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Thursday, August 22, 2013
THE BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN
Back when I was a child going to sleepaway camp, the counselors used to have us sing a silly little ditty titled "The Bear Went Over the Mountain." Of course, we heard all sorts of stuff about bears but never actually saw any despite the fact that the camp itself was in the wilds of Maine.
Nowadays bears have attained a folklore of sorts via sensational tv shows describing horrific bear attacks. So really everybody pretty much knows you don't want to meet up with a bear in the wild.
Moving on (and to the point)...yesterday, I made my customary yearly voyage to the Tanbark Trail upstate to embark on what is a short but steep and very solitary climb to the overlook. Rule #1 of hiking is NEVER HIKE ALONE...which I can respect...except I don't know anybody who's available midweek who actually wants to take that hike. And thus...I do it alone.
With lots of water...and a few brewskies to reward myself when I made the overlook, I set out carefully and deliberately, as I definitely didn't want to sprain or break an ankle...or have a heart attack along the way. It could literally be days rather than minutes or hours before anybody else came along. Well...everything was fine (albeit a little buggy) until just short of the overlook...guess what! A fucking bear came out of the bush and scampered across the trail 40 feet ahead of me.
Granted, it was only about a 100 - 150 pound bear. And it appeared to be more scared of me than I was of it (if that's possible). But it was definitely a fucking bear. No doubt about that! The funny thing is...it all happened so fast, I didn't even get an adrenaline rush. I just kind of said to myself "Holy shit! A fucking bear!"
My hour long stay at the overlook was not quite the carefree and spiritual deal it normally is. I did a lot of shouting and banging sticks against tree trunks to let my bear and any of its homies know that there was a human being among them and he meant business if anybody wanted to fuck with him. So picture City Boy Bill sitting on a rock with a walking stick, a big tree branch the size of a baseball bat, and a super tall boy Keystone Ice all by his side at the ready and you have a clear mental image of my reality yesterday on that mountain.
And to tell the truth...upon seeing that bear I considered sprinting down the mountain in fear. But hey! I rode the bus and sweated my butt off ascending Mt. Sinai so fuck it. Moses is gonna stay! Case closed.
Whatever...I survived and am now back in my crib where all baby boys belong no worse for the wear. No falls...no strains...no nothing. Just a beautiful day to get away and no claw marks to mar my alabaster beauty. Check it out! Daniel Boone like a mother fucker. Hoorah!