Day 1: The psyche is high with these two
There are about 600 black bears that roam Shenandoah National Park, and attacks on humans are very rare. But every now and then you hear a grim tale. For example, in 2014 Darsh Patel was mauled to death by a 300-pound black bear, after he and his group turned and ran upon seeing the bear coming towards them. Run away from a black bear and it sees you as prey. So, despite his attempts to climb a nearby tree to escape, Darsh was later found dead at the scene. However, when treated wisely and with respect, black bears are gentle giants that are more concerned with ant nests and acorns than famished hikers.
The Appalachian Trail is home to a host of well signposted lean-to huts