You’d been looking forward to this camping trip since January. Your friends knew it too, but one by one, they all bailed on you. Upset, but determined, you packed your bags and went anyway. So what if your friends didn’t come. It wasn’t like you were completely alone here. There were other campers and you’d made some friends.
Today, the weather was perfect. Crisp mountain air breezed through the trees. A few clouds dotted the sky, keeping the weather cool. Grabbing your hat and water bottle, you leave for a morning hike. There are two trails to take. One goes up the mountain. The other leads to the river.
Walk to the mountain: 1
Walk to the river: 2
1) Taking the trail up, you head for the rocky lookout. There is a wonderful old lodge there and if you get there early, there won’t be a long line to get in.
As you head up the winding trail, you hear something moving and moaning near by.
Go see: 3
2) Grabbing your swimsuit and a towel, you head down towards the river. This early in the day, it shouldn’t be too crowded. It’s the perfect time to go swimming.
The walk down is peaceful and quiet. When you reach the water, you find the place deserted. The water is crystal clear and cold. Confident, you change into your swimsuit and wade into the water.
Looking back towards the shore, you notice something you hadn’t before. Someone left a cooler there.
Curious, you take a look at the cooler. There is blood and fish parts all round it. A little fishing gear is tangled up in the bushes. All of it looks fresh. Then you hear a terrible noise in the bushes across the river.
3) Curious, you follow the sound down a little side trail. You come up to a large rock formation and there you see a man lying on the ground, trails of dried blood on his forehead. Startled, you run up to the man.
His head wobbles as he looks up at you. “Help,” he whispers. “Please. I was attacked by a bear.”
Realizing you forgot your cellphone, you tell him you’ll go get help and be back soon.
“No, please, don’t go,” the man begs. “It could still be here.”
Leave to find help anyway: 8
Try to help him walk up the trail: 7
4) You stand your ground, waiting and hoping its a person. Instead, out steps a large, brown bear. In it’s mouth is a fish like the ones around the cooler. Water drips from its fur like it just swam across.
Fear courses through you.
Raise your arms up and shout at it: 6
5) You make a run for it. Not far behind, you hear the bear charging through the water.
You make it halfway to camp when you trip on a pothole in the trail. You try to get back to your feet, but it’s already too late. The bear is on you in a moment. It bites into you and throws you around. For a moment, there is horrible pain. Then you slip unconscious and never wake again.
6) You raise up your arms and shout at it. The animal rears up on its hind legs. It roars at you. You stand your ground, continuing to shout like the rangers taught you.
Confused, the animal drops back down. It sniffs the air, then grabs its fish and shuffles off.
When it’s gone, you race back to camp, vowing never to go swimming alone again.
7) Fear runs through you as try to lift him up. The man is heavy and as he tries to stand, you can see just how badly injured he is. The bear had ripped into him.
When he is on his feet with one arm over your shoulder, he hold out a canister to you. “Bear spray,” he says. “I was fishing, and it must have smelled the fish. When I tried to run, it chased me. Only reason it didn’t kill me was because I pulled out the spray.”
You take the spray and shuffle along. It is slow going and the man is leaving a trail of blood behind him. With every step, he grunts in pain. Part of you fears he won’t make it back to camp.
As you start to consider setting him down and running to camp, you hear a terrible noise ahead. Before either of you can do anything, a large bear steps out from the bushes. It spots you, rears up on its hind legs, and roars.
The man trembles. You do too.
Then you remember the can of bear spray. Holding it up, you shout at the bear.
It roars back, then stops. Seeing the canister in your hand, it backs off and heads back through the bushes.
You wait until the sounds move off before moving. With new urgency, you head back to camp. People crowd around you. Someone calls for help. Soon, the man is loaded in an ambulance and taken away.
You, meanwhile, are hailed as a hero.
8) Unsure what else to do, you run back to the main trail. The camp isn’t far.
You’re only a hundred feet from the camp when you here something large shuffling through the bushes. Before you can think to run, a large, brown bear steps out. It rears up on its hind legs and roars at you.
You stand frozen to the spot as it charges you. For a brief moment, you feel pain as it rips into you. Then you slip unconscious and never wake again.