If you have not read part 8 yet, you can check that out here

Finding Your Personal Hell

Somewhere on this same hater of a mountain, my good bud P-Mac toiled through the laurel in his own slice of personal hell. Finding an impostor of a tree, he pulled himself up to get a look around in hopes of spotting a vestige of a terrain feature to orient him. He suddenly lost his footing and fell from the tree, landing on his back. Below him, he felt a struggling movement. He sat up immediately. He had landed on a black bear cub. Rather than marvel at nature and the beauty of flowers, he was keenly aware that where bear cubs were found, bear moms lingered. A quick scan of the laurel tops revealed the tremendous head of a mother bear, her eyes driving daggers into Mac’s heart. For lack of anything better to say, Mac waved and called out a nervous, “Hi….” Rifle and ruck, Mac was the fuck out of there.

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Never come between a mother and her cubs…or else.

The ground beneath me inched toward horizontal once again. The laurel thinned and even gave way to patches devoid of the pernicious plant. There appeared paths and corridors through the laurel, and even something other than laurel, thank God. My compass squirmed in my breast pocket, entreating an exit so it could be put to use. I could certainly see on my map where my next RV was, but where was I? That was the million-dollar question.