Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Beary Scary

After enjoying a delightful dinner of sausage and peppers (of course, I always go sans peppers and onions) with a marinara sauce (AWESOME IDEA, DAWN!), Lisa and I enjoyed some laughs with our fellow campers before retiring.  It had been a long day for me, so I was perfectly content to sleep.  We retired to our tent and I went off into dreamland - albeit not a perfect night's sleep.

I had heard of bears strolling through the area - a standard camping concern.  Personally I prefer my bears to look like Yogi...or these...

Lisa wasn't sleeping well that night.  As for me, I drifted in and out.  Around 2:30 or so, I was brought to life by the sound of Lisa, who shot up and exclaimed: "THERE'S SOMETHING OUT THERE!"

Now, let me be clear.  This was not said in an excited whisper.  It was enough to pierce the silence of the night at a campground.  She was clearly excited and scared.  I did what I could to calm her down but the reality was that I had not heard a thing.  She swore - definitively - that she heard the growl of a bear, and the rustling of items just outside our tent.  Indeed there was a garbage bag outside - but it did NOT have any food in it.

So began our long nightmare.  Lisa, gripped with fear, held onto me for the next 45 minutes or so.  This brought on a case of the shakes in my entire body that I have never experienced - not because I thought we were going to get mauled, but because I needed to move!

We talked in very soft whispers: "Do you hear that?"  "What was that?"  "Please don't move!"  "Is it gone?" And so it went.

Finally, we heard what was definitely a bear growl, but it was off in the distance.  That began the dialogue about our next steps.  Keep in mind, our tent window was mostly zipped shut.  But then a light appeared.  HALLELUJAH! I thought to myself.  Somebody has come out to check on things - all is fine!

I don't think Lisa saw it that way.  For the first time, I saw anger, not fear.  She unzipped the tent and snarled as she shined her flashlight outside.  She blasted a verbal haymaker out the window at our unwelcome intruder...

Who turned out to be Jimi, the boyfriend of Lisa's friend Joan*.

Jimi the bear.

*OK, for those who read this post when I first put it up, I had Jimi with the WRONG WOMAN.  For the record, Jimi is NOT with Dawn (whom I originally wrote).  He's with Joan.  I apologize profoundly for the mistake.  Guess the weekend was a little weirder than I thought, or something (sarcasm).


Jimmy, it seems, couldn't sleep, and decided to sit on the picnic table, located just outside of our tent.  He decided to pass on telling us he was out there when Lisa popped up in fear.  It seems that, at that moment, he was looking for the bear that he also heard in the distance.

Bears at places like this have no interest in getting "medieval" on humans unless we threaten them.  To be sure, that is why I never felt nervous about the situation.  Had there really been a bear on our site, he would have rooted around for some deliciousness and headed elsewhere.

I didn't think there was any way that I would get any more sleep that night, as it was now after four, but as things calmed down, I crashed with thoughts of friendly bears dancing in my head...

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