Bear Sighting

There are many outdoor activities in the Charlottesville area including backpacking, whitewater rafting, caving, skiing, and many more [1].  My wife and I have taken advantage of this by planning a hike just about every weekend.  Sometimes our plans fall through (there is lots to do at Darden), but we probably hit the trail about twice a month during my first year.

Last weekend we hiked part of the Riprap trail off Skyline Drive.  After driving 45 minutes from Charlottesville, we parked and started our hike around 9:30am.  About one mile into the hike we passed a group of four that were running along the trail, which made us feel a little athletically inferior.  Thirty minutes further into our hike we heard lots of rustling and thought there was another group coming along the trail.  After pausing to look, we found ourselves staring at a big black bear about 30-40 yards away.  Maybe it’s because the bear didn’t look right at us, but for whatever reason neither of us were scared.  We just took a couple seconds, slowly turned around, and started walking back to our car while making quite a bit of noise along the way.

The picture of me above was taken about 5 minutes after seeing the bear.  We didn’t think to get a photo of the bear, which was probably the right decision anyway.  The photo on the right was taken along Skyline Drive.


1. If you are interested in seeing a full list of outdoor activities in Charlottesville, the UVA Outdoor Club is a good place to start. There is also an Outdoor Club at Darden.

2 Responses to “Bear Sighting”

  1. Vika says:

    Woah! I would have been terrified. In fact, we saw a snake last time we went hiking and I was scared for the rest of the hike!

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