Bears in the Road!

Written by Dan. Added on September 18, 2005.

Friday afternoon we headed up to Baxter State Park in Maine to climb Mt. Katahdin. It was a long drive and we wanted to get to the campground early to have a good night’s sleep before the hike the next day.

We wanted to get started early. We were driving to the park entrance by 5:30 am, hoping to be on the trail by 6:00. Our caravan heading down the road, we stopped just shy of the parking lot. Two black bear cubs were walking across the road, followed shortly by Mama Bear. We sat in our cars waiting for them to get off the road. And waiting. And waiting. The cubs were having fun playing in the road while Mama watched from the side.

“Honk!” Another car had come up behind us and wanted us to get moving. No doubt, they wanted to get started on their hike, too. “Honk, honk!” The driver got out of his car and was walking to the front of the line to see what the hold-up was. Mama Bear let out a big growl as if to say, “cubs playing here!” The driver stopped mid-step, turned around, and went back to his car!

We watched and waited for the bears a while longer until we heard another car’s horn. Another driver walked up, Mama Bear growled, driver went back to his car. And again, horn, driver, growl, car. This must have happened five or six times!

The bears finally moved on and we parked in the parking lot, but it was about 7:30 am now—much later than we wanted to start out! With full water bottles, lunch, extra clothes, and lots of energy, we headed up the trail towards the summit of Mt. Katahdin.