We drove the loop, had a picnic lunch, took some pics, walked some trails, and yes, saw a bear.
Not uncommon for Cades Cove, as it is one of the most popular places for wildlife viewing in the Mountains.
As a child, we often camped near Cades Cove, and did the loop at least once per day while on vacation. I've been thru that thing hundreds of times. Okay, maybe not hundreds, but we might be getting close.
So when we saw the cars stopped, and lined up, we knew there was probably a bear up ahead.
Or maybe a deer, because occasionally you do get people who apparently have no deer where they're from, and get really excited about a deer.
And then we saw the people out of their cars. Maybe 20 of them, standing around, looking into the woods. We still weren't close enough to see, but I started noticing that none of them were pointing, and they seemed to be looking at something fairly close.
And then I saw the man and his son walk into the woods, and begin pointing at it from the other side.
Because it's really smart to cut off a large predator like a bear from all angles, with nothing to protect you. Like, brilliant.
And then we see it. And it's very clear that the bear wants to cross the road. And it's also very clear that the line of people watching him is in his way.
And people are stupid. And no, I will not apologize for that statement. Until evidence proves otherwise, I am convinced that the vast majority of animal attacks on humans (domestic or wild) are the human's fault. Because people are too stupid to realize that if you don't know enough about animal behavior to adjust your behavior accordingly, then you have no right to be that close to said animal. Grr. I could do a whole soap box post on this subject. But not now. I'm moving on...
So Mr. Bear begins walking farther down the line of cars, to where there are no people blocking the road. As in, by our car.
And it stops, and I swear it's looking right at us. And I realize, it's gonna come.
|sizing up the situation|
"Roll up Jena's window! Roll up Jena's window! Roll up Jena's window!"
Jason had just gotten her window rolled up, and was starting on ours, when it came. It ran right behind our car into the woods on the other side.
Now, it may have only been a second, and we may have been in our car, but that is definitely the closest I've ever come to a wild bear. And the closest I'd ever want to.
As always, thanks for checking in!