So, I just got back from here:
Coincidentally, I have an idea for a story that takes place here. Okay, so really this isn’t such a coincidence after all, since I planned the trip after the idea. And even though I’ve been to the mountains and I’ve gone hiking before, I haven’t been hiking in these particular mountains, and I definitely hadn’t been hiking recently.
Anyway. I quickly remembered some stuff about the mountains.
Like that you can hear the wind coming.
And that the temperature feels at least ten degrees cooler.
And that you shouldn’t hike without bug spray.
And that I am seriously out of shape.
I learned a lot of new things, too. Of particular note, I learned about bears. I wasn’t planning to learn about bears. But there had been a lot of recent sightings nearby, and even though I was pretty sure black bears didn’t typically attack humans, I was still concerned. Very concerned.
Because animals do not like me.
Name any animal. Ten bucks says it doesn’t like me.
(Side note: a wild turkey once attacked me. Completely unprovoked. Before that day, it had never even occurred to me that such a thing could happen.)
Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally given the increased bear sightings), there was a pamphlet in our room outlining what to do in the unlikely event that a bear seems *overly interested* in you. This made me happy.
Rule #1: Do Not Run.
Crap. Historically, this has always been my plan of action when it comes to animal encounters.
That wild turkey attack? I ran like hell.
Anyway, back to the pamphlet.
There was this whole series of steps for avoiding a bear attack, and each subsequent step was like, But if THAT doesn’t work, slowly back away. And if THAT doesn’t work, make yourself appear bigger and yell or growl or something… And the last step, if none of the previous things worked and the bear did, in fact, attack, suggested that you fight back. Aggressively. You know, just in case you were getting attacked by a bear and thought, maybe I’ll just gently tap it a couple times and see how that goes.
Anyway, I digress.
It was a productive trip. The writing idea grew. And so did my repertoire of “animal encounter” tips. Run like hell. In the event of failure, defend self.