On Nov 15 I was out doing trail maintenance on RD about 1/4 mile south of Hurst and had my back pack swiped by a bear.
I put the pack down on a flat rocky area and was trimming Mt Laurel about 100’ away. I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a big, black, furry thing run across the rock area followed by the sound of rustling branches. When I went to check on my pack…..it was gone….along with my phone and car keys. The only “food” in the backpack was Gatorade.
After searching in the brush a bit, I had no choice but to walk to the Tiorati Circle office for help. (Group Camp office was nearer but it was closed on this Friday). The Park Manager was on duty. The manager suspected the bear was “Cookie”, whom they tracked continuously. He in turn called two park rangers who drove me to Fingerboard Shelter in an ATV. From there we hiked to the scene of the crime.
When we got there, the park ranger called my phone number on his phone. Luckily, I could hear my phone ring and was able to retrieve the pack, powering my way through thick Mt. Laurel to a clearing around a tree. All the zippers on the pack had been opened, but nothing was missing, not even the Gatorade! The pack was not torn up, either.
A few weeks prior, Cookie apparently stole an AT thru-hiker’s pack and got a 7-day supply of food. The hiker was furious because she had to hire a taxi and re-purchase the food in Monroe, NY
I felt no fury, just relief that I didn’t have to have a car key remote made along with purchasing a new phone.