Posts Tagged ‘bears’

Da Bears…

This past weekend taught me many things:

1. Goodbyes are sad.

2. New Jersey is not entirely a barren wasteland as I had previously believed.

3. Bears are big. and scary. and should never be wished for.

On saturday, I went hiking on the Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap with my boyfriend. We did about 8 miles on the AT and several offshoot trails, which was both tiring and really fun. It was humid, but overall perfect weather for a day hike.

When we stopped for lunch we saw a sign that said, “This is bear country,” and I said the silliest thing imaginable: “I hope we see a bear!” (Doug did tell me to knock on wood, though I did not heed his warning…) I really did want to see one. I had been in the Smokey Mountains (the heart of bear country!) over spring break and had not see a single one down there. This was my chance!

Well, on the last mile or two of the hike, we were talking and walking with eyes fixed on the ground due to the rocky, downhill terrain. I heard a noise, looked up and saw something black move through the shrubs. I thought it was a dog a first until I got a better look and realized it was actually a bear cub trying to climb up a tree! For whatever reason, my immediate mental reaction was “aww!” until a second later when I saw a large black head pop up from behind a fallen tree. It was a 400-or-so pound mama bear, and she was about 10 feet in front of us.

We backed up quickly and started walking back up the trail as quietly as we could. When we were far enough back, Doug took a few pictures and we rehearsed our bear encounter etiquette. Eventually, the bears crossed the trail and moved farther into the woods, and we were able to continue down the trail unscathed.

I was terrified, but we didn’t die. (We had conjured up a make-shift plan in case of mauling, but I’m glad we didn’t need to use it.)

In non-bear related news, my little (not so little…) brother left for the Air Force Academy on Sunday morning. He will be missed!

Also, here are a few more stories:





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