This was the best shot I could manage of self-absorbed bear #2. It's really difficult to take pictures in the woods late in the day. Not enough light, but you can tell it's a bear and not a sasquatch. The first bear I saw, which completely made my day if not my whole week, was stripping berries next to the Appalachian Trail and took off like his ass was on fire as soon as I made some noise so he'd know I was there. These two bears typify every experience I've had with bears except for one: In 2006 in the Tetons I had a bear come into camp while we were fixing dinner and simply would not take the small rocks I was pelting him with as a hint. I finally chased him up a tree and he got the idea and eventually wandered off. That was a desperate, pitiful bear, though.
This is completely unrelated, but I accompanied the lady to Asheville today where she had a job interview. At least one of us isn't completely useless, and I suppose that's a good thing. Neither one of us is cool enough for Asheville, though. I don't have a single dreadlock and my disdain for patchouli is well documented. In most company I generally feel like the dirtbag of the bunch, but I couldn't help but wish that I hadn't shaved this morning so I might feel a little less out of place on the sidewalks of the hippie-freak capital of western North Carolina. Then again, how many of those shower-averse hippies have treed a bear?