Bears on Black Mountain
Last summer two of my siblings, along with their loved ones, joined my husband and me at an awesome resort in Crossville, Tennessee. While there we explored many sights, played miniature golf, and spent each evening happily playing cards. We enjoyed quality time, laughter, adventure, and conversations together.
While at the Ozone Falls in this area, we met a charming young couple, Laura and Steve, who were locals and very familiar with the Falls. They led us to the point of the Overlook, obscured in a wooded area, the pathway unmarked and narrow. We were so thankful for this nice couple, who helped provide us the opportunity to experience this beautiful terrain—the cliffs and their rock formations—that without their guidance we might otherwise have missed
Once at the top, we watched the water falling, cascading down onto the rocks, and we heard the laughter of children and their families playing in the pool of water at the bottom. Beautiful! We marveled at God’s creation.
As we traveled that same path back to our cars, my sister asked Laura if there had been any bear sightings. Her response was chilling: “Yes, indeed…. Bears have been seen right where we now stand.” My sister became frightened.
What did I do to make my sister feel at ease in that moment? I told a Bear Story!
Some years ago, my brother and my son had been hiking in the woods of Putnam County, West Virginia, when my brother noticed a cave. Of course, they thought: “Here’s a cave… should we look in it?” And they did. They saw a great big head with two beady eyes looking right at them. Well, they got out of that area as fast as they could!
A few years later, while my husband and I were exploring a wooded area at Black Mountain, North Carolina, he said, “Carin, here’s a cave… should we look in it?” Remembering my son’s cautionary tale, I gave him a resounding “NO!” And we rush out of the woods.
That night at our resort, located at the bottom of Bear Mountain, two huge bears (a mother and her grown son) came into our area, tearing up and making a mess of the trashcans. One of the bears had walked over the top of our car, making a hole in the bumper with a claw-nail! We know because the paw prints were still there in the morning.
As my story to Laura and my sister ended, we had reached the parking area. My sister had forgotten her worries while paying attention to my tale, and during my story lo and behold we arrived at our destination. “And this is also Black Mountain,” said Laura. “We are at the Ozone Falls Overlook, on Black Mountain, in Tennessee!”
There are a few lessons to glean from these tales:
- Listen to other people’s stories, it might save your life later.
- Don’t be too curious.
- Know something about the residing animals before you go into an unknown wooded area.
- Sometimes you can distract a person from their fears while talking about what they fear.
- Appreciate the Lord’s hand in your adventures each day.