Dolly Copp, nestled in the Presidential Range, is a lovely campground for low-tech camping. We don't need much more than dry weather to be, well, happy campers.
But the warnings about BEARS are ubiquitous.
I brought along Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, his adventures (and misadventures) on the Appalachian Trail. Relaxing in our tent while Hubby & Son went off for firewood, they returned to find me absolutely laughing OUT LOUD; they could hear me guffawing from yards and yards away.
Bryson returns from 20 years living abroad and discovers that the AT crosses close to his home in Hanover, NH. He decides to "thru-hike" the whole more-than-2100-mile length along with an unlikely partner: a high school friend who is an overweight, recovering alcoholic with a penchant for Little Debbie snacks.
Shopping for equipment, details of his significant fears around black bears, his rude awakening to the rigor of the AT, enduring a major cold snap AND a snowstorm early in his hike. A less than endearing depiction of Southern culture. A frightful night spent listening to rustling and snuffling in the bushes.... all hysterically funny. I hadn't laughed that hard at a book for quite some time.
But the tale turns.
American vacationers drive distances to visit natural wonders, but end up at mini-golf, amusement parks, eating more fast food. So much for communing with nature. The journey gives him a new appreciation for, well, WALKING. He mourns that no one walks anywhere anymore. I agree, most of us do NOT walk enough. I'm terribly guilty of it myself - the supermarket is walking distance from my house, but I always drive. A Walk in the Woods was written in 1997, and I think that walking (and biking) have made something of a comeback (at least in spirit, if not always in practice) with gas prices so high for the last 11 years.
|It wasn't a kitty cat that scratched |
all the bark off this tree....
higher than my head!
And I made sure to make a bit of noise as I walked to the restroom in the dark (past the trash dumpster)... the last thing I wanted to do was surprise a bear!