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Bear bait

There's no false advertising allowed on the master competitor blog site, so I'll let you know up front this is a composite photo, and the sharp tooth visitor in the background has been superimposed on the image.

That said there's no falsification in stating I was really on that footbridge, so was the bear, and we were about that far apart.

Some of you may be pondering, "what's Tommy's ongoing beef with the bear? What can't he let it go?"

Just as I came to terms with my fears, I stumbled upon the show "Bear Attack!" on the Discovery Channel. Not hard to determine that much of the show was based on Alaska, much in the Anchorage area.

As one bear expert stated "some of those hikers go into the woods with a bell and a walking stick. Most of them are still out there somewhere. The bears got 'em."

Well, I think that was most of the quote, it was something close to that.

I'm an advocate of getting out and doing it hard, but this past trip taught me to appreciate all the power of nature. Whether it's a catamaran in 9-foot waves or a bear on my walking path, nature can bite back.

But nature is also alluring and I want more of it. I want to take the heart of my Alaska adventure back to North Carolina and continue my adventures on and around the Blue Ridge and adjoining trails.

Here's a shout out to Jeff and Cindy Worrell, our hosts in Alaska. Jeff and Cindy were friends of mine at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire over 30 years ago. These two are top class individuals. Jeff, your passion remains. Thanks for firing up my attitude.

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