Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, VA: 5

Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, VA: 5: 19 Sep, 2009 (18 miles)

We went with our friends out to the Shenandoah National Park. It was a gorgeous day; temperatures in the upper 60s and bright sunshine. We drove to the Thornton Gap Entrance at the Panorama Visitor center and biked south. The steady uphill for about 6 miles is exhausting. My friend, Clark, surprised me. That uphill seemed like a piece of cake to him. As I slowly chugged my way up he was waiting for me at a lookout. I told him not to wait and simply turn around after an hour and a half as we had planned to meet at the parking lot. Within minutes he vanished. Two and a half hours later he had covered 30 miles and I a measly 18 miles. The upside of that slow bike ride was that I got to see 3 bear cubs. They were off to my right in the shrubs. I was biking uphill at that point, a movement in the shrubs caught my eye. Being a hunter as a kid I am sensitive to slight sounds and movement in the woods. I turned to see something black. There it was, no, there they were, 3 of them. I had my Pentax K10D with me. I got it out, but the three of them turned around, looked at me and took off. I waited for a while without any luck. I did not have the courage to follow them. They were small cubs and the mother would have most likely been near. It was such a great feeling. Of course, did anyone believe me when we got back. No. They all thought I was 'seeing' bear cubs. If there were bear cubs, how come Clark did not see them. Well next time I have to attach a camera to my helmet and record my entire journey in the Shenandoah's, What a beautiful day. We had great fun.