Not that I’m looking for excuses not to hit the trail, but state Departments of Natural Resources are confirming it, black bears are on the move in Midwest states . I’ve never encountered a bear, nor have I ever even seen one. The closest I’ve come to a bear was in Sun Valley, Idaho during a GIS conference. On one of my days off, we took to the trail. We didn’t see a bear, but we saw bear sign.
If you asked me why, I couldn’t explain, but I have this fear of bears. Weird, huh? Not like I’m drawing from experience or anything. Just a fear. I remember reading in a book, the title of which eludes me now, about encountering bears in the woods. The book stated that if you met a grizzly in the woods that you should climb a tree. If it follows you, kiss your ass good-bye.
Or maybe it has to do with Legends of the Fall . Maybe knowing that Brad Pitt’s character was killed by a bear was too traumatic for me. What I do know is this. Hiking the trails at Gooseberry Falls State Park had me paranoid. I kept looking behind me, sure that the sound I heard was a bear silently approaching. I suppose if I really wanted to get deep here, I’d talk about how bears are representative of introspection, always a frightening prospect to look deep within oneself and search for meaning and purpose, to examine one’s soul. Now that’s scary.