Wednesday, November 19, 2014

48. Getting to See Dangerous Wildlife Up Close

Let's be honest here: How many times have you actually had to grapple with dangerous wildlife? I think most folks get to have an encounter with something dangerous and breathing at least once or twice in their lives. If you survive the day, that encounter will likely become one of your favorite stories to tell, because you go from being a regular dude to being a certified badass. In general, we only get to see truly life threatening animals while enjoying the relative safety of a zoo or aquarium. It's not often that we have to actually figure out how to react appropriately to a wild animal that could kill us for funsies.

On the trail I encountered several large black bears, one of whom was less than 10 feet away from me. A couple of my trail friends literally got chased by a mama black bear, after accidentally setting up their tent pretty close to a den with a couple of cubs. Another trail friend got a dry bite from a rattlesnake (meaning, he was bitten, but the snake didn't release any venom). We saw a Copper Head snake in the middle of the trail, calmly devouring a mouse.

I bet you probably want to see some of the other super dangerous wildlife we got to see up close on the Appalachian Trail. Well, you asked for it. I hope you can handle it.

Clever Girl