Posted by: dougery | August 1, 2011

the BEAR!

This weekend began with something odd: me jogging. I strongly dislike running for running’s sake. Playing catch with a football, riding a bike along a lake path, stretching a seeing-eye single into a double, hell, I’ll even take ultimate Frisbee every day of the week over a jog to nowhere. But lately I’ve been feeling a bit of a slugabed so I decided to wake up and run.

Historically this has proven to be the only time where I will consistently exercise. It’s like I have to trick my body into action before my brain catches up, realizes that someone is pulling a fast one over on it, and calls the whole thing off. Our driveway is roughly a half mile long and being careful not to turn an ankle on the unpaved surface I made a speedy trek to its end. Of course by this point I was doubled over, seeing spots, wanting to vomit, and sweaty as a roofer in the July sun.

I took the high road through the forest on the way back as it is shadier and mostly uphill. I made a bargain with my protesting legs that when I was going uphill I would only speed-walk instead of run. My body agreed to this wholeheartedly. Yet it isn’t all uphill and more jogging followed. By the time I completed the mile plus circuit I was spent. The forest spit me out along the east side of our house and I made my way around the flower gardens and back inside.

Later that day I was sore. The following night my muscles were achy and tight and realized the only way to make this go away was to go jogging in the morning once more. So this morning I repeated my Saturday pattern. I got down to the end of the driveway faster and with slightly less pain. It was earlier and cooler this time around, just after 7am. The woods path wasn’t as buggy and I was back a little bit sooner than I’d been on Saturday morning.

I am thankful for this.

For you see as I was toweling off from my shower and staring idly out an upstairs window an adult black bear trundled into view.

From my vantage point of ‘holy shit there’s a bear right outside our house,’ I realized it was only a few feet from our downstairs kitchen window where our black cat Barry likes to laze in the breeze. Barry was no longer in the window but crouched on the second-from-the-top step of the stairs, shivering and insane from fear. I have no idea what he must have thought as the bear approached the house. Maybe he thought ‘hey, I’m about half as big as that thing’s head’ or ‘if my tail was stubby and I was only 30 times bigger I might look something like that,’ or ‘Dad?’

Needless to say I hissed for my wife to come to the window like right now. We exchanged ‘whoa!’s and followed the bear to our bedroom window where it ambled by the flower gardens where I had stood 15 minutes earlier, then limboed under the caution tape our landlord had put before the bridge leading to the woods path and some out-buildings. The tape is to prevent cars or logging trucks from driving over but the bridge is fine for people and, apparently, giant bears.

By this time L had grabbed her camera and snapped a few photos which hardly do the bear justice.

A phone call to our landlord, just to let them know a bear was lurking about, came next. He responded with a voice-mail saying that it was very unusual for a bear to be about during the day and that it must be hungry. This did not reassure me. However, apparently black bears, giant or not, hungry to a point or not, will go out of their way to avoid people. He told me if I was ever outside and came across one I was supposed to make lots of noise and be as big as possible. Which is all well and good but I’m still a third of its size. And without, like, talons and stuff.

I can’t wait to go jogging Wednesday morning.



  1. That is a big effin’ black bear. Now put a saddle on it!

  2. Maybe you should bring bear mace with you on your jogs?

  3. @Osutein- You could have easily triple-saddled it and had you, Ayako and lara and there would be room enough for cup-holders.

    @KAO- Bear mace in this case being my screams of agony as it feasts on my entrails.

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