Inspired by a Chris Perry piece

I guess it was back around thirty years ago. Driving across this country looking for somewhere to live. Living in a VW, camping out. Checking out small towns with no future in them and a Safeway on the outskirts that had driven the local store out of buisness. Safeway! Hm, providing part time jobs that had no benefits.
Let’s not go there right now. Instead we will visit Montana ( I think) and a sunny day. I’m driving up a mountainside, turning a corner as it were, I pull up and there right in front of the van are two national emblems, Just sitting there. Maybe 5 feet in front of me. I’ve never seen them up close before, in fact I had rather doubted their existence at times, you know figguring they was like Old Bunyan or Rip.
But no here they are, as I sit in silence and awe they turn their heads toward me. They are certainly not bald and they are big, well huge would be a better term. They are very casual, they turn and look at each other. Some kind of acknowledgement takes place and together they take a couple of steps forward and , with a great flapping of wings take off and soar upward. The pair of them in sync.
I feel very small and so, so grateful for these few frozen moments in time.
What have I done to deserve this? Or what will this experience cost me down the road?
I don’t care, I drive on. Ah! here’s a lake ; with a jetty. Very strange all the way up here in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps some fishing? Yay!
Well, some time passes and I’m standing at the end of the jetty my bucket with five lake trout in it is toward the other end. The sun is warm on my back, I have a meal ahead of me, I am very happy. The impressions of the two eagles is strong in my mind.
Okay, time to stop. Turning around I am brought up suddenly to a freeze, my heart starts to beat rather wildly, a sense of panic arises, quickly quelled. But there , no more than six or eight feet away is a bear calmly eating my supper, carefully reaching into the bucket , pulling out a nice, smallish trout and stuffing it in his mouth.
What can I do? I’ve heard stories of folk rushing toward wild life screaming and shouting, making a lot of noise and waving arms around like crazy and the wild life turning and running.
Well, could give that a shot I suppose. The image that flashed into my mind of me doing that saved me.
I am standing, scowling a little, trying to pull myself up to my full height while at the same time trying to dissapear altogether.
Finally the bear stood up on his hind legs, he was big!, licked his paws literally smacked his lips, looked at me for a looooong moment, dropped down on all fours and ambled away.
Turning his head around toward me as he left the jetty it was as though he nodded and said “Thanks”
I went to bed hungry that night but filled with such a feeling of wonder and joy at having had such an extraordinary day

Currently unavailable for purchase

Inspired by a Chris Perry piece by 

Extracted from a road trip across country while looking for somewhere to live


wild life, nature, adventure

An eclectic wannabe writer/photographer/artist with toes that dip into the waters of philosophy/religion and politics and hands that used to dig into the earth but with a body that doesn’t bend so easily now " reduced? " ‘only’ to the sights and scents of Nature.

View Full Profile


  • Alenka Co
    Alenka Coover 3 years ago

    I can see that bear as I read your words ….. what a great experience ….. I’d sacrifice my supper for that :)

  • Yes, very small sacrifice really :)
    The natural world has such an exhillerating effect upon the senses.

    – abigcat

  • MtnRainbows
    MtnRainbowsover 3 years ago

    Whew! Reminds me of the two bears I’ve encountered (well there’s been more than two but these guys made my car look small), was enthralled both times. Didn’t feel the need to run, just stand there and watch them. REALLY BIG BOYS, both of them. I must be crazy cause my friends all screamed and ran away.

  • Ah Friends! they often do the weirdest things LOL

    – abigcat

  • Blake Steele
    Blake Steeleover 3 years ago

    Good sharing. Your story engaged me. What experiences!

  • :-) Thanks for reading. I enjoy your experiencing too

    – abigcat

  • Chris Perry
    Chris Perryover 3 years ago

    A bear on the hind legs in close quarters will leave anyone with an overwhelming feeling of wonder and joy and awe(and possibly down one good set of undershorts) .What a great experience and mindset you attributed the event to.

    Feeling this alive is such a rush, for sure..Thanks for sharing..

  • I thank you for the reminder :-))
    Can’t speak about the undershorts HaHa

    – abigcat

  • Catherine Berger
    Catherine Bergerover 3 years ago

    Lovely write and quite an encounter! To have dinner with a bear… :-)

  • Thank you very much. I’m somewhat flattered that someone with your calibre of writing should notice mine :-))

    – abigcat

  • Ron Co
    Ron Coover 3 years ago

    Some of life’s greatest memories are of the unexpected, unplanned and events that cannot be bought, natural encounters with forces lost to most people.
    The event nearest I recall is swimming in the Katherine RIver and seeing the light going down ,down ,down into the depth and realsiing i could see forever through that clear water ( in the dry season) and recalling tales of large sea crocodiles that hole up in such places until the next wet.The feeling of “what can see me floating here?”
    I had swum in the Katherine Gorge and seen 10-12 foot sea water crocs dive in and flee from us because at that time in history people were allowed to shoot them and they were therefore shy of people , not a thing I would try today after some 40 years of protected species status. Once bitten…….

    The only other time I have felt so vulnerable was when I first took my little tin boat around the Bluff at Victor Harbor and did not realise most people keep a hundred metres or so off the point , I went in close, literally a few metres from the rocks and met a triangulation of forces , ten foot waves ,back wash and swell , I felt as helpless as a leaf washed along in a raging torrent , it was a most unforgettable feeling of this is my end and no one will ever know who what where , as usual I was alone and had told no one where i was going , my biggest regret as a photographer was no one would get any good pics out of it :-)
    I was not the last bit scared , I was terrified but not scared! I survived in case you were wondering
    more I think the more of these anecdotes keep popping into my head ,I think I have had many lucky escapes over the years
    I think next life time I will be born where we have better wild life , kangaroos are just not aggressive enough and Koalas are a joke (lots of piddle jokes are their area)

    enough of this I must away, thanks for sharing this

  • Thank you!!

    – abigcat

  • carol brandt
    carol brandtover 3 years ago

    What a fabulous story, and so well related. Such unexpected and awesome encounters with wild life affect us wee human beings to the core, somehow reminding us our minuscule place in the scheme of things, that the world is much bigger and grander and unspeakably wondrous than our own little pools of trouble. A wonderful account and an experience that will be alive in you the rest of your life. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Thank you for reading and commenting. :))

    – abigcat

  • Chris Whitney
    Chris Whitneyover 3 years ago

    I pictured myself along for a ride in your camper. It is an interesting circle here with the eagles leading you to the lake where they fish and then you providing food for the bear.

  • Yes, thank you for reading and picking up on that. The circle of life, done to death by “The Lion King” perhaps, but so true. :-))

    – abigcat

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait