Can Bears Trip When They Run?

When hiking the Appalachian Trail, all kinds of  thoughts pop into my head. Seemingly random thoughts that make no sense half the time. Maybe it’s the exhaustion of the steep inclines causing my mind to go to all kinds of places?

For example, what do opossums eat? Do they eat meat? What am I doing here? I wonder if there are Indian arrowheads that I could find. Has anybody ever seen a bear trip when it runs? Is that mushroom good in my soup? Are mothballs a deterrent for bears? Well I expect to find out! Do trees communicate with each other? What do they think of the little people that pass by them making weird huffy sounds?

Every step has been wonderful in retrospect. I wake up around the same time every night with my heart pounding thinking: This is it! This is the moment I get eaten by a bear! Then ten minutes later I’m fast asleep again almost having forgotten the instant fear. I wake up in the morning excited to start my hike, looking forward to finding new plants, facing obstacles as they come while knowing random thoughts will continue.

Georgia to North Carolina was a trip. There were a couple of places that really tested me. Not being a strong hiker, I often found myself taking a few steps stopping to breathe and repeating the process.  When I was able to get over something particularly difficult, I felt stronger and proud of my accomplishment. The endorphins must have kicked in because it made me want to keep going. I met a few people along the way and we were able to laugh at my trials together. I enjoy hearing about their personal journey, whether they are doing a day-hike or section of the trail. When they hear I’m attempting a thru-hike, I get a few interesting looks. “Have fun with that. You go girl!”

The encouraging comments, majestic views, and self-affirmation keep me hiking.

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