Denise Renfro tells her children, Arjay and Taylor, about a time when she smelled a mysterious smell.

Taylor, Denise and Arjay Renfro

DR: My scariest experience was with an animal I never saw; I smelled. That was in Lynnville Gorge, North Carolina.

AR: What was the animal?

DR: I’ll tell you in a minute; it would ruin the story. We were hiking down to the gorge near the waterfalls and got down to the river and we’re sitting there on a rock and having a snack of crackers or whatever, right? And I look down and besides a little snake, no big deal; it went off. But there was this, I guess I should preface it with this, on the way down we smelled something. I said, “That smells like a wet rug. A wet moldy rug,” you know? And you know, just kept going. And then sat down at the river and I looked down and I see this little snake and off the snake goes and when it leaves, I see right below it this giant bear print in the water and in the mud. And then it dawns on me that that musty wet rug smell–.

AR: Oh yeah you.

DR: Was a bear. It was undoubtedly a bear. So we took right off and we could smell it again on the trail on the way up the hill. Could not see it for the life of me but it was close, it was really close. Couldn’t see it but it was there. That was a little scary.

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