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[at-l] Trail Magnificence in the Form of a Bear

Hey all -

It's time for bear stories, and I have a good one.  I meant to share it
earlier but didn't.  It was the purest picture of wild magnificence I
believe I've ever seen.

This one takes place in Shenandoah, just past where the central section
crosses the road and gives way to the Northern Section, not quite to
Matthews Arm, but in that vicinty.  My husband and I are hiking along on
this fine July day when we hear a scratching sound from a tree we're
approaching.  We look up in time to see three cubs -- they looked like
oversized cats -- hanging on the side of a tree, with Mama sitting upright
on the ground, in the deep shade, very much in charge of everything.  In
fact, I'd say she was more in charge of the universe at that moment than we
were.  A bird dog couldn't have pointed us better.

Anyway, we stopped, looked up and saw that, with another step or two, we'd
probably make Mama mad.  And when Mama ain't happy, nobody is happy, right?
We froze of course, lingered long enough to imprint this wonderful picture
in our brains, and then decided that it was a great time to back off down
toward the road and have a little snack.  Which we did do.

As the day wore on, we ended up with (count 'em, now) an 8-Bear day, but
none of our other encounters was as beautiful as that one.  I can still see
Mama watching us before deciding whether to take matters into her own paws.