I was recently snowbound in Yellowstone. It was day two and I left the hotel room to sit in the lobby for a break from our hotel room. We had little wifi and no tvs so I decided to make use of my time and write a blog post on seeing two grizzlies the day before we became snowbound.
We are clearly not the only ones who are snowbound and there is a tour group having lunch in the room and there was a ranger with them telling stories about grizzly encounters. He told one story about how he climbed a tree to avoid a grizzly. (Black bears can climb trees, grizzlies can’t—there is a joke that to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly is to climb a tree and if the bear climbs it after you, it is a black bear—if it pushes the tree over, it is a grizzly.) The grizzly stood on his back legs and tried to reach him—but couldn’t. The bear was just a few inches too short. Then the grizzly tried to knock the tree down—but couldn’t. The ranger said he was terrified as the tree was swaying. Finally, the grizzly walked away.
The man, because of his vantage point, could see the bear go over one rolling hill and another, and then a third and decided he was good to come down—but waited just a few more minutes—just to make sure the bear really was gone. They can run 35 miles an hour, so there is no outrunning them. Plus, bears are apparently wired to chase things, so all of the signs around the park say not to run. I tried to imagine what I would have done and how scared I would have been.
Anyway, sure enough, he sees the bear come back over the ridge, followed by a friend! He got a little higher in the tree and the two bears tag teamed trying to get the ranger down. He was petrified! He knew the tree would come down—but they pushed it and pushed it to no avail.
The bears ambled away. The ranger again tried to figure out what to do. Climb down from the safe space and try and run for it or stay there. Before he could decide, he looked along the trail and he could see the bear coming back, with his friend. There was a something smaller with them. Was it a cub? It was kind of hidden by the bears. As they got closer, he realized he was in real trouble, they had brought their friend—Mr. Beaver.
Now those of you that know me, imagine the look I give after the punchline of a joke—eye rolls and the opportunity for you to laugh at my pathetic attempt at a joke!
Jokes aside, it was interesting to watch the grizzlies we did see on our trip. They were not joking around—they work so hard! No lazing around watching the clouds skitter across the sky. They were constantly digging for food. They were preparing to hibernate and desperately needed the weight gain to survive winter.
It made me wonder—how prepared am I for tough times? Am I dedicated to getting the spiritual, mental, and physical health I need to survive rough times? I know I am not nearly as focused getting prepared for lean times as a grizzly!
Rev. Shannon Jordan an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. To receive notifications when there is a new post click on the menu (three horizontal lines) at the top right, scroll down and enter your email where it says “Follow Blog Via Email”. To see the previous blog, click on the arrow under the menu, or if you want to see more blogs, click on the grid under the arrow. On the main page, if you hover over a photo, you will be given an option to read the blog. On that page the arrow will take you to another page of blog photos. Enjoy!
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