The Great Canadian North

What not to do when face to face with a Bear:)

Every so often there are those little long lost treasures that re-surface in your life.  Sometimes it’s old trinkets, other times letters, photo’s, a song, a certain scent that brings you back for a moment to a special time, and even one of your first travel stories, before the days of blogging, like a little time capsule, eager to take you on a journey back through time…. Giving you a moment to reminisce, and relive the story for a moment.  In this case, to remind me of how my knack for self expression through writing began basically when I could physically pick up a pen and spell a word, and also a gentle reminder of how naturally awesome I was from a young age:)  Ok, and I am not being Biased just because I am talking about myself, I would think any kid whom wrote this was awesome.  It just so happens that it was little 12 year old Petrena who was the author.  Before we get to that though, let me tell you how I remember it.

IMG_2180Here we were, back in August of 1996, my parents and I on a fishing trip, on an island on the Great Slave Lake in northern Canada.  The first trip after their wedding, so like a pre-honeymoon trip, that l refused to be excluded from.  There was no party without me there, and that still goes to this day;)  Don’t worry, they did have their own trip together after they survived this one.  Even though this took place 19 years ago,  I can still remember it clear as day, and that day was clear, and the sun was shining as brightly as ever.

We had just arrived to the Cabin not long before the events ensued, my mother Rocky and I had just finished unpacking and were now settling in on the deck to take a bit of sun while Andrey was down cleaning up the boat, it was a Sea Ray Sports cruiser, to paint you a better picture.   Long behold he looks up and is pretty much nose to nose with a grizzly bear.  A massive one at that, who’s head was about 4 times the size of my dad’s and covered in cob webs, yes something like a scary Halloween mask.  ‘UH OH!!’ is clearly the panic stricken thought that slapped Andrey in the face.  Nothing like a good bear slap to make sure your alert in the morning.  With only thinking survival of the fittest, Andrey grabbed the first thing he seen, an empty cooler bottle and wacked the bear in the head, then grabbed the second thing he seen, which just so happened to be his fishing rod, and starting waving it around.  Now take note, when face to face with a bear, you are far better off to play dead then whack it in the head with a bottle, and try and intimidate it with a fishing rod, as pissing off a bear is not in your best interest, however that is also easier said than done when in that particular moment.  Luckily for Andrey, the bear was clearly as surprised to see him as he was to see the bear, and the bottle in the head also surprised the bear, as he just shook his head in what I am sure was bewilderment, got up on his hind legs and gave him piece of his mind in return,  then went up behind the cabin to re-asses the situation.  Which is exactly the moment Andrey, lept out of the boat and ran or possibly scrambled faster then he knew his legs could take him, straight into the Cabin before the bear came back.  Rocky and I were already in the Cabin going through all the guns and bullets as fast as we could trying to find a match in case this bear attacked Andrey, yet out of all the guns and all the bullets there was no match?! Seriously, how many un-matching guns and bullets can one cabin have.  Frantically Andrey and Rocky were looking for some means of protection, not with the intention of hurting the beautiful majestic yet hungry and angry bear, but just to scare it away, because if the bear is pissed off, our chances against it would be slim. The only thing keeping the bear from us was two glass sliding doors, which if Mr. Grizzly so chose to walk right through, he could do it without ruffling a hair or breaking a claw.

Understandably tension was a bit high, especially when the bear did decide to come up on the deck towards the thin glass doors.  Me being a young innocent animal lover, not understanding the danger that we faced, was standing back saying ‘Don’t hurt the bear!!!’, repeatedly, and well yes, I suppose annoyingly, since we were in the midst of serious trouble.  In the end, Andrey grabbed some very large rocks and started throwing them down on the deck to make noise and scare the bear, and it did just the trick.  The bear got freaked and ran off.  We all collapsed and had a massive sigh of relief.  Yup just another moment in life where I pinched myself to see if that just happened.  Although I am sure Andrey was pinching himself a bit harder.  We were all very happy though, that none of us, nor the bear was hurt that day, and our camping trip finished just as soon as it began.  However I do like the version that 12 year old ME told, and how articulate I was by even noting the time of the events that ensued.

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