There I was: in the middle of the bear den. Key in the ignition, but nowhere to go. Ten thousand bears had surrounded my car, and I couldn’t even see out the window. It was all just one amorphous mass of fur. They must have caught my scent. At that point, I knew the odds weren’t in my favor. But did I panic? Not a chance.
The forest’s deadliest predators had me boxed in on all sides. Sure, I shouldn’t have gone into the den like that: no reconnaissance, no one having my back, not having established a secondary exit. It was brash, I’ll give you that. But being an adventurer is all about keeping a cool head. And that’s what makes me the best adventurer of them all; I can’t be shook. Let me tell you, I’ve been in tighter binds than this. My heart didn’t even race.
I couldn’t get an exact tally of how many there were. Ten thousand is conservative. They seemed to go on for miles. And they were all adult females: the most aggressive kind. I was almost out of gas. Even if I could get out of the den, I wouldn’t get far. They’d be on my tail in no time. So I had to beat them — not just outrun them. Still, I didn’t let the fear get the better of me. I’ve gotten out of much worse.
They circled around me, keeping their heads pointed in my direction so I was never out of their line of sight. I could tell they were angry. They were pawing at my car. Just playing with me. But I sat there. Calm, cool. You start losing your cool and that’s when the bears win.
I sat there and bided my time. And then, when the moment was right, I rolled open the sunroof and hoisted myself out. They roared. I roared back. I jumped down to their level and balled my fists. Fur was flying. I felt my arms get heavy; they were on the verge of giving out. But I didn’t give up. I slowed my breathing and just kept going.
And that was how I beat ten thousand bears. I knocked each and every single one out. They lay there, discarded, on the floor of their own den. Am I ever going back there? You bet.