I don’t know what it is about bears but I think they are absolutely adorable.
It’s amazing how God created this large, fierce creature that looks so cuddly and snuggly. But I wouldn’t advise snuggling a bear. It might eat you.
Late last month, my mom and I took a trip to Gatlinburg. It was a restful week filled with beautiful fall colors. And, filled with bears.
Several mornings, we went for a ride through the forest on Historic Nature Trail Road. It was quiet, peaceful with great scenery. On our drives we had 10 bear sightings. These wonderfully beautiful, massive creatures were close enough to the road to see.
They pretty much ignored those driving by and continued foraging. But we loved seeing each one.
I love all the fun of Gatlinburg which includes great food, beautiful scenery and the occasional mini-golf game. But if I don’t see a bear while I’m there, I’m usually disappointed.
This year was a record. I couldn’t believe we saw 10 bears. Granted, they could have been the same bears every day but I’m counting them as 10.
It was a highlight for the trip.
But bears weren’t the only wildlife we saw. The back patio of our hotel room faced a river and we were visited by a variety of geese, ducks and pigeons.
Two geese in particular were regular visitors. I named them Gertrude and Gustav. There was bird food in a dispenser near the bridge so I made sure I had a cup full for them when they visited. They even visited when there was no food. They would just hang around and come to us as we talked to them.
The funniest interaction with wildlife was on Halloween night. We had just come in from a walk downtown to see all the trick or treaters who visited the shops. Some of their costumes were elaborate and pretty cool.
But when we got back, I walked out on the patio and about 10 ducks waddled their way toward me quacking, as if they were also trick or treating. It was a funny scene. Naturally, I had my trusty cup of duck-friendly food and gave them a treat for their efforts.
Mom started calling me Dr. Doolittle because I tried to befriend every animal I saw.
Yes, we have geese, ducks and the occasional bear here, but there’s just something special about seeing them in the mountains. It truly is one of my happy places and I look forward to the fall mother-and-daughter trip we take there each year.
Who knows, maybe next year we’ll break our record and see a dozen bears.