New Jersey has the highest bear population per square mile in the US - 1 bear per square mile. They even enter suburbs and towns to raid trash cans - but I did not see any single one of them. I just keep seeing turtles all the time. But another hiker - Timber - was actually chased around by one. He got so paranoid that he came running back to meet me and hike with me. So there is this 43-year-old ex-military and carpenter who is so shit scared that I - weak single German female - has to hike with him (meaning to hike in front of him) to scare away the bears. My opinion of American men has never been that good but it has suffered substantially since this incident. But seriously now: This is Timber's first long hike and I guess he just has to learn a bit more. Beside that he is a great guy!
There are also other good things to report: The weather improved, there were blueberry bushes everywhere, resupply was easy and life was generally very good.