The Bear, The Broom and The Brave


I’ve been off the grid this Labor Day Weekend camping 2 hours south of Reno in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near Silver Lake. Friday night I got up about 1am to walk our fidgety, demanding Australian Shepherd. No big deal, found a good spot for a dog to do their thing, but apparently there was no thing that needed to happen, so we headed back to camp.

Now you have to understand this was at the end of an especially busy first week of school. I was exhausted. I plunked back down in bed and was out. At 3:00am I was awakened abruptly by my alarmed wife and kids telling me that there was a noise outside. “Something’s outside! – it might be a bear!   go outside and check it out!” In my early morning fog, as I opened the door of the in-laws RV, that is exactly what I heard them say.

Of course what they actually said was, “Check it out, but don’t go outside – it might be a bear!” This registered in my brain about the time the opening door struck the bear in the side of the head while simultaneously causing the broom leaning against the RV to slide into the opening doorway making it impossible to close the door. The bear’s head turned toward me and made kind of a gurgling sound just as I managed to flick the metal broom handle the other way which made a clanging noise against the side of the RV and then the ground scaring the bejeebers out of the bear which flinched and then began to run away just as the door clicked shut.

Of course I turned to my family with that confident, “You can applaud now, I have everything under control, I scared the bear away,” look on my face. I was met with opened mouth stares, and then, – WHAT WERE YOU DOING? WE TOLD YOU NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR THAT THERE WAS A BEAR OUTSIDE!

Awhile later the bear returned briefly to get a drink from our dog’s water dish and eat the melons we had on ice in a cooler outside the door just for him (not really!).

Mission accomplished – it was exciting, no one was hurt, and again I’ve given my family a great story to tell at my expense.

Learning is messy!

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8 thoughts on “The Bear, The Broom and The Brave

  1. Oh My Gosh! You ARE a hero! This story will be told for decades and generations to come. I am sure it will expand and get more elaborate as time goes on, as all great family stories do. I love the title. I will have to share this one with my hubby. Phew, that was a close call!

  2. Brian, I sure hope Mr. Bear is a minstrel, and passes along the tale of the fearless and valiant warrior to the rest of his clan. We want to be safe and worry-free when we gather near Lake Tahoe in just a few weeks. And if all the other Mr. and Mrs. Bears know you will be among us, we should be fine! Oh, and Brian? You might want to skip the melons this time 😉

  3. Enjoyed your blog. Hope you can keep the bears out most of the time. Hate to get a message that a bear cleaned out your camper. The DNR supposedly released two half-grown bears in the wild area acrossed the street from us. Who knows.

  4. Brian, as your younger sister, why does this story NOT surprise me? Haha, I can just see you all proud of yourself, chest puffed out, and Nancy and the girls thinking (yet once again) that YOU are nuts 🙂 I am so glad the broom scared the bear away!! See you in a few weeks in hopefully “bearless” Tahoe…and lets all remember not to leave food outside!

  5. Dad, I can’t believe you wrote the story like this. I am ashamed! You make it sound like you are a hero when you weren’t! It’s a good thing mom is smarter than you because you could have killed us. Next time you ‘blog’ about a story that is like this tell it the right way, the way it actually happened. Have a good day!!!