Dad was right when he told me that there might be more wildlife pushed on trail from the drought and fire zones. In just two days I saw countless dear and FOUR bears! I was so happy to meet up with some more SOBOs, too. Suddenly, we ran into a momma bear and her two cubs. The little babies shimmied up the closest tree (how successful is bear baggin anyway?) and big momma rushed ahead down the trail to the left. We all know that you don't ever want to cross a mom and her cubs, so we backtracked a good distance and waited 20 minutes to let them handle their business.
I was much slower than these hikers and camped behind. The next night, I watched the most beautiful sunset and thought of my own mom. I set out my bag to sleep under the stars, when I heard some rustling in the bushes. I swear when I say, 40 feet ahead on the trail, a teenage bear popped out and stared me straight in the eye. He ran ahead too quick for me to snap a photo, and left me wondering about my safety. What are you supposed to do? Pack up and move ahead a few miles? I was too tired for that, so I just talked to myself loudly until I fell asleep, using my food bag as a pillow. I'm sure the smell of cold mashed potatoes did nothing to attract him back.