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Six feet away was plenty close for me too. Raccoons are not pets. This one was very calm however, so I enjoyed the extended eye contact. I know I'm projecting human qualities when I say this, but this raccoon's eyes had an interrogative quality. He seemed as intent on observing me as I on him. Was he hoping I would offer food? I did not. Was he assessing me as a threat? Maybe. I felt no hostility in return, though maybe some timidity. We spent a good minute just staring at each other. And when he finally headed off up the hill, he moved slowly. It was not a retreat. The only sudden moment in the whole encounter had been my coming into view. This encounter was the perfect coda to my hike.