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  • Ok! Ok! So the photo is a Big Foot, not a bear. But, both are scary, right?

    So last night I was watching House Hunters on HGTV and this couple was looking at vacation homes in Tahoe. One had a bear secured container in the front yard. I fell asleep.

    I had a dream I was camping, or at some kind of outdoor campsite. All of a sudden I saw a bear and it was coming towards me! It looked like a Grizzly. Now there are two things I'm afraid of, Grizzlies and sharks and any variety of the two. Grizznado?

    When I was growing up I used to read my father's magazines which was I think "Field and Stream," and "Outdoor Life," and maybe a few others. I can't tell you how many "true life" bear attack stories I read, but it was a lot. What I learned about Grizzlies is they are very smart. Very, very smart. They will go out of their way to track a man and find him and kill him.

    No, no, you can't convince me otherwise, I've read tooooo many "true life stories." Same with sharks. The first time I saw "Jaws" in a theatre I had a spiritual experience of good and evil - I kid you not. If you don't believe me - ask my priest. Ok,ok, I'm off track now...back to Bears.

    So in my dream there were other people around but of course they did NOTHING. What could they do? So I think, "play dead." And, I did. The bear approached me and wrapped his big furry arms around me. I was like a statue, except my heart, which was beating madly. Even though I was asleep and dreaming I could feel it. At a certain point I relaxed and thought, "The bear is hugging me." But I still was not trusting (I had read toooo many stories.) So, I started praying, "Lord help me" over and over and over again. And I woke up.
  • I hate camping. When I was growing up we did it with a tent, then rented a camper, then bought a camper. I dreaded the camper vacation.

    Dad backing up the car to try to match the ball on the trailer and cursing at mom but she was yelling, "Go left." "Damn it woman!" dad would yell, "Which way!"

    I would just sigh and wish school was starting. Then when we got to a campsite and it was time to leave ... it would all happen again.

  • This brings us to the infamous trip to Yellowstone. I had two 'up close and personal' bear encounters on this one trip. I think I was seven or eight years old.

    The first one happened at the campsite. It was all trailers or tents, but there was a modern restroom. So one morning I walked to the restroom and while I was in there a bear was running through the campsite. I didn't know that so I walked out and "la-de-da"...." I wondered where everyone was? The campsite appeared empty. Then I thought I heard someone yell, "Bear!"

    Out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown blurrrrr. Pictures of Grizzlies from "Outdoor Life" flashed in my mind and I ran! to the safety of my family's trailer.

    But when I got there, it was locked! No, I'm not kidding. I pounded on the door (with my tiny seven year old fist) but the door didn't open. Then I spotted our car and ran to it. I was in luck, it was unlocked.

    Of course when the crisis was over...I accused my family of abandoning me to be eaten.

    My mother said I was being overly dramatic.

    Obviously - she wasn't reading "Outdoor Life."
  • The dreaded moment came. Yes, dad lining up the car to the trailer again. More yelling. But we were moving on. Maybe we would stop in an old western town and I could "Belly up to the bar," with a Shirley Temple.

    But on our way out of the park mom suggested we stop for a picnic lunch. Dad was driving and mom in the front seat. My three year old brother behind dad and me behind mom. We saw a spot that might work and dad pulled the car and trailer over. Mom thought she saw cubs so dad said he would get out first to check things out. It was a hot summer day and I had the window rolled all the way down. Dad got out and disappeared around the trailer.

    Suddenly, I heard a yell and I turned toward my baby brother on my left and to my surprise I saw the back car door open and dad jumped into the back seat. At the same moment the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I turned my head to my right and a brown furry head, a very large head, was in the window inches from my face.

    Before I could even react, the reason my dad had jumped into the back seat became apparent. Whizzing in front of my face flew my father's legs. He thrust both feet into the bear's nose which came as a surprise to the bear who pulled back. Then dad madly rolled up the window and jumped into the drivers seat and sped away with our little trailer heaving back and forth down the road.

    After that, I really needed a Shirley Temple!
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