Bears!

Mom and her cubs!

This was our third day of our big push to get through this section. We did another 28 miles and the weather was amazing. About a quarter of the way through the hike we came across this mother bear and three of her sweet cubs. I think you can only see two of the cubs if you zoom in but the third one was playing behind the rock. They were so small and mom was keeping a real close eye on us so we slowly backed away down the trail.

Mom

This made my day for sure. I have been waiting for so long on this trip to see a bear. This sweet bear family made the wait worth it for sure. Astronaut, Jellyfish and I stopped for lunch along a ridge that had a little sun but it was still pretty brisk so we got back to hiking soon to warm back up. We were hiking fast today and the miles flew past with some amazing views of the valleys below.

Cold lunch

We talked a lot today about how incredibly isolated we are this year on the trail. We’ve only seen one other hiker in the past two days! I don’t know what to make of it. It is a constant reminder of how broken everything is right now but we are also glad that we are so alone out here. We feel safe while being able to enjoy the outdoors. It’s that same problem we’ve been trying to work out since the virus broke. Is it okay for us to be able to enjoy this experience while so many are suffering? I have come to peace with it. It’s the right place for me now but that doesn’t mean that the anxiety is any less. That will only come when we everyone starts to heal.

Tomorrow is another big day of 28 miles and then we will need to resupply and get to sleep in a bed tomorrow night. After that, we will actually leave the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has owned us for so long and it will be a great milestone to get to Harpers Ferry and the famous “psychological half way point.” At 1,025 miles you are not quite 50 percent done but close enough to tell yourself that you are. All downhill from here, right?

6 thoughts on “Bears!

  1. Love this. So incredible to see the Mom and babies. I am happy you are sheltered by the trail from the virus. You will re-enter soon enough and it won’t be over. Enjoy the beauty of the mountains! Hugs!

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  2. Hi Drew,
    Thanks again for keeping your posts up. I am enjoying my daily visit to the trail. Wow, almost 1000 miles. I cant even imagine how difficult it is but you are in a good place during this challenging time. Still no Masters swimming so you’re not missing anything there.

    Safe travels!

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  3. Drew, at last a bear visit with babies. Great photo of Mom. Hard to believe you are almost halfway through the trail. Do you talk about what it will feel like to reach Maine? Florida opening up beaches today, some business opening on Monday. Still a strong feeling of isolation. You are in a good place. Enjoy. Love you.

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  4. Drew:

    How cool to see the bears! Glad Momma bear did not charge you.

    Elena and I dove with Pura Vida this morning. Lovely! Can only have 8 divers. We all wore masks. Saw big loggerheads, lemons, and big nurse sharks. Flat water. 60ft viz. you would have loved it.

    Your hike sounds fabulous. Still crazy here.

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  5. Your pics of the bears are special. During all my growing up years in Tennessee and many trips to the mountains I never spotted them once. We are all trying to re enter society here. This social distancing thing that folks are trying to practice is such a strange thing. The right place to be right now is on the AT enjoy!

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