Fortunately, the bear appeared preoccupied with his search for lunch, shifting rocks in the stream to un-house potential sources of food. I stood behind trees, when possible, watching the bear move further away as I cautiously followed.
At a switchback in the trail, I paused to record this video with the zoom feature on my camera. Although the stream was generally quite shallow, the bear found a deeper pool in which to relax and keep cool –
Near the end of the video, you’ll observe (as I did) that the bear elevates his nose, sniffing in the air to identify an odor of my presence. At this point, the trail changed direction, and so did I – uphill and away!
Footnote: I didn’t realize it at the time, but, if you turn up the volume on the video – and, the volume on your computer/device – you’ll hear the bear grunt as he detects my scent – yikes!!!
If you like the header-image (above), it’s based on a photograph I took that day while hiking. A larger size is available on prints (and more) in my galleries at Pixels and/or Fine Art America. Thanks for stopping by!
Back on the trail, I hiked up and down various changes in elevation, crossed a few small streams, and also experienced a close encounter with bears! Finally, as I neared the point – a scenic overlook – at which I’d turn around, I saw a sign for the “Killdeer Arch”.
This natural arch provides passage through a tall sandstone cliff along the Upper Canyon Trail, offering vertical clearance of 8 feet by 20 feet wide.
If you enjoy nature, hiking outdoors and/or geology, you may be interested in a print featuring one of my photographs! If so, please visit my gallery to select images of “Killdeer Arch” from the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area.
Moving right along, it wasn’t long before I spotted this sign. Though I hadn’t heard anything about an area referred to as “Circle Bar Arch”, it was only 100 feet uphill from the trail, and the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area seemed to be full of interesting surprises.
Indeed. When I reached the top I was greeted by a broad sandstone wall, filled with intricate contours, crevices and arches.
Please visit my gallery if you would enjoy a photograph on a wall in your home, or elsewhere. There are several print types to select, with customization options, too. Thanks for stopping by!
Though there are often signs posted in parks, and names of locations identified on maps, most of nature’s beauty is simply there – down a ladder, through a narrow gap between rocks along the trail, and around a corner.
And so it was. I turned a corner along the Upper Canyon Trail to behold a substantial rock face, unnamed. Wonderful. Beautiful. However one might convey this point of reference, it was a pleasant walk along a sandy trail with tall cliffs overhead. And, perhaps most of all, intricacies carved by nature into the sandstone were quite spectacular!
Here are some photographs of the area:
These photographs are available in my gallery at Pixels. If you have an empty wall at home, why not enjoy the great outdoors, indoors? Many options to select!
Note: there’s more to come, so stop back again! Thanks.
It also has black bears living in the canyon – see earlier post. Most of all, however, the sandstone cliffs provide a spectacular visual experience! One of the first areas hikers encounter along the trail is the Turkey Roost Rockhouse:
If you’d be interested in a print for your home – or office, lobby, cafeteria – then visit my gallery at Pixels. You’ll find many options available (framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic). And, select features allow you to customize it to make it your own!
I’ll be posting more photographs from the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area in the days ahead – there’s so much to see, so stop back often!!!
I recently hiked 7 miles at the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area, near Jamestown, Tennessee – more about that in the days ahead. This post recaps two instances in which I encountered bears along the trail.
Highlights: the park offers scenic overlook areas of the canyon, substantial sandstone cliffs, interesting geological structures, and a canopied forest trail system.
Bear No. 1
Have you ever had the feeling that you’re being watched? That’s exactly how I felt as I approached a small stream at the base of the canyon. I had the sense that something was out there, and so I stopped to survey my surroundings, keeping still to remain quiet. I didn’t see or hear anything. Here’s a picture of the stream, which I photographed on my return:
The trail followed the stream, slowing gaining elevation with distance. I was at a point approx. 15 feet above the stream when it happened – an adult male black bear likely more than twice my weight (235 lbs.) had snuck up on me and was within 30 feet. This was, no doubt, the source from which I had pondered moments earlier. It was a shocking sight, to say the least.
I stopped moving and wondered what was next – should I turn back in the direction from whence I came, attempt to climb a tree (which was problematic – these trees were tall, without low branches), remove and unzip my backpack to acquire a knife, or begin making noise (I can whistle really loud!)?
I instead opted to remain still, concluding that the bear was aware of my proximity and deemed that I wasn’t a threat – an easy posture to assume, given such scale! Watching for a few minutes, it was clear that the bear was undertaking his daily savaging for a meal routine, shifting rocks in the stream to un-house potential sources of food. This was in fact what first alerted me to the bear – the sound of rocks being moved.
When I regained my composure, I took this video and followed the bear from along the trail, staying back a distance while attempting to remain less conspicuous behind trees:
The large rock casually moved around by the bear in this video probably weighs at least 125 lbs.. Glad he didn’t charge at me!
I saw another bear higher up – on the trail along the ridge – which was either a female or adolescent estimated at 300 lbs. or less. As I was walking and watching the ground so as to not roll an ankle, I happened to glance ahead and see a bear on the trail – looking directly at me.
This bear was probably 60 feet in front of me, and, when we made eye contact, took off like a bat out of hell racing downhill through the forest on an estimated 30-degree slope. I was truly amazed at how fast it bounded down the hill!
More To Come
I’ll be posting more information and photographs of my hike at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area in the days ahead… stay tuned!