Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wildlife Wednesday: the Black Bear Revisted

(or rather "The Black Bear Almost Visited")

I wrote a somewhat pedantic post about black bears a while back. If you want to know a few bits of trivia about black bears in Maryland, courtesy of yours truly, that's the post for you. This is more of a story.

I'll begin it right.

Once upon a time, a mom and her two boys went to Deep Creek Lake State Park for a Park Quest. It was a beautiful day and they enjoyed the drive over the mountains from their campsite near Cumberland to the westernmost reaches of their state. They arrived at the Deep Creek Discovery Center and enjoyed  exhibits about local mining history and native wildlife.

A ranger at the center gave them their quest packet and they began following a series of clues to find three letterboxes, the first of which was in the Discovery Center. The other two were out on a trail.

They followed the advice of a fellow quester and drove to the trailhead where they found this map.


The mom compared the photocopied map in their quest instructions with this sign and found they didn't quite match. The portion of the trail they needed was smudged out on the sign and alas! The family walked right past a small sign with a symbol of a mine.

They walked and walked and walked. The trail was very steep. After a while, the mom realized they were on top of the mountain and walking along a ridge. It was very beautiful and very quiet.

"Boys, I think we're on the wrong trail," the mom said. It was at that moment she looked down and saw four deep lines in a soft patch of ground followed by a large roundish indentation.

Unfortunately for my photo, Gabe stepped on the print.
You can still clearly see three of the claw marks.
 "Hmm, let's turn around now," she said and the three made record time back down the mountain.

- The End -

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