"Bearly" Managing

It was my first, and last, time I went camping.

My boyfriend, his brother and I headed to a campsite at Lake Tahoe.

We would be camping in a tent, on the ground, with no electricity. The only modern convenience would be the bathroom and shower facility at the campsite. Thank God for small favors.

As we turned into the campsite we were met by the local ranger. He mentioned that the weather would be cold that night so be prepared. Make sure to clean up when we leave. And most importantly, keep the food locked up and away from the tents at night because there had been bear sightings the past several days.

Bears? Did he say bears? I was not prepared for bears. Bears have claws. Bears have teeth. Bears eat people.

Despite my objections we did not "turn around and high tail it out of there." We drove around the site until we found the perfect spot -- close to the bathroom. We unpacked and pitched our tents. We then walked around and enjoyed the scenery. In no time, I had forgotten about the bears and was at one with nature, or as close as a city girl can get.

When it got darker, we prepared dinner and sat around the campfire toasting marshmallows.

As we were sleeping that night I soon began to realize how little I was prepared for camping. The ground was hard and my back ached. Plus, my sleeping bag was too thin and I was freezing. Camping was not all it was cracked up to be.

By 3am I had to go to the bathroom. However, I was afraid of the dark (not a good thing to be when camping) so walking to the bathroom by myself was out of the question. I decided to wake my boyfriend and have him walk with me.

"Hey, I need to go to the bathroom," I said as I was shaking him.

"So go."

"I can't go by myself. I'm scared."

"It's 20 feet away you'll be fine." He pulled his sleeping back tighter around him and rolled over. End of conversation.

OK, so I'll have to do this by myself. That's fine. I'm a grown woman. I can handle this. I'll just grab the flashlight and walk alone. In the dark. By myself. Did I mention alone?

Somehow I managed to put on my jacket. Good. Now all I have to do is unzip the tent door and get my sneakers. I slowly open the zipper (so as not to disturb his royal highness.) I reach my hand out to get my sneakers and hear the unmistakable noise of a bear's growl.


I quickly pull back my hand, zip up the tent, and dive into my sleeping bag as I wait for the inevitable. The bear is sure to attack the tent. My last moments on Earth will be cold and uncomfortable, next to a man who wouldn't know chivalry if it bit him in the you know.

Lucky for me, the bear did not eat us. In fact, I didn't hear a peep from him for the rest of the night.

Eventually I was able to fall back to sleep. At 6:30 in the morning I awoke to an intense pain in my stomach. Now I REALLY had to go to the bathroom.

By now day light had arrived and I had no fear about going to the bathroom alone. As I later regaled the guys with my harrowing escape from death as I was just inches away from the jaws of biggest bear known to man, they just smiled.

To this day they insist it was probably just a raccoon or my imagination getting the best of me.

But I know the truth. That bear better hope we don't meet again because next time, I will be prepared.

~ Jacquelyn Ligon ~
<myrealm23 at yahoo.com>

Jacquelyn is from Oakland, California. She has a couple of pets,
Mimi, her cat, and Mocha, a ChihuaPom (half Chihuahua, half Pomeranian.)

[ By: Jacquelyn Ligon, Copyright © 2008 (myrealm23 at yahoo.com) -- {used with permission} ]


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