On The Wrong Bearing

| Friendly | May 12, 2014

(A friend is a former ranger and thinks he’s ‘Mr. Outdoorsman.’ He has taken me backpacking at his favorite ‘secret trout stream.’ The night before, he tried to weird me out by telling me about the stringer of fish that once ‘mysteriously disappeared’ during the night. I said it was probably a bear. We are hiking back to the trailhead.)

Friend: “I’ve always wondered what got those fish.”

Me: “I told you. It was probably a bear.”

Friend: “Someone told me there might be Sasquatch in this area.”

Me: “Yeah, right. I told you. It was probably a bear.”

Friend: “There are no bears in this area.”

Me: “[Friend], this is the Sierras. Of course there are bears here.”

Friend: “In all my years, I’ve never seen a bear here.”

Me: “They could just be hanging out in places where you haven’t seen them.”

Friend: “Nope. There are no bears around here. There isn’t any reason for them to be here.”

Me: “Fine. Have it your way.”

(We keep hiking for about a half hour, and discuss other things. At this point, we come to an open hillside where the trail passes through a large thicket of berry bushes. As we approach, a small black bear breaks out of the bushes and runs away, crossing the trail about thirty feet in front of us as he does so.)

Me: “[Friend], what’s that?”

Friend: *grudgingly* “It looked kinda like a bear.”

Me: “It looked very much like a bear. As a matter of fact, it WAS a bear!”

Friend: “Wow, that’s weird. I wonder why he was here? He should know there are no bears around here!”

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