the one about the bear.

May 29, 2014

Oh, where do I even start? It's been a full week since I blogged last! It's also been a full week since I blogged last. So I'll start with the busiest, craziest part - last weekend. As soon as Stefan and I knew we were coming to Portland for the summer, we made plans with some of Stefan's family to go camping over Memorial Day weekend. 

Saturday morning we made our way down to southern Oregon to camp at the Squaw Lakes in the Applegate. (I copied that phrasing from someone else, so maybe it doesn't make sense the way I used it.) Another thing that didn't make sense to Stefan and me was the wording of the directions we had that said "go over the dam." Sure! We went right over it, staying on the same side of the lake. Turns out we were supposed to turn and actually drive on the dam and cross over the whole lake to the other side. Oh.

So reading the directions completely wrong led us to the completely wrong place. Our directions told us to enter the campground, follow the paved road until it ended, then follow the dirt road for another seven miles. Well after about a mile or two on this dirt road we had found, things started to get steep. And we were really off-roading here. We had no cell phone service at this point and we didn't want to turn around just to go find out our campsite really was at the top and we had to drive it all - plus more - again. There were about ten million switchbacks on this really narrow dirt road, and I wasn't not enjoying it. Neeeither was our car... 

Eventually - I swear we probably really had gone seven miles on this awful dirt road - the hood of our car started to smoke. Youuu guessed it, we overheated. We found a little grassy spot to pull off the road, and just then a couple pulled up next to us in their truck - the first humans we had seen since starting on that road! They offered to help but we didn't know what the problem was yet, so we decided to let the car cool off and the couple kept driving. We tried starting it a few more times, but that wasn't happening. 

At this point we started freaking out a little. As Stefan put it, "We are literally in the middle of nowhere. There is nowhere else we could be that would put us in a more hopeless situation." Or something like that. We started thinking about how much food we had and how long we could last until someone found us up there.. I don't, you start going a little crazy in moments like that. Anyway, we sort of came to our senses and decided since there was no cell phone service we needed to start hiking before it got dark. We decided to hike down the mountain, hoping we might run into another car coming up. We had gone about twenty minutes when we turned a corner and I stopped dead because I saw a bear. (The next time you see Stefan, ask him to do his impression of me from this exact moment in time.) So I stopped and turned silently toward Stefan, then he turned and noticed the bear too. 

By bear standards, I don't think this one was huge. But also it was fifty yards away from us right on the road where we were walking and it was a bear so okay I was scared a little bit. Stefan and I both started backing up slowly until we were back around a corner and out of sight from the bear - then we started sprinting up that steep, dirt road. Once we were out of breath, we slowed down and Stefan found two branches. You know, how they always tell you to make yourself seem bigger than the bear and it'll just go away. We carried those branches with us back to the car, looking over our shoulders every ten seconds during the long hike back up.

Hindsight twenty-twenty, the bear probably didn't even see us. If he did, he didn't care. He had his nose down looking for food, he was busy. We could have waited a bit and kept going down the road, I'm sure. But in all honesty, I think the heavens sent us that bear to turn us around. When we got back to the car, it started! (But not before we found a spot that gave me one bar of service and legitimately called 911 to see if they could send someone to tow us down.) 911 said they would send someone, but once the car started there was no way we were going to turn it off again. We coasted down the mountain (no bear sightings this time) and hopefully whoever 911 sent was able to drive the whole mountain, see there was no black toyota corolla on the side of the road anymore, and rightly assume we had made it to safety.

We drove all the way back down to that freaking dam and saw a magical sign we hadn't noticed last time that informed us we needed to cross the dam to the other side of this huge lake to find our smaller Squaw Lake campground. Ohhh. Thanks. Then we made it safe and sound and had a great weekend! Until the car overheated again on the way home. Pour a little water down there, it's fine.

1 comment :

Jake said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I fully expect to hear this story in a general conference talk someday.

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