"der!, der!", a family of Japanese tourists were saying, while I was out running this morning. "
"what is it?", I ask.
"der!, der!", the one with the over-sized camera says.
I look into the woods and I can't see anything. I keep looking and a huge spot of black starts moving across an old growth log covered in mossy green.
"see!, der!, der!, der!", he says again. That's when I realize he's been saying "bear!, bear!"
9 years I have been trail running across the North Shore and I've never seen or heard a bear. The odd deer has startled me and I've seen plenty of steaming, grassy, berry-filled ugliness, but never a bear. Thanks to those tourists for pointing it out. Had they not been there I wouldn't have even noticed it.
It makes me wonder how many animals I have passed in these last 9 years. And how many have watched me run by. I sometimes feel like I'm being watched, but who knows what that is. Cougars probably. Both types.
Anyway, I have seen my first North Shore black bear. It was huge and I'll happily keep the same 25 foot gap for my next encounter.