Friday, July 24, 2009

Once There Were Bears (They Say)

(As a prelude to this post, just two weeks prior to our West Virginia trip we were driving in the mountains and we almost collided with a large black bear that was casually crossing the road in the middle of the morning. I have NEVER seen a black bear in all the years that I have lived here and believe me, I have looked constantly. I was too dumbfounded to get a photo although I had plenty of time. He casually climbed the hill on the other side of the highway and then galloped away once he was in the cover of the woods. We did come across a steaming pile of bear scat on the trail back that afternoon from our day hike in the area!)

There is a transcendental place in the mountains of West Virginia called Bear Town. Bears do not actually live there but they could have. It is a state park, 107 acres in size, and purchased by a mother toward the memory of a son lost in the war in Viet Nam. That makes the place even more special. The rocks are 'laid out' as if there were narrow streets at one time making it seem like a town of sorts. The surface of the rocks composed of Droop or Pottsville sandstone weathers in intriguing patterns and allows lots of colored plant and mineral growth. The ferns grow on top of these huge boulders like crazy army camouflage green haircuts on balding heads. Geologically this was once along an ancient sea. Many hemlock trees are now falling due to insect infestation and that adds to the feeling of passing giant bears stomping between the crevasses or ancient whales swimming by the whale size rocks. ( I did not re-size the photos as I usually do so they might make a nice screen saver.)


Sarah Lulu said...

It looks wonderful but I'm not going anywhere with the possibility of bears!!!!!!!

Hilary said...

I'd love to see a bear sometime. These photos are gorgeous.. and your descriptions even more so.

Kerri said...

How exciting to see a black bear! We've had sightings (and I've seen the photos) of two young ones in our area a few weeks ago. One of them was in the yard of a friend...a little too close for comfort.
Those rocks look "placed", don't they? How amazing and beautiful they are with their ferny hairdos. I love your similies. You have such a gift for descriptions.