Today was an exciting and fun day. I had a quick 15 mile hike into the next town, Daleville VA today and it started off with a bang. About two miles from the shelter, as I was about to start climbing up a small hill, a bear came sprinting out of the woods right towards me. In the split second after I saw it I thought “Oh shit, I know bears don’t usually charge, but if I was a bear and I wanted to charge me I would be running the exact trajectory it is.” The bear was running along the side of the hill towards where the trail intersects the bottom of the hill, not 20 feet away. Without really thinking I shouted out “BEAR! HEY BEAR!” (which is apparently the go to shout amongst at hikers from what I’ve heard). It stopped, looked up at me, paused for a second, then sprinted off in the other direction. I think it was probably even more startled than I was. It looked more like a big ‘ole dopey dog than anything else.
I’m glad my first bear encounter went well. From all I’ve heard from other hikers it was about what I expected. Though the bear ran way faster than I expected. Those things can move.
Getting into Daleville was great too. The trail intersected with the highway right by a pizza hut, which was a great sight to see. I had a pizza for dinner, did a resupply, and stopped by the outfitters. I weighted my pack and found out my base weight (pack weight without food and water) is now down to 19 pounds. I know that doesn’t mean much to non-hikers, but to me it means a ton. Early in my hike going light was just a vaguely good idea, but I’m finally seeing the dividends. I can move so much faster now and I’m much lighter on my feet too. I’ll be dropping another 4-6 pounds soon as well, so I’ll be going even lighter and faster.
Time got away from me tonight, so that’s all for now. On to Glasgow which will likely have to be my first hitch.