Over the holiday weekend Jay and I met my parents at Cades Cove. On Saturday mornings the 11 mile loop is closed to motor vechiles, and makes a great bike ride. Jay and I got there a little early, so we headed to the campground for a bathroom break and a photo-op.
Jay and I were trying to keep an eye out for my parents, since the parking lot we were supposed to meet at was full. Jay got distracted taking pictures, and wanted to get the perfect shot of the sun coming through the clouds, and asked me to be in the foreground.
Just as he was taking the picture, I noticed an old man on a bike up above us.
Jay chastised me for moving and ruining the photo, but I wanted to get to my dad before he passed us. I look huge in the picture, so I'm thankful that my dad ruined it! Jay did however, get another shot of us that we didn't know about.
And he was finally able to get the shot of the rays of sun that he was looking for.
While Jay & I biked the 11 mile loop, my parents chilled out in the campground. My dad had to work the Gatlinburg midnight 4th of July parade, so he pulled out a lawn chair to sleep while my mother read a book.
After we got back from our bike ride, we hung out for a while and had a picnic. By then the loop was open to cars, so we loaded up and took a ride. My mom, Jay and I all sat in the back with my dad driving.
Whenever we go around the loop, Jay and I always stop at the church we got married in for a quick kiss. The bike ride earlier and this trip with my parents were no exception.
Just up the road, there were a lot of cars stopped and people crowded around a wooded area. Once we got close we saw that there was a bear in the creek, shaded by some trees.
Once I saw the picture, I made Jay promise that he didn't get that close - he has an excellent zoom on his camera. There were people that weren't all that brilliant and got into the creek with the cub. I guess they forgot that where Baby Bear is, Mama Bear isn't too far behind.
Even though the bear moved on, the people didn't.
The Mama Bear had made her appearance and the Park visitors didn't want to miss a minute.
I thought that black bears were herbivores (except when humans get too close) but Jay said that he saw her catch a rabbit. The fence post is blocking it, but in the picture above she has the rabbit in her mouth eating it.
My mom went up to the people in the front of the bear jam and asked them to either move on or pull off the road. By this point, the cars were backed up beyond what we could see. People were honking and yelling "we wanna see it too!"
My mother's attempts failed, as did the honks and yells. The lead car finally moved on when a Park Ranger arrived.
After that, the drive was pretty tranquil.
On a normal visit to the park, Jay & I typically see more deer than bears. This, was definitely not a normal visit - although we did see one buck on the loop out.