“Look at that bear!”
Now, when we’re out hiking and a few miles from the car, there are a lot of things my wife can say to get my attention, but, upon reflection, very few of them are as effective as, “Look at that bear!”
Quick aside: why don’t exciting things on the trail happen near the car?
Anyway, she might say, “Hey, Tim, take a look at this,” or “Hey, Tim, look back at me.” She could even leave off my name, and just say, “Hey,” going so far as to leave off the exclamation point, and I’d still look back. She would have my attention.
But, no, “Look at that bear!” is what she went with last night.
When I heard her, I immediately spun around, but–kind of in mid-spin–I was already thinking, “Wait, there’s not a bear up here.” I mean, theoretically there could be, but I’m pretty sure we’d have seen it together, as bears aren’t known for their quiet nature.
Then I thought, “Oh, she means a bare spot on a tree where a buck has rubbed.” That’s a common occurrence, and we’ve seen them often.
But, no, as my eyes fell upon it, I realized she meant a bear.
Well, sort of.
It certainly looked like a bear: a very small bear, maybe 18 inches tall, jet black, in a sitting posture, looking away from us.
Unable to control ourselves, we both moved toward it. It didn’t move, which wasn’t a surprise, as it quickly became apparent we were looking at a piece of lawn statuary.
And it wasn’t a bear at all. It was a dog; it sort of looked like a lab, but it was hard to tell. The paint was flaking off, the bone in its mouth was broken, and a welcome sign hung nearly out of site between its legs. There was a piece of cord around its neck, with a large blue chew toy affixed to it. A small silver cylinder was visible inside the toy, just barely visible.
It was a geocache.
Props to the person, or, more likely, people who carried that thing nearly two miles up the trail with around 400 feet of elevation gain. Lisa took a look inside the cylinder and discovered that the cache had just been placed a few months ago. It’s a good one, definitely worth the walk.
If you go looking for it, be aware that once you spot it, it will have your attention!