To explore more of Pennsylvania, my then boyfriend and I drove to Linn Run State Park, chose a trailhead at random, and headed down a long, leafy path that followed a creek. After about an hour, I saw movement and realized a black bear was standing in the creek. I hid behind some trees. I signaled to my boyfriend to join me, but he wanted to get a better look and ignored me. I was mad. I pulled on his arm, but he wouldn’t budge. Then I saw that the bear had two cubs. “We have to get out of here,” I said.

Story also appeared in Sierra Magazine’s print issue for November/December 2019.