when we passed the poop and crested the ridge. No bear in sight. The sun popped out and we realized how foolish we’d been, but we decided to call it a day and head back to the car. On our way out, we planted a letterbox in a small camping area.