Chris vs. Bear

In early June my boyfriend Scott and I had the opportunity to escape the beach for the weekend before settling into the summer schedule. I picked the Shenandoah National Park. Just the basics were tossed into the car -- tent, pads, sleeping bags and personal items -- and off we went early on a Friday morning!

We arrived at Skyline Drive mid-afternoon, stopped to pick up an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, China Rock, looking for a ride up the road to meet friends, chose a campsite at Big Meadows campground (while Scott and I put up the tent, China Rock polished off the bag of Peanut Butter Cookies I gave her) and continued up the road to drop China Rock at her meeting place.

Back at camp we looked over the map to make a plan for the next day. We chose a nearby trail that would take us to two waterfalls. The next morning we were up early, enjoyed a big breakfast, donned hiking boots and loaded up a daypack with water and snacks (yes, including cookies from Sweater Box Confections).

Scott and I have different hiking paces so he is often a few minutes ahead of me and out of sight, and I enjoy the solitude of the the woods. We are in the habit of each carrying a whistle in case of trouble. Have I mentioned that we were in bear country and Scott LOVES bears? If fact, he wants a pet bear.

Surely, you sense what’s coming.

It was such a beautiful day! We crossed a horse trail and stopped to drink in the scenery, taking pictures along the way. There was a lot of cool fungi due to recent rains. I’m telling you, it was a truly beautiful day! And then...I see him. No, not Scott. I see HIM...the bear! He’s coming downhill toward us! Well, actually, I don’t know if it’s a male bear but I have a 50/50 chance of being right.

"Ptssss, ptsSSS, PTSSSS!" Scott turns around and looks at me and I start pointing dramatically and mouth the word bear. We both stand still and the bear continues toward us.

Did I mention I have Snickerdoodles in the day pack? Bears love Snickerdoodles (actually, they love food, but I’m sure what’s in my backpack is this particular bear’s favorite).

Oh crap, I need to take a picture or better yet get this on video! I’m not sharing the Snickerdoodles with a bear, nothing to worry about here. I know Scott has spotted the bear, and we’re both standing quietly on the trail. I’m wondering at what point do I blow the whistle to scare him away? I whip my phone out of my pocket and hit record….

Did you see the bear? No? What? You only saw my bare hand? I’m happy to report that I prevailed, without a scratch, and we enjoyed Snickerdoodles during our lunch break!

My story is that I was in total control and scared the bear away with my fierceness. It had absolutely nothing to do with the hiker approaching from the other direction...absolutely nothing, I say. 

The moral of the story: We all have different talents that we are good at and enjoy doing. Share your talents and look to others for help with things that are not in your wheelhouse. That's what I did for the above video. By using a professional my 2.5 second clip was transformed into something that was real and silly that anyone could watch!

The other moral of the story: Remember to make time to do the things that feed your soul. It helps to keep you healthy and happy. As a business owner I really struggle with this and am working on being better about making ME a priority.