I finished the Shenandoahs yesterday and had all the luck. I had had one fleeting bear sighting up until then, and that morning I saw a big bear running off into the woods. Then that afternoon on a ridge I heard a noise and looked over to see a big bear about 50’ away from me. I froze and quietly reached for the camera. He was in a clearing looking right at me. After a couple of pictures I just watched him. He tired of the stalemate and lunged a step towards me while snorting. I, being the expert I am on animal behavior (yeah, right!), took the hint and promptly doubled my respectable distance. Satisfied, the bear just started grazing around – right in my path. This time I tired of the stalemate and beat my trekking poles together. The bear took my hint and beat a hasty retreat allowing me to continue hiking. I did, however, keep beating my poles together for the next several minutes – just to be sure. As I was winding up my day I could hear a massive storm blowing in. I kicked into high gear and raced towards the shelter – just barely making it before the flood started. I found out later that the storm dumped 1.5” in 20 minutes. Like I said, I had all the luck that day. After it blew over I hiked the last 3 miles to the road and hitched into town. Food, shower, and a real bed – a perfect ending to the day.