Friday, September 2, 2011

Mamma bear...and babies

It was a beautiful day Monday, so after work I drove up to a park with some single-track bike trails to go for a run. The road to the main section of the park was closed thanks to the effects of Hurricane Irene, so I parked at another end of the park and ran along some paved roads to get to the trails. I didn't go far before I was tired. In fact, I was tired before I even got to the trails. When I did get to the trail, I leaped around over some tree roots and started to get into it. I had some speed going up some little inclines, and it felt good to stretch my legs. I came out into a field that last month was filled with black-eyed susans, but this time was just filled with a lot of standing water from the storm. A friend asked me to do a mud run with her this fall, so I decided to get a head start training for that and plunged in. The puddles were fairly clean, since the path was more grassy than muddy, and the water was warm. I didn't mind splashing along down the trail. I came to some very deep puddles, and it wasn't until I was calf-deep in one of them that I heard some noise on the path ahead of me and saw a mother bear and two cubs. Oops. I waded backwards, clapped my hands, and tooted a whistle that I wear for that purpose. All three of them scampered into the woods, and I waded and then jogged away in the other direction.

After I was out of view, I was still a little scared that I might run into them when I got back into the woods, so I clapped or blew the whistle a little every once in a while. And so ends my terrifying bear attack story. I ran back to the car and drove around to another section of the park, but by then I was feeling like my wet shoes and socks were going to cause some blisters, and I decided to head home. Definitely need to get out running regularly again.

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