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(Rare.us)   National Park Service urges visitors not to push your slower overweight flat-footed friends down when running from bears in the forest just to save yourself   (rare.us) divider line
    More: Amusing, National Park Service, painful mouths of bears, Thumb, Friendship, better look, slower friends, Hunting, English-language films  
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2020-08-11 5:23:40 AM  
Speaking for flat-footed asthmatics who have put on weight lately.. thanks.
 
2020-08-11 6:25:26 AM  
Help the bear recognize you as a human. We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear).

*Snert*
 
2020-08-11 8:45:20 AM  
Why would you waste the energy doing so? As long as you're faster than your slowest companion, you're fine.
 
2020-08-11 9:00:48 AM  
That's the amateur approach anyway, one that stinks of last-minute desperation borne from a lack of planning. A far better approach is to engineer one last rest stop as you near the park. Make sure everybody gets out and leaves the vehicle -- rest room, grab a bit to eat, take a stretch walk, etc. While they're gone, you go into your backpack and take out the supplies you've carefully sequestered there -- a big jar of peanut butter, a big jar of honey, and lots of crackers. Prepare about six peanut butter and honey-coated cracker sandwiches for each of your friends' backpacks. You'll put five of those in a little plastic Ziplock bag to make it look like you were thoughtfully preparing a snack, but don't seal it up all the way. Then you'll take the sixth one and crumble it into the very bottom of the backpack. Throw away the extra peanut butter, honey, and crackers when you're finished. Now each one of your friends is a primed and baited distraction for any bear encounters, and you can walk the woods in comfort and security.
 
2020-08-11 9:07:16 AM  
Ya ain't here for the huntin', are ya?
 
2020-08-11 9:07:45 AM  
Holy shiat that's actually the headline. Things must really be bad.
 
2020-08-11 9:08:20 AM  
Crank ABBA and drop your phone.
 
2020-08-11 9:08:20 AM  
Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?
 
2020-08-11 9:08:51 AM  
Why would you really need to push them if they are slower and fatter than you? I guess every little helps.
 
2020-08-11 9:10:12 AM  
Maybe I don't want to run. Maybe I'm bear-curious.
 
2020-08-11 9:10:33 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?


You sound gay.
 
2020-08-11 9:10:53 AM  
Didn't we just do this here?
 
2020-08-11 9:12:08 AM  

Pocket Ninja: That's the amateur approach anyway, one that stinks of last-minute desperation borne from a lack of planning. A far better approach is to engineer one last rest stop as you near the park. Make sure everybody gets out and leaves the vehicle -- rest room, grab a bit to eat, take a stretch walk, etc. While they're gone, you go into your backpack and take out the supplies you've carefully sequestered there -- a big jar of peanut butter, a big jar of honey, and lots of crackers. Prepare about six peanut butter and honey-coated cracker sandwiches for each of your friends' backpacks. You'll put five of those in a little plastic Ziplock bag to make it look like you were thoughtfully preparing a snack, but don't seal it up all the way. Then you'll take the sixth one and crumble it into the very bottom of the backpack. Throw away the extra peanut butter, honey, and crackers when you're finished. Now each one of your friends is a primed and baited distraction for any bear encounters, and you can walk the woods in comfort and security.


That's the last time I take you hiking.
 
2020-08-11 9:13:29 AM  
Bear mace is very effective.  Not for the bear, for whichever 'friend' you like the least.  They'll be irresistible to the bear as they flail about.
 
2020-08-11 9:14:01 AM  
Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!
 
2020-08-11 9:14:22 AM  
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guess fark is only for the dumb dumbs south of us
 
2020-08-11 9:15:08 AM  
TFA says nothing about what shiatting yourself signals to the bear. I'm 99% certain I'd need my brown pants if I ever came across a bear in the woods.
 
2020-08-11 9:15:56 AM  

ImmutableTenderloin: Holy shiat that's actually the headline. Things must really be bad.


It's the NPS showing a bit of a sense of humor.

They hook you with the joke in order to get you to read the good advice about how to avoid wildlife conflicts.
 
2020-08-11 9:16:10 AM  

Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!


Be sure to ask the bear to see his manager while you are at it.
 
2020-08-11 9:18:08 AM  
Just drop the pic-a-nic basket and walk away.
 
2020-08-11 9:18:29 AM  

Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.


well, they are pretty cuddly.

And your handle pretty much sounds a lot gayer than Tyrone's post.

/oblig nttawwt
 
2020-08-11 9:20:11 AM  

Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!


My brother works at Yellowstone.  While Urban-Americans are a problem, apparently the worst are people from countries without any significant megafauna.  People from Europe and Asia, especially China, are the ones that tend to ignore (or not understand) the warnings and get *WAY* too close to the animals.

Especially the bison and elk.  Most people understand that bears can be dangerous (though some people still get too close), but bison and elk are just funny-looking cows, right?
 
2020-08-11 9:22:01 AM  

Nimbull: Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!

Be sure to ask the bear to see his manager while you are at it.


popchrist.files.wordpress.comView Full Size


What do you mean, "no vacancy"?!?!  I want to see your manger!
 
2020-08-11 9:22:06 AM  

Mr_Vimes: Why would you really need to push them if they are slower and fatter than you? I guess every little helps.


Actually it can be counterproductive, assuming the friend is aware enough to play dead (and that the bear is attacking to defend territory, rather than hunting for delicious but decadent human flesh).  When you run, the bear's instinct is to chase. That instinct isn't triggered by an inert body on the ground so much as potential prey trying to get away, so after a cursory sniff it may bypass the friend and continue chasing you. And it will catch you, don't kid yourself.

At that point your best bet is to identify the type of bear. Do this by climbing a tree. If it's a black bear, it will climb up after you. If it's a grizzly, it will knock the tree down. The end result is the same, but it would be tragic for you to die with your mind filled with that unanswered question.
 
2020-08-11 9:22:57 AM  
This is at least the second and maybe the third time an article about this has come up on Fark
 
2020-08-11 9:23:07 AM  

dittybopper: Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!

My brother works at Yellowstone.  While Urban-Americans are a problem, apparently the worst are people from countries without any significant megafauna.  People from Europe and Asia, especially China, are the ones that tend to ignore (or not understand) the warnings and get *WAY* too close to the animals.

Especially the bison and elk.  Most people understand that bears can be dangerous (though some people still get too close), but bison and elk are just funny-looking cows, right?


Huh, that's my ex's nickname.
 
2020-08-11 9:25:37 AM  
As a hungry bear myself, I would like to encourage all of you to please think about me and shove your fat flat footed friend to the ground.  After all, God helps those who help themselves.
 
2020-08-11 9:26:40 AM  
You know they're going to push you down given the chance.  They didn't get fat being thoughtful and courteous.
 
2020-08-11 9:27:29 AM  

Hey Nurse!: Maybe I don't want to run. Maybe I'm bear-curious.


Some people are the Polar opposite.
 
2020-08-11 9:28:26 AM  
Here, my fat bretheren.  You look fatigued.  Wipe your brow with my hankerchief.  Oh, that's just a little sexy bear hormones.
 
2020-08-11 9:29:10 AM  

Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.


Um, might want to check your user name before calling people gay, buttmunch.
 
2020-08-11 9:30:42 AM  

dittybopper: Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!

My brother works at Yellowstone.  While Urban-Americans are a problem, apparently the worst are people from countries without any significant megafauna.  People from Europe and Asia, especially China, are the ones that tend to ignore (or not understand) the warnings and get *WAY* too close to the animals.

Especially the bison and elk.  Most people understand that bears can be dangerous (though some people still get too close), but bison and elk are just funny-looking cows, right?


Moose, bro.

Moose are more dangerous than bears. And not by a little. Far, far more people are injured by moose than bear, every single year in North America.

They've got poor eyesight, which means they're easily surprised by people & animals. And when surprised rather than flee they get farking belligerent & charge. Combine with being cool-looking & idiots wanting to get close and you get tramplings and gorings.
 
2020-08-11 9:30:55 AM  

Pocket Ninja: That's the amateur approach anyway, one that stinks of last-minute desperation borne from a lack of planning. A far better approach is to engineer one last rest stop as you near the park. Make sure everybody gets out and leaves the vehicle -- rest room, grab a bit to eat, take a stretch walk, etc. While they're gone, you go into your backpack and take out the supplies you've carefully sequestered there -- a big jar of peanut butter, a big jar of honey, and lots of crackers. Prepare about six peanut butter and honey-coated cracker sandwiches for each of your friends' backpacks. You'll put five of those in a little plastic Ziplock bag to make it look like you were thoughtfully preparing a snack, but don't seal it up all the way. Then you'll take the sixth one and crumble it into the very bottom of the backpack. Throw away the extra peanut butter, honey, and crackers when you're finished. Now each one of your friends is a primed and baited distraction for any bear encounters, and you can walk the woods in comfort and security.


This works.  Spent a few weeks in New Mexico, and our camp got attacked by bears regularly.  The guy who stashed some doritos lost his backpack on the 2nd day out.  Good thing he was away from them, climbing a mountain at the time.

Turns out, he just wanted everyone else to carry everything.  Which worked perfectly.  Bears found his stash, destroyed his pack, and he lived off of us for the rest of the trip.  So be wary of friends who take snacks with them out into bear country.  If they constantly leave their pack away from camp, they did it on purpose and should be tripped in the event of an attack.
 
2020-08-11 9:32:12 AM  

Unikitty: Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.

Um, might want to check your user name before calling people gay, buttmunch.


might have been fishing for a date.
 
2020-08-11 9:32:21 AM  
Many years ago I went to Northern Warfare school up in Alaska.  We went out to the middle of nowhere for the mountain phase and got our initial briefing from the sergeant assigned there.  In the Army you meet people from everywhere, and this guy was from backwoods Alabama, so picture this being done in the thickest, slowest Southern drawl you can imagine- it took about two minutes

Sergeant points at mountain behind him.  "See that hill?  Don't go up alone-  bears on that hill.  You see a bear, don't bother to run.  Bear's faster than you. Don't bother to climb.  Bears can climb.  Don't bother to swim.  Bears can swim."

"So what would you do sergeant?"

"I'd run.  Wouldn't do me no good, but I'd run."

And thus concludes your safety briefing.

/Most dangerous animal we had to deal with was a moose.  Don't get the boat between mama moose and baby moose, or "She'll come over and stomp the dogfark out of the boat"
 
2020-08-11 9:33:37 AM  

Nimbull: Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!

Be sure to ask the bear to see his manager while you are at it.


Why isn't that bear wearing a mask and practicing social distancing?
 
amb [TotalFark]
2020-08-11 9:34:56 AM  
Last year on my visit with my parents in Wyoming, we went up to Yellowstone for a couple days. First time in my visits there that we saw a bear. It was probably 100+ yards from the road. Tons of cars had stopped and people got out to take pictures. Traffic was slow, so we just watched from our car for a bit. I figured let the other folks take the risk if they want. I was happy to just see one. Saw lots of the big animals that trip. Bear, deer (mule and white tail), bald eagles, bison, elk, and on the drive back to my folks house pronghorn antelope and big horn sheep. Didn't see any moose on the trip and haven't in a while. Maybe 10 years or more ago on a visit to Jackson saw a few outside Teton Village on the road to the park.

Don't mess around with bears, be safe. Also remember more people are injured by bison and elk every year at Yellowstone, than are by bears. Bison are the size of small cars and will trample you. Elk are pretty big and that giant rack of antlers is pretty pointy. All of them are faster than you, so give them some space.
 
2020-08-11 9:39:06 AM  
Don't forget the pepper spray and bells
 
2020-08-11 9:41:05 AM  

GregInIndy: dittybopper: Billy Bathsalt: Don't stop at using your voice to show that you're human.  Complain loudly about the trees obstructing your view of the mountain range, the upkeep of the porta-potties, the lack of quality merchandise in the souvenir store.  Show that bear that you're an American!

My brother works at Yellowstone.  While Urban-Americans are a problem, apparently the worst are people from countries without any significant megafauna.  People from Europe and Asia, especially China, are the ones that tend to ignore (or not understand) the warnings and get *WAY* too close to the animals.

Especially the bison and elk.  Most people understand that bears can be dangerous (though some people still get too close), but bison and elk are just funny-looking cows, right?

Moose, bro.

Moose are more dangerous than bears. And not by a little. Far, far more people are injured by moose than bear, every single year in North America.

They've got poor eyesight, which means they're easily surprised by people & animals. And when surprised rather than flee they get farking belligerent & charge. Combine with being cool-looking & idiots wanting to get close and you get tramplings and gorings.



In Yellowstone, bison are more dangerous than moose, bear, or elk, simply because there are more of them, and they don't give a fark.  A traffic jam in Yellowstone is more likely to be caused by a herd of bison than a car accident.


https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisi​t​/safety.htm
Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal. Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans. Always stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from bison.
 
2020-08-11 9:41:38 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-11 9:43:19 AM  
Learn to swim...
 
2020-08-11 9:43:40 AM  

FarkingSmurf: Bear mace is very effective.  Not for the bear, for whichever 'friend' you like the least.  They'll be irresistible to the bear as they flail about.


This.

There's also the "what you can't see (due to being blinded by bear spray) can't hurt you" factor.
 
2020-08-11 9:45:11 AM  
It's a good idea to make noise while you are hiking in bear country.  many hikers put small bells on there packs, that jingle with every step. bears have very keen hearing, and the bells greatly reduce the chances that you will come upon one who is surprised you suddenly appeared.

it's also a good idea to know what types of bears hand out in the area you are hiking in, as black bears and brown bears (grizzlies) pose very different threats.  Black bears are (mostly) shy and most likely won't want anything to do with you, while brown bears can be very aggressive.

one way to differentiate between the two -- without having to actual see one -- is by their scat.  Black bears eat a lot of berries, so their scat is full of seeds and husks.  Brown bear scat often contains small jingly bells.
 
2020-08-11 9:46:10 AM  

SuperChuck: Don't forget the pepper spray and bells


I brought bell peppers.

Fewer things to keep track of.
 
2020-08-11 9:47:32 AM  
external-content.duckduckgo.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-11 9:51:05 AM  
Well, what did I bring them for then?
 
2020-08-11 9:51:11 AM  

Wheyfaring Stranger: It's a good idea to make noise while you are hiking in bear country.  many hikers put small bells on there packs, that jingle with every step. bears have very keen hearing, and the bells greatly reduce the chances that you will come upon one who is surprised you suddenly appeared.


It's all fun and games until a bear thinks it hears a tasty raindeer walking down the trail.
 
2020-08-11 9:52:12 AM  
"If you define cowardice as running away
at the first sign of danger, screaming and
tripping and begging for mercy, then yes,
Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a coward."
- Jack Handey
 
2020-08-11 9:57:00 AM  

SuperChuck: Don't forget the pepper spray and bells


Aight, I'll post it for the 4 people on Earth who don't know the joke.

Montana Grizzly Bear Notice: In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Montana Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field. We advise that outdoorsmen wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle the bears that aren't expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity.

Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear poop. Black bear poop is smaller and contains a lot of berry seeds and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear poop has little bells in it and smells like pepper spray.
 
2020-08-11 9:57:25 AM  
Ms. Zinetti and I have spent many weeks in Yellowstone over the years.  We have seen few bears, even when hiking in more remote areas.  We have always been bear aware, and carried bear spray.  We even practice getting it out and once we even went all the way to getting it out and deploying it so we could see how far it would spray.  Bison and elk on the other hand, yikes, we have had far too many accidental encounters with them.  We like to fish, and more than once we have come around a bend, or a large willow only to find a bison less than a meter away from us.  We love going in the fall when the rut is on.  We know that elk or bison will fark you up.

While camping in the back country one year with another couple, a ranger came by our campsite.  He approved of our safety measures and gave us a piece of advice that we have heard from other rangers.  Travel in larger groups.  3 is the minimum.  His comment is the bear goes "1, 2, too many" and moves on.  Other bits of advice were really obvious like if you see a bear ahead on the trail, go a different direction, like back the way you came.  If you see fresh bear scat, don't hike that trail, go back and try it another day.  Really obvious stuff, but you would not believe how many people ignore that advice.
 
2020-08-11 10:05:53 AM  

BubbaZinetti: We even practice getting it out and once we even went all the way to getting it out and deploying it so we could see how far it would spray. Bison and elk on the other hand, yikes, we have had far too many accidental encounters with them.  We like to fish, and more than once we have come around a bend, or a large willow only to find a bison less than a meter away from us.  We love going in the fall when the rut is on.  We know that elk or bison will fark you up..


What you and your wife do in the woods is your own business.
 
2020-08-11 10:07:07 AM  
nope, survival of the fittest.
I don't have to be the winner of the race but damned if I am going the one at the rear of the pack
 
2020-08-11 10:23:53 AM  

aungen: Unikitty: Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.

Um, might want to check your user name before calling people gay, buttmunch.

might have been fishing for a date.


Yeah, more of a really bad joke about how we gay men always have a fat chick as a hag.
 
2020-08-11 10:25:18 AM  

Pocket Ninja: That's the amateur approach anyway, one that stinks of last-minute desperation borne from a lack of planning. A far better approach is to engineer one last rest stop as you near the park. Make sure everybody gets out and leaves the vehicle -- rest room, grab a bit to eat, take a stretch walk, etc. While they're gone, you go into your backpack and take out the supplies you've carefully sequestered there -- a big jar of peanut butter, a big jar of honey, and lots of crackers. Prepare about six peanut butter and honey-coated cracker sandwiches for each of your friends' backpacks. You'll put five of those in a little plastic Ziplock bag to make it look like you were thoughtfully preparing a snack, but don't seal it up all the way. Then you'll take the sixth one and crumble it into the very bottom of the backpack. Throw away the extra peanut butter, honey, and crackers when you're finished. Now each one of your friends is a primed and baited distraction for any bear encounters, and you can walk the woods in comfort and security.


You...you've really thought this out...
 
2020-08-11 10:26:16 AM  

wage0048: Why would you waste the energy doing so? As long as you're faster than your slowest companion, you're fine.


Pushing them down puts them out of the race. If you triggered the prey response, bear will ignore them and chase you. You will lose, better to have tubby on their feet.
 
2020-08-11 10:27:45 AM  

g.fro: Well, what did I bring them for then?


Because they have a tender heart
 
2020-08-11 10:42:08 AM  
Corb Lund - "Grizzly Bear Blues" [Acoustic]
Youtube ORLlT0g9-oA
 
2020-08-11 11:13:36 AM  

Buttknuckle: aungen: Unikitty: Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.

Um, might want to check your user name before calling people gay, buttmunch.

might have been fishing for a date.

Yeah, more of a really bad joke about how we gay men always have a fat chick as a hag.


dammit.  I missed by a mile!
 
2020-08-11 11:35:00 AM  
th.bing.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-11 11:36:58 AM  

aungen: Buttknuckle: aungen: Unikitty: Buttknuckle: Tyrone Slothrop: Well, what's the point of having a fat friend, then?

You sound gay.

Um, might want to check your user name before calling people gay, buttmunch.

might have been fishing for a date.

Yeah, more of a really bad joke about how we gay men always have a fat chick as a hag.

dammit.  I missed by a mile!


I did too
 
2020-08-11 11:43:24 AM  
I'm originally from a little two-tumbleweed town in MT about an hour due east of Glacier National Park, so I spent a lot of time growing up in and around the park, including working summers on trail crews during college, even after I had moved to MN permanently.

Around '97, a very cityfied friend of mine started bugging me relentlessly about going to Glacier. He'd never been to the mountains and he really wanted to go with me essentially as his unpaid "expert" guide. I thought that sounded like a fun, so we packed up and road tripped out to get into adventures.

When we first got to Glacier, I purposely started things slow with a leisurely stroll along the Trail of the Cedars with a segue to a slightly more difficult hike on to Avalanche Lake, just to get a feel for this greenhorn's adaptability to the outdoors. He passed the test just fine. He was almost drunk with Nature afterwards saying he was ready to hit the bigger and badder trails.

So, after camping out that night, we decided to hit the Grinnell Glacier trail the next day, which isn't a brutal hike, but at about 8 miles round-trip with about 2K' of elevation gain to about 7K' at the top, it's definitely much more strenuous and one that takes you through a significant stretch of grizzly country. In fact, here's the warning we saw at the trail head:

Fark user imageView Full Size


The main way to avoiding bears is by simply letting them know you're in their living room by making a lot of noise. You just don't want to surprise them. Generally speaking, bears do not see you as edible and will usually just move away once they sense your presence. The main exception being if you encroach on their territory when they are with their cubs. We had bells on our packs, bear whistles, and we went out of our way to yell out a few "HEY, BEARS, HEY!" every once in a while. We didn't have bear spray.

The first low portion of the trail along the lake went fine and once we transitioned to the first stage rise (thigh burning 135' climb in 1/10th of a mile) everything was going great and, despite the rain, my friend was really showing a real knack for hiking with zero complaints. Due to the early hour and the weather, the trail was almost empty, which is rare.

We then hit the section with these absolutely beautiful alpine meadows surrounded by mountains. This is where we came upon another couple of hikers (turned out to be a husband and wife) stopped on the trail near the start of a switchback section. As we got closer they looked a little freaked out and started signaling to us to stop.

They told us that there was a bear up ahead on the trail and they were unsure what to do. They didn't want to turn back because, like us, the best part of the hike was still ahead - and getting to the glacier was our ultimate goal.

I suggested making some more noise and, since we were kind of tucked in behind a boulder, we could see the bear and watch it hopefully move away and, sure enough, after a few minutes, the bear sauntered off into the brush.

We waited another 20 minutes and after it appeared the coast was clear we restarted our hike with the couple joining us. The trail was very narrow at that location, with meadow to our right and sheer cliff to our left. For some reason, our single file order got messed up with the husband in the lead, then me, then my buddy and finally the wife.

We had only walked 100 yards maybe when I heard a snorting sound off to my immediate right, kind of like a pig noise, and as I turned to look, sitting there, only 15 feet away on a little flat outcropping, nestled among the huckleberries, was the grizzly. A very big one actually now that we were in a better position to judge. I could literally see the hair on its back stand up when it saw us.

Holy.
Farkin'
Shiat.

I can't quite explain the primal sensations that overtake a person in these situations. Any soreness I had from the hike was instantly gone. Hearing, vision, smell, strength all went full Bionic Man. The adrenalin rush was absolutely insane. Even still, the guy in front of me and I simply acknowledged the bear's presence with a "Oh, hello there" glance, then averted our direct gaze so as not to challenge the animal, then turned slowly and calmly walked UP the trail and away from the bear.

My buddy and the woman? Well, they immediately turned in full panic mode and ran as fast as they could screaming DOWN the trail.

The bear then moved into a perfect spot right between the two groups on the switchback and sat down, effectively cutting us off from each other. It wasn't being aggressive, but it also didn't look like it was in a hurry to go anywhere.

Now what the hell were we to do?

The two separated groups were still within shouting distance, so once we all realized that we weren't necessarily going to be immediately mauled by a bear, we basically agreed that we were at the mercy of this bear leaving the immediate area, so we kept an eye on it from a reasonable distance and waited.

And waited.

Meanwhile, more hikers are coming up the trail and stopping where my friend and the wife are parked down the trail. They're explaining the situation to these people and the group agrees that waiting is the best approach.

Finally, the bear slowly moved up and away from both groups without a care in the world. Just then, from down below, I hear my buddy's bear whistle and from around the boulder here he comes like a marching band drum major tweeting on that whistle with about 25 people behind him walking up the trail. I turned to the husband and we both just busted up laughing. Our brave urban hero!

We were reunited and went on to finish the hike with no additional bear problems. Afterward, I asked my buddy why he had decided to run down the mountain, instead of following my lead.

"Well, I know this sounds crazy, but at that moment, I thought if the bear chased me, if I could just make it to the turn near the boulder, I could cut over at the last second and the bear would just slide past me and fall over the cliff," he said.

"Wait. Like Wile E. Coyote?!" I laughed.

"Right. Exactly," he said in all seriousness.

"And what about the woman? She was in front of you..." I pointed out.

"Well, luckily for her, she turned out to be much faster than me."

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