The Big Black Bear…O Dark Thirty

It was literally O Dark Thirty on Sunday night/monday morning when the bear came.  After two days of rain I suspect it was looking for an easy score on food.

As you can imagine,  the shelter was full.  Every hook behind the tarp (“inside”) was filled.  I hung mine up on a bear cable but several people were still out in the cold.  PD hung her pack up on a post outside the tarp and Thirty Miler left his on the bench saying that he didn’t have any food in his (to attract a bear).

But, at 12:30 I woke up as the first backpack hit the ground.  Then a second one.  I woke Prairie Dog up. “Something out there is taking the packs,” I said.  (For some reason you don’t want to say,  “Hey there is a big black bear just on the other side of that tarp.”)

Our conversation woke Miller up. Miller should really have been called Viking or Erik the Red,  but he is 20 something an he drinks beer so there you have it.  He asked me what was up; I told him; and he went out to investigate.

The next thing we heard was Miller saying in a quiet firm voice, “Hey you,  get out of here!” The bear ran off and Miller was able to retrieve a pack that the bear dropped.  PD and I went out and found her pack still hanging thanks to Miller’s quick action. We put both packs inside and put them on the floor willing to subject them to the mice rather than the bear.

Miller (who I renamed Bear Chaser) spent the next half hour having a staring contest with the bear and trying to roll a cigarette to a smoke without taking his eyes off of the bear.

The humor in this is that not one other person woke up during this entire episode! 

The next morning, we discovered that the pack that was saved was Right On’s and that 30 Miler’s pack had been taken and shredded.  Hikers always have to remember that even if all that is left of your food is the trash you still have to hang it up.  A bear isn’t that discerning!

The next day a ranger caught up with us at Standing Bear Hostel to get the whole story.  (News like this tends to travel quickly!) The good news is that foolishness on the part of hikers won’t cost the bear its life but it will be relocated.

As a PS to this story,  the ranger asked for my name and cell number.  I said if I told her my real name I would have to kill her.  Everyone laughed.  But when I did tell her,  the rest of the hikers respectfully stepped back so as not to hear.  🙂

Thus endeth my Smoky Mountain bear story!

Advertisements

About dragonfly2013at

Years ago i was walking in nature and a dragonfly landed on my hand. My hiking companion commented,"Change is coming in your life." Indeed, it was! I worked in business where pumps were the fashion. I left it for work where orange shoes are appreciated. This suits me. I love what I do. I just need a break to refresh and so I am! I am the 4th of 11 children. Years ago orange shoes assured that I would not be left behind (we moved a lot)...or suffer face first in a snow drift for too long. I will wear orange laces on the hike. Orange is not in hiking boot fashion at this time. Blessings on the journey. Dragonfly
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Big Black Bear…O Dark Thirty

  1. firefly says:

    No pictures of the bear? And no killing the park rangers either! I’m glad your first encounter with Smokey didn’t end with a lost backpack for either of you. Blessings to you both!

    • dragonfly2013at says:

      LOL! Can you imagine? Wait Bear Chaser! I need to (1) Find my glasses and (2) turn on my phone so that I can (3) take a picture of the bear before you scare it away!

  2. You told this story so well! I felt like I was listening to SDPB!!!

  3. songbirdknits says:

    Lovely retelling. Felt the adventure of the moment…although if I was there I might have slept through it like the other campers.

  4. Five cents worth says:

    Your mettle has been tested and you did not panic! As my Dad always said, “as long as you get a good story out of it , it was worth the experience(:”

  5. Kit says:

    This is just awesome.

  6. Pingback: Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Dragonfly and Prairie Dog 2013

  7. walt says:

    Well … you finally had your bear encounter. Hopefully, this will be it for the trip.
    Regards,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s