To elaborate on the bear encounter, I wish I had a survival story where the bear saw me first, started chasing me, and that after a running match and a game of hide-n-go-seek behind trees it finally gave me a high five and let me be. But that didn’t happen.
Had been hiking for 3 miles in a trance of wonder and was almost to the trail head, it was evident because the last couple of hours had been silent of human noises and now I was hearing an occasional giggle from children in the distance.
My eyes caught the flight of a raven off to the left, below the raven and immediately thereafter, I saw the lovely black (brown in color) bear walking. I froze. Instincts told me to avoid it, like the mountain lion of last week, it can be dangerous. But curosity told me to follow it. Because I lost sight of it immdeiately, I knew I had to, “If I go back claiming that I saw a bear, after seeing a mtn lion last week, without pictures, people are going to think I’m doing/taking funny things while in the woods.”
So, I stalked. Ever so quitely, only to BREAK every branch and trip on every brush there was. The bear didn’t seem to mind my presence. Again, my adrenaline was pumping. “I am so close to a bear right now.”
He went on his merry way, eating berries, scratching his ears, walking around, laying to rest in the sun, then walking more to find berries.
I spent 10-15 minutes with the bear, awe-struck. Observing, appreciating and warning a few other hikers coming from other trails. Only after I heard nearing children voices did I wander back to the trail, not wanting kids to get too curious.