It's the three weeks, the three weeks before the ninth of Av, a major day of mourning in Judaism. No movies (can't go anyway, 'cause I'm in my year of mourning for my late mother), no beach, not much to do on a hot summer Sunday. DH weeded early, I cleaned early, then we packed Rocky and some cold drinks in the car and headed for the Ramapo Mountains in West Milford, where DH thought he remembered there were parks for walking. DH even printed out directions for every Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor (kosher ice cream, you see) in a 10 mile radius of the town of Butler, slightly south of the area on the map. Once in Butler, we discover the bridge to the park DH remembered was out, so we decided to head north in the mountains. Pretty scenery, a temperature drop of 10 degrees (we have a compass and thermometer in our car's rearview mirror, handy gadget), headed for another park when BAM! we both spotted this in someone's yard:
Only to me he looked like this:
Rocky did not make a sound. DH kept asking me if that was a bear. Yep, it was. I had some knitting with me (of course) but it was on wooden needles!! Size 5! What I needed were sharp metal ones, maybe size 27 or so. No such luck.
We made a U-turn to see what the bear was up to (he was wandering near a tractor, of all things), but the bear had scampered off. It took the entire trip back to Butler, and a scoop of mint Oreo fudge ice cream at BR to calm me down (this after contending with turkeys and deer every morning when I walk Rocky; the white turkey hen and her 6 poults have taken to following me part-way home sometimes). I am so not cut out for the wildnerness.
Then, of course, this morning's Today show would feature this story. I should have been warned; the NY Times' Travel section the weekend began with a writer visiting Glacier National Park checking for bear repellant on his hiker's belt. I should not have laughed at the story.