Probably one of the most memorable moments of this summer was when I saw the bear. This happened last weekend during our weekend camping adventure on Virginia’s Skyline Drive. The night before the sighting, the possibility of seeing a bear (a first in my lifetime) was the only thing on my mind. The reason for this was primarily because we were welcomed to our campground by a big sign that read simply: "Bear Country." I could not sleep much that night. I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the possibility of a bear hovering outside our tent. Also, seeing the movie about a man being eaten by a bear just a week before did not help things.
The bear sighting occurred the next day around noon during the tail end of a five-mile hike (a hike that alone almost led to my demise). It was surreal. After taking a break, we were just starting down the trail again when we saw it. The bear was some 150 meters away from where we were standing. It was calmly drinking from a creek when my shouts interrupted its moment of peace. Hearing my cries, it raised its head to look at us. While I was busy shouting and cursing the day, the rest of the group were taking pictures. The bear looked up at the animated crowd and then just walked away. Just like that, the mammoth beast was nowhere to be found.
I have to say that although coming face-to-face with the bear gave me the scare of a lifetime, it was exhilarating. I would do it again in a heartbeat.