Today on my favourite trail network I met a bear.
Not the bear in the picture. That bear was in a tree in the middle of town when I took its picture last summer.
No, today's bear was right on the path near the ponds, moving slowly, turning logs and scraping the earth.
After rounding a corner I saw it not too far off and stopped short. The bear turned and looked at me then went back to what it was doing.
I was out for a run and had a goal in mind. I wasn't going to let a medium sized American black bear change my plans.
I said hello, put my arms over my head and asked it to let me by. It moved a bit, so I followed, thinking it would go off into the bushes.
Nope. I made some more noise. It moved some more. I kept moving forward as it did. I made a last call and it turned and gave me a warning charge.
I turned and ran, heart pounding. Laughing at myself. What a fool I can be sometimes.
Fact is, the bear outweighed me by a fair bit and it didn't take long to assess the situation and decide to stand its ground.
Still unwilling to give up my plan, I backtracked to make the loop in the other direction, well aware that if we had the same kind of meeting I'd be taking the long way home.
I ran cautiously, making lots of noise, and didn't see the bear again. I really love to see them, but if the bear hangs out there it will definitely reduce the appeal of running those trails with all the blind corners.