I had just finished breakfast at Jake’s Corners and had been walking down a steep hill. I saw him first, a small black bear. Then the bear looked up from the side f the hill where he was munching on a small tree and stared at me. I stopped and fortunately the little bear, just 50 yards from me, backed away. Instinct reminded me that there must be other members of this little guy’s family near.
Cautiously, some might say stupidly, I continued walking very aware of the woods and hills surrounding the road. There she was a large black bear. Clearly she scented me first. Her oversized head tracked me as I tightly clasped the bear spray. Yet I knew in the strong head wind the bear cold be inches from my unshaven face before the spray might work. Using my best backwards race walking style I retreated, praying all the way.
Three hours later, still walking, I compute that I am just a few yards from completing my goal of 23 miles for the day. I was tired. It was drizzling. I continued walking.”Do a little more” an inner voice told me Finally, I yielded to fatigue and stopped for the day.
Less than a kilometer later as I drove my car looking for nighttime shelter a large grizzly bear, looked angrily, growled, and ran across the road directly in front of me. I was saved once again.