Adam Surprises Black Bear While Hiking

Adam Faces Down Black Bear in the Wild

Yosemite National Park

Adam, a wildlife guardian, tightened the straps of his backpack and adjusted his hat, preparing for a day of adventure in Yosemite National Park. Because he was trained in wildlife sciences, the national and state parks hired him as a for-hire lecturer and trail guide. An experienced hiker and naturalist, Adam cherished the solitude and beauty of the parks. Today, he chose to hike a less-traveled trail in the park.

As Adam trekked into the forest, the morning sun cast dappled shadows through the dense woodland of trees. The scent of pine and birdsongs filled the air. He became lost in the natural serenity and marveled at what surrounded him.

The Massive Bear Glares at Adam

But the wilderness had a surprise for Adam. As he rounded a bend in the trail, he froze in his tracks, his heart pounding. A massive black bear stood in his path, a mere ten yards away. Its eyes stared menacingly at Adam.

Massive Black Bear glares at Adam, who must now keep the bear from attacking.

As his mind raced,  Adam remained calm and relied on his training. He had come prepared. The holster strapped to his belt held a canister of bear spray. He’d use it if the bear charged. Adam raised his arms slowly, trying to appear big. His heart thrummed in his ears. Sweat trickled down his forehead despite the cool morning air.

The bear huffed. Its breath was visible as vapor. It took a threatening step forward, testing the intruder’s resolve. Adam held his ground, determined not to show fear. He knew if he ran, it could provoke an attack.

Sensing Adam’s intent, the bear lowered its gaze and roared. It was his way of telling the intruder he had stumbled into the bear’s space. Adam realized that. His mind raced to decide what to do.

He recalled his training—defuse the situation. So he spoke softly, his voice steady. “Hey there, big guy. I’m just passing through. I mean you no harm.” He stepped backward, a signal to show he wasn’t a predatory threat to the bear.

To Adam’s relief, the bear reciprocated the move, slowly stepping backward. Even so, its muscles remained tense and ready to charge. Adam retreated further as he watched the bear, increasing the distance until the danger passed.

As Adam returned down the trail, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of respect and awe for the bear. Nature commanded both fear and admiration. He had witnessed the delicate balance between the two and felt grateful for the experience.

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Author: Rick Graf

Writer | Author | Graphics Reporter My nonfiction writing has been published in newsletters, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and social media. I worked against deadlines in two professions—as a journalist and a copywriter. My career in writing began in college, where I wrote for my college newspaper and served as its news editor. My fiction writing includes published short stories and an unpublished manuscript. I'm a member of Write-On St. George, a chapter of the League of Utah Writers.

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