Bears! In the Wild

Excerpted From Great Hike? Or Greatest Hike?
Simsbury/Granby, 4 trails (plus bonus Simsbury Land Trust trails), about 6.7 miles, solo

October 12, 2008

we pick up the story ¾ of the way though…

As I crested the unnamed hilltop, I had my camera out to take a picture of it, as I was desperate for pictures of any sort along this trail. I snapped the picture, not even stopping. Just then, I head the crash of deer running away from me up and to my right.

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The exciting hilltop

I immediately noticed that these were some clumsy deer, as they seemed a bit slower and crashier than normal. I kept walking towards the sound and looked into the woods after them. Wow, these deer were much blacker, shorter, and furrier than other deer I have seen. And they climb trees too!

Wow! A bear! About 20 feet from me, I watched a cub clumsily climb a tree and stare at me. Since I had my camera out, I took the following terrible picture:

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Bears! THE Greatest Hike!

I was so excited I can’t even tell you. Finally! My first bear-in-the-woods-in-Connecticut sighting! As I checked to see if my picture was any good, I heard the gruffling and huffling that bears do when they kinda sorta want you to get away. I walked a few more steps and then saw, off to my right and a few feet below her cub, a none-too-happy mama bear staring me down. She wasn’t climbing up any trees or turning tail.

Since she was only about 15 feet from me and not backing down, and I was quite alone and a mile from the closest road, I simply slipped my camera in my pocket and kept walking away. Slowly. I’m sure I could have taken what would have been a pretty cool picture, but I have to admit that I was a bit off my game. I wasn’t scared per se, but I wasn’t too comfortable either.

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“Phew. I didn’t die.”

Read more about the day’s hike here.

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