May 20, 2000

Gravel Springs hut, Va 13 Miles Hiked Today 935 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Caveman attempts Jiffy Pop.Got up and saw two bears within an hour. As I was coming down the trail, I heard a large crack just to my left and stopped to watch into the tall undergrowth. About 20 yards away I could see the back of a bear's head as it walked away and appeared to lie down. So I kept hiking. About 100 yards later, where it was more open and rocky, I looked to my left again and saw a large bear running toward me.  He stopped about 30 yards away, we stared at each other (I had stopped also), and then he turned and jogged away. While the other bear encounters had been somewhat anticlimactic, this one got the adrenaline going! Bears are fast, way faster than us. I came to the quick realization that if he wanted to catch me, I was his.

The rest of the day was easy hiking, a stop at a wayside for lunch, and an early arrival at the shelter. I also got word from Zoom and it looks like we are headed into D.C. next weekend for Memorial Day with a free place to stay. I can't wait.

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