Bears Not Welcome

As I mentioned, we went camping last week. Have I mentioned my absolute terror of all things bear? ALL. THINGS. BEAR.
Well, here’s where you get a peek into how my mind simply does not function at times. I agreed to go on a hike with my husband to see the wildflowers while in Ashland. Where? On GRIZZLY PEAK. (My Mother-In-Law suggested the hike. Hmm.)

So I’m all, “OK, let’s go!” And my brain? It recognized the WORD bear. But I sort of was thinking, little black bear, maybe little brown bear, not remembering the word BEAR, not the mention the word GRIZZLY!

So we’re driving the long 30 minute straight up path to start hiking and I said, “Why do you think they call it Grizzly Peak? Do you think there are any grizzly bears?” To which Jeff laughed. And said “No”. Which is a lie. And he’s a male, which means he can’t recognize danger even if it’s right on his butt. He tosses around words like, “It’ll be fine. We’ll be OK. What are the chances?”

I so wisely, wisely, wisely thought to say, “Forewarning: If there is a bear ANYWHERE within my vision or a hint of a bear or a sound of a bear we are so out of there. No arguing, no trying to convince me. Nada.”

So he agreed. Because what was he going to do?

So we start off hiking and I see the sign and am faced with the fact that hey, they are calling it Grizzly Peak. I mean the words are right there? Are they doing it in honor of the Grizzly or what? Because there are no Grizzly Bears, right? Because what are the freakin’ chances of that?

It was a hard hike about 2 miles or so up and then once you get to the peak there’s supposed to be this pretty plateau the stretches out for a few miles with amazing views. I was walking around looking for bears the WHOLE TIME while Jeff walked like he usually does, while staring at his feet. I’m all, “Hey Buddy, why don’t you join me in keeping an eye out for bears? Huh? Will ya? Huh?”

We reached the top of that hard climb and started into the pretty part and then we saw this.

And it was FRESH. As in, a bear had just been there, pawing the ground with his GIANT claws, looking for grubs.

And let’s just say I came unglued.

“That’s it. We’re done. We’re gone. We’re outta here. No. Don’t even say it. Don’t EVEN SAY it!!!! We’re gone!! Come on, why don’t we run down? It’ll be fun! Really. No, I’ll carry the backpack. I WILL. I’ll carry YOU, but let’s GO!!!”

Yes, he was sad. Strangely, when I offered for him to go on while I ran like the wind down to the car, he declined, saying “I don’t want you to be out here alone.” Yeah, right.

I still have the heebie jeebies about it.

And still? Everyone was telling me, “Come on. There aren’t ACTUAL Grizzly Bears.” To which I would say, “Oh really? Then why is the restaurant in town named the ‘Grizzly Diner’?”

I’m not entirely stupid.

My favorite Jeffism was when we crossed the Macinaw Bridge in Michigan and spent the whole day hiking and as we drove through each little town, there were literally monuments to and statues of bears all over the place. And of course Jeff told me, “They just like bears.”

Yeah, right.

I have a serious problem with bears. I probably mentioned it before, but my first introduction to bears was to read about how a Grizzly pulled a guy out of his tent in the middle of the night and then proceeded to eat him and the only way the guy survived was to play dead and not react at all while the bear was gnawing on his head until the bear began to think that he WAS dead and bears don’t like to eat dead things. YES, he was chewing on the guys HEAD. Oh my word, I think I died a little just now. Then the guy crawled for miles, bleeding like a stuck pig.

Doesn’t that make you want to go hiking? With bears?

About Fit Living Daily

I love healthy living! I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown children, one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Washington state. We are currently living in Washington for my husband's job---until he FINALLY retires, but our house is in Albuquerque.
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4 Responses to Bears Not Welcome

  1. biobabbler says:

    =) If it makes you feel any better, big, wooden carvings of bears everywhere generally mean you are in a place with a history of timber industry, but it’s petered out so there are many people around who can wield a mean chainsaw, but who have run out of chainsaw wielding work. Honestly. So, not necessarily an indicator of bear density. It’s a popular theme. =)

    Should you want to hike in California, you can rest assured that we have successfully extirpated the animal on our STATE FLAG, that’d be the grizzly. We do, however, have black bears.


    btw am not watching that link… but DID read the entire chapter in “Death in Yellowstone” on deaths via grizzlies. Yikes. AND I’m a biologist, card-carrying, and am a bear-wienie. =)

    • “Death in Yellowstone”????? I MUST read that now!! I read, “Death in the Grand Canyon”-most sobering book I’ve ever read in my life. As if *I* needed more reasons to be careful.

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