The river wrapped around the ankles of the mountain in a languid S curve, its naked banks showing off the deep clear water, and we followed this curve up into the foothills with our fishing gear in tow. Soon it was midday, we were deep into the forest, and the river had sobered up, now feeling more creek-like with its banks getting tighter and its water shallower. The riparian shoulders of the creek were covered in pitchpine and berrybush, creating a dense barrier between land and water that obstructed our view while protecting us as we waded along our watery path.
As we climbed the stony staircases laid out in the creek, jumping from boulder to boulder, we got a glimpse of a small cabin, and setting our fishing aside we decided to venture into the piney woods. As we stepped onto the riverbank we heard the muffled sounds of animals nearby, and turning towards the cabin we were surprised to find ourselves in the middle of a berry picnic, complete with bear cubs and mother bear watching protectively nearby. We captured the moment in our memory and, sneaking silently backwards, returned to the river and back down to the valley.