We accomplished a lot today. We ventured into North Carolina and rafted down some class three and class four rapids for about five miles. We saw some beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery, and some waterfalls. But that doesn’t matter.
Today, I finally got what I had been waiting for ever since I started deciding to have something to wait for. I saw not one, not two, not even three of these things. In fact, I saw six of them. Davy Crockett’s prey: the American black bear.
I couldn’t find any out west, but these guys were just ambling around in the valley, presumably searching for picnic baskets. First there was one solo bear, then three at once, then two more individual bears. All were pretty sweet, but none were mauling children or balancing on unicycles. Still, there was something undoubtedly moving about seeing the elusive creatures in their native habitat, free from the tyranny of hunters’ whims.
I just wish I could have stood between a mother and her cub, if only for one second, just to see that look on her face. You know the one.