Safe and Sound

Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars

This is Part Two of the Story Trouble Bears . Since my title pretty much says it all, and I am obviously here recounting this story, I am removing a lot of the suspense.

Initially I wanted to go all Blair Witch Project in this post. But truthfully, I’m just more of a National Lampoons sort of girl.

So, as you know, this harmless old codger tells my camping comrades that Trouble Bears have just been released into the wilderness of where we will be staying in the mountains of Wyoming in the Bighorn National Forest.

I am majorly freaked out. I didn’t sign up for bears. Edward laughs it off. Isn’t this the way every good horror movie starts? The one person that knows pure evil is afoot, and all the others…that walk into creepy basements whistling a happy tune.

Camping was not something I did as a kid. The closest I got to it in my whole life up to this point, was having a sleep-over in a pop-up camper that was parked in a cow pasture.

But, Edward is an expert at it, and more than that, the outdoors seem to fuel him. Fill him up. I definitely support anything that does that, so I was doing my best to be a good sport.

On a lazy afternoon spent by the lake reading and snacking, our troop decides to go to another area of the lake to do some fly fishing. To this day, I can’t be sure about why I decided to stay behind at camp, and catch up later.

It was a decision I would be cursing only a few hours later.

I was given clear instructions on where to find my friends. I listened, seemed easy enough, and had not a care in the world as I took off less than an hour later to join them.

I hadn’t gone too far, when the haunting tale of the Trouble Bears started replaying in my mind.

 As if under a spell, the entire wood lay silent. Sleeping. No birds chirped here. No squirrels chattered. Only the wind seemed to whisper, “Beware! Turn Back!” 

But I pressed on. Up ahead I saw a flash of color. What was that? As I got closer, I could see there was something large blocking the forest path. And something red.

There was a bear up there. And it was feasting on ….something.

It was clear to me now how I was going to die. One always wonders how it’s going to happen. All I could think about was my poor Edward, beating himself up for not waiting for me. He should have known not to leave me alone in the forest with Trouble Bears. If only he would have listened.

My poor mother back in Iowa. How would she handle this horrible news? Her youngest daughter, eaten by a bear.

Wait! I can’t just give up! I have to run! I thought to myself. And run I did.

I went tearing through the forest. Branches were hitting and biting me in the face. I fell over small trees that I couldn’t see for all the weeds and undergrowth. Several times.

I’m not sure how long I had been running before I stopped. I didn’t know a lot about bears, but I decided if there HAD in fact been a bear, it would have chased me by this point. My fear pheromones alone leading him right to me like the smell of  a juicy steak on the grill.

So, now I just started wandering. And remembering that my fellow campers were going to be on the lake. The same lake we were camped on. And I could actually see water.

Why weren’t they looking for me? Calling out my name? They must be worried sick.

As I made my way toward Horseshoe Lake, I could just make out a noise. What was it?


Who could be laughing at a time like this? I came up on my traitorous friends and husband as they were lazily stretched out by the water, joking. Half-heartedly throwing their poles out into the still green-blue water.

“Oh! There you are Lis! We were wondering where you—wait. Why are you bleeding?  God,  are you crying?”

I can laugh about it now. But, if I live to be 102, I won’t ever forget the time I almost got eaten by a bear.


14 thoughts on “Safe and Sound

  1. Good for you number one in going camping. I tried that when I was younger and found that I just wasn’t one of those outdoorsy types that liked to sleep on the ground with no bathroom or electricity. A cabin in the woods is my idea of roughing it, with a charming and picturesque mainstreet with restaurants, pubs and a hospital nearby. I’ve hiked and tromped through the Smokies plenty of times, but a cabin was always waiting when I returned. :).

    I would be like you though — start hearing and seeing things. But I’m such a big baby and have watched far too many horror movies when I was younger so that I would never, ever, never be by myself in the woods. Good for you and glad a grizzly didn’t get ya.

    • Dear Brigitte,
      We now have a 5th wheel that we take to places where we can hook up to electricity.
      With 3 kids, there’s no way I can evision any other way of camping!!!
      And thank you!! I’m so glad I didn’t get eaten, too.
      Love, Lis

  2. We don’t have bears in Australia… I’m kinda glad we don’t have anything carnivorous bigger than us in Australia actually… Can you imagine the types of animals we would have?

    Oh, wait… we have salt water crocs… Scratch that last part.

    I remember being told I should zig-zag when running from a crocodile. When I was a kid I had thought one was chasing me so I zig-zagged as fast as I could and halfway to my escape I had an epiphany. If I was zig-zagging and the chaser was running straight, it would mean he would catch me quicker… So I just turned and ran in semi circles and obtuse angles until I got to the road. I turned to see how far the crocodile had gotten when my dog exited the bush panting and puffing. I think this was my first ‘face-palm’ moment I ever did.

  3. I haven’t been camping in decades! The last time, after a long day of canoeing, we pitched our tent in what turned out to be the middle of a boy scout jamboree and they spent the night playing tag around my tent! Oy!

    Glad you evaded the bears, Lis! xoxoM

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