Chance Encounter

So, you may be wondering what happened after Daniel and I split up on the trail. Sophie and I rode down the mountain in a shuttle bus. The views of the Presidential Range were stunning and I had my own personal tour guide. Sadly I didn’t get to share this experience with Daniel. The 7-mile drive to the bottom took about 40 minutes {the shuttle driver was also responsible for making sure everyone was off the mountain as the Mountain Washington Auto Road closes every night at 6PM}.

At the bottom of the mountain, I paid my shuttle charge, grabbed some local tour guide pamphlets and got comfortable on a wooden bench and waited.

While I waited, lots of worst-case scenarios kept popping into my head. Most involved Daniel having an unexpected encounter with an animal and/or getting hurt trying to make it down the mountain. I had to work hard not to let my brain panic too much.

Right about dusk I noticed that Sophie was getting really nervous and upset. I tried to verbally calm her down. Then I looked across the parking lot and saw a bear lumbering towards us. OH.MY.GOODNESS. I tried my best not to panic. Sophie started barking like a maniac and I let her. I made sure I had control of her leash and moved us both over to a wall behind a bench. With Sophie’s leash in one hand, I picked up my trekking poles with the other hand {I was planning to use them as a make-shift weapon if necessary. I also had pepper spray in my pocket}.

From my vantage point, the bear appeared to be about 4-ft tall at the shoulder. Thankfully it was not a fan of Sophie’s barking and it wandered away from us {the closest it got was about 120 feet from us}. It just sauntered away and Sophie kept barking and snorting and I let her. After that my heart was pounding and I was terribly nervous about more encounters.

Sophie barked and sputtered at every little shadow and I had to work hard to keep us both calm. Before I knew it, it was dark and I passed the time singing songs, hoping that my voice would keep any critters from bothering us. I have never been so thankful as I was when I got the phone call from Daniel saying that he had made it to the car and was on his way to pick me up. Praise the Lord. I was ready to be in the safety of the car and back with him again.

I can now mark #100 off of my life list

*The picture above is not one I took, since it was dusk lighting was poor and I was more concerned with me and Sophie’s safety than I was with pulling out my camera. I admit I considered the camera, but not enough to get it out.

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