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A Little Privacy?

This was one of the many expeditions I was on with my friend Wayne. We were paddling in Kenai Fjord region of Alaska in the Northwestern part of Prince William sound. During the trip we were totally isolated from any civilization by close to 100 miles in any direction.

Our guide Bob had warned us repeatedly of Black Bear in the region. On the third day we were paddling near the Nellie Juan Glacier and stopped for an unscheduled lunch break. Wayne quickly ran off to the wooded and rocky patch to relieve himself of the previous nights dinner. The rest of us found a spot to set up lunch.

All of a sudden, in an open field in front of us, there was a Black Bear with a cub. Bob figured the distance at maybe 500 yards.. "a little too close for comfort in these parts" he said. We called to Wayne to warn him. Now at this point I should tell you Wayne spent a lot of time growing up visiting his uncle in Maine. His uncle would mercilessly scare Wayne and his brother with Bear noises .. to the point he doesn't believe you when you say "hey there is a Bear.." So here we are calling out to him saying.. "hey Wayne there is a Bear near by you better get out of there NOW."

Of course Wayne, true to his beliefs, thought it was a big joke.. That was until he looked over his rock and was staring at a Mother Black Bear with her cub. At which point he realized this was no joke and he better move fast. He proceeded to run.. with his wet suit half off tripping and falling over it's unsecured limbs. I never realized just how nimble he was till I observed his run. As for the Bear? She chose to turn and walk the other way leaving us right where we were. As for Wayne? He promised to believe us from now on, and he changed his diet so he didn't have to make anymore unscheduled stops. Oh yes, somewhere near the Neli Juan Glacier there is a perfectly good roll of TP sitting in a clump of rocks, un-used.

Submitted by Mike Martin - Riverside RI

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