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Hey Goldseeker5000,

Thought I would say hi, from the country north of you. Nice thread, just read it all now, from the start. Hard digging, but you seem to be making a go of it. That heart nugget is a beauty of a lump. After reading about your camp bear, it reminded me of my own.

Montana Grizzly country, spent a few weeks down there alone, backpacking around looking for Fenn's treasure a few years back. One late afternoon, I was in a bit of a pinch, steep terrain, sun starting to dip behind the mountain...storm starting to roll in and no place to set up camp. Steep, covered in rock or broken trees, I had to keep pushing on. Anyways, I finally found a rock shelf, with rock faces on two sides to guard against the wind, just big enough for the tent and a small fire up against one of the walls. As I was setting up camp, off to the east up the mountain, in the last bit of direct sunlight, about half a mile away... a perfect cave in the side of the mountain. I had never seen a cave like this before, it was natural, but it almost looked constructed. To either side of the opening, were what looked almost like pillars and across the top was a overhanging rock that made it look like it was balanced there...made it look unreal. So, as I'm finishing up with the tent and getting a small fire going in the lee of the rock faces, my thoughts were focused on that cave and I'm thinking to myself "well, if I was a critter living up here...thats where I would be living". I had already decided that I wasn't going to cook anything, I hung my food up an old broken tree and crouched by the fire feeding it. I didn't have a gun with me, what with being a foreigner. All that I had with me for defence was my camp machete and a can of what was purported to be "Grizzly strength bear spray" it said so on the side anyway, lol 😆. Dusk in the steep country lasts awhile, as you probably well know. I don't know if it was half an hour or an hour later and I hear this low growling, over the wind...coming from above me, from the rock wall that protected my campsite from the wind. Standing no more than 10 feet away and 8 feet up, on the edge of the rock wall was a big ass Grizzly bear. His lip was curling as he growled at me and he was kicking back dirt and debris with his front feet. I stood up, keeping my eyes locked on his as I did, careful to not break his gaze. At the same time I'm thinking to myself "this is bad...this is very,very bad"  he had total height advantage over me, I never felt so small in my life. With my left foot I was kicking at the fire, getting it stirred up...sparks blowing around. In my left hand I had the bear spray "Jeez, I hope the guys that came up with that label weren't from marketing..." I raised up my right arm at a 45° angle away from me, with the machete in my hand, staring at the bear the whole time. The bear never broke gaze with me either, his lip still curled, letting out a low grunting growl with each breath. We stood there staring eachother down, for what felt like an eternity. I am thinking to myself "Well, I'm going to have to try something here..." and I shit thee not, this is what I did. I started yelling in a loud voice, excencuating my words by waving the machete around as I spoke "LOOK, I KNOW I DON'T BELONG HERE!" tapping the flat of the machete blade on my chest. "I KNOW, ALL OF THIS!" waving towards the forest "BELONGS TO YOU!" pointing the machete at the bear, who just kept staring at me...at least the growling stopped. I started again, "I'M ONLY HERE FOR THE NIGHT, IN THE MORNING ALL OF THIS WILL BE GONE!" gesturing towards the tent. I paused for a bit and then started again "I'M NOT LOOKING FOR ANY TROUBLE!..." Another pause, then in the loudest yelling voice I could muster, "BUT, IF YOU WANNA GET CRAZY!..." raising both the bear spray and the machete up "THEN WEE CAANN GEETT CRAAZZY!" The bear stood there, as though pondering my words, then made a half turn to it's left...paused and gave me the most wicked side eye look, ever...and finished his turn and walked back up the mountain, towards the cave. Now, I don't think the bear actually understood what I said, I think it had alot more to do with how I said it. I doubt whether I slept an hour that night, and it didn't help that the storm really kicked up, too. Rain, wind howling, lightning and a nearby tree got blown over, I thought the bear was back when that happened. True to my word I was gone first thing in the morning... 

I tell this story to friends I've had, my whole life and I can see the look in their eyes, that they think I'm bullshitting them...but this is exactly how it went down. Just thought it was worth sharing.

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That was a good story of what happened to you General Mayhem. I got a really good visual of the incident. Where abouts are you from north of me? 

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Hi Goldseeker,

   Don't worry, I'm not creeping around anywhere near your neck of the woods, right now. To be truthful it's more NorthWest...Kelowna, British Columbia. Funny enough Kelowna, in the local native language means "place of the Grizzly bear" I live out in the woods a bit, and I do have one that turns up in my driveway...from time to time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tell Andy congrats....  Oh yeah, tell him I want my 6 back!  

Nice nuggie....

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