My wife and I recently returned from the mountains of Tennessee
we climbed Mount Leconte
. We were spending the night in a lodge
atop the mountain that could only be reached by hiking one of the
five trails that lead to the summit
. My wife and I chose one of the
medium length trail
s with a length of six and a half miles and a climb
of 3300 feet.
About four hours into our hike, my wife and I took a rest, her lying on a
convenient rock and I stretched out with my head on my pack. The rest
was scheduled to be ten minutes, to allow our weak and tired bodies to
have some solace from the endless climb. About eight minutes into the
rest, I decided we had rested enough and got to my feet. As I reached
back to get my pack, I looked up the trail.
That is when I saw the bear.
He was a full grown black bear about 100 feet up the trail from where
we were resting. He was coming down the trail, but stopped when he saw me.
My wife had not seen the bear at this point, so I said the only thing one
can say at that point.
My wife, who doesn't have much experience with hiking, looked up the trail
at this newcomer to our party and asked the obvious question, "What
do we do?"
My reply: "Take a picture."
Epilogue: We and the bear parted company soon after. The bear decided
that the woods above the trail looked good to him and ambled up into the
brush to watch us pass, which we did unmolested. But we did get a couple
of decent pictures.