March 16, 2016 at 9:27AM
How to Tell a Compelling Story
No matter how hard I looked I didn’t see what they all saw. I was on a backpacking trip with my friends, Luke and JIm, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
It was warmer than usual for springtime in Montana and the snowmelt turned the ground beneath us into a slippery, mucky mess. So, we opted to take it slow and put in a longer day of hiking.
We were about a mile out from our planned stopping point and it was nearing dusk when Luke stopped in his tracks and pointed into distance and mouthed,
“Check it out.”
Jim’s face turned white as he took a step back and I knew he saw it too.
I had done a lot of reading up on this area before embarking on our trip, so I knew it wasn’t rare to see bears in this country—and the chance of seeing a grizzly was pretty high. To be honest, I had been looking out for one all day, fearful of what would happen if we were caught off guard but also extremely hopeful that we would spot one from afar.
I squinted and looked in the direction he pointed. Expecting to see one of those massive creatures lumbering through the brush, and worried that it might be accompanied by a cub, I reached for my bear spray.
But I saw nothing.
Neither Luke nor Jim said anything for what seemed like forever; they just stared. Finally, Luke looked at me and I faced my palms up and shrugged as if to say,
“I don’t see anything.”
Again, he mouthed something.
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