Sometimes it’s better to turn around

By Jeff Lund | For the Capital City Weekly

It’s been sunny, so I’ve been hiking.
That’s not the only reason, though. I’ve found that hiking is a good relief from the stresses of being a free-agent high school English teacher. So I guess before I get to the point of this ramble, I’ll advocate hiking not only for cardiovascular purposes, but also stress relief.
I was on my fourth hike in three days when I came upon a pile of bear scat fresh enough to be alive with flies. A little further up the trail was a dead fawn. I could have continued, but there was a good hour left on this hike – which isn’t a popular one. In fact, it’s not a trail, it’s just an old logging road with an alder tunnel and eventually a view of town.
The dead fawn wasn’t torn up by predators, but it was only a matter of time, and that fresh mound of poo made me second-guess continuing. I wasn’t afraid of a bear, but it’s one of those situations when as a hiker it’s better to error on the side of caution than march forward. All I had with me was water, and it wasn’t enough to drown a momma bear should it attack me for encroaching on its meal or separating it from its cubs.

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