“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing” Helen Keller

One of the most profound experiences I  had in 2017 was a face to  face encounter with a bear.  It was most terrifying and most exhilarating.  Bob and I spent the month of June in the wilderness of Canada on the shores of Lake Superior, his family cabin.  Yes, it’s quiet.  Yes, it’s stunning.   Yes, there is no electricity or Wi-Fi and cell service can be found on few areas of the beach, if you stand correctly.  I have many favorite activities there, but my most favorite is time in the woods with the pups.  One day, we went deeper than usual and a bit off of the rugged trail of Lake Superior Provincial Park.  I spotted a cluster of orchids and captured a few with my camera.  I enjoyed their beauty along with other more common plants.  It’s extremely quiet during the day when the sun is high in the sky.  The birds are napping and the only sound is a twig breaking underfoot.  A week later I decided to venture to the orchids again.  I wanted to see if there were more clusters.  I spotted them and as I walked over to capture their image, Scout began barking, unusual even for him in this serene environment.  I looked up to where he was running and saw a bear peering, not at him, but at me.  This is what went through my mind in the second I saw her, before I ran….she was beautiful:  a honey colored snout surrounding her black nose and huge sensitive eyes looking at me curiously.  Wow!  Then in that split second, adrenalin kicked in and I ran like crazy wondering if I could navigate or even follow the rustic trail with break neck speed.  I yelled as I ran, “Rocky, Scout come!”  I imagined Scout going face to face with this beautiful animal and being tossed aside a bloody mess, with Rocky licking his wounds.  I continued yelling as I ran, praying they were following me.  I hoped she turned back into the woods with her curiosity satisfied.  They did catch up with me and I then followed them as we raced through the woods back to the cabin.  The image of this beautiful creature still lingers in my mind, in that split second, I felt a connection with her.  I was too stunned to capture a picture and too scared to linger, but her image and my exhilaration will remain with me.  I wouldn’t ask for an encounter like that, but I am so very grateful that I experienced it.  I am curious too and I know she and I have more in common that we could ever imagine.  

 

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