Fontana Lake and the Black Bear Standoff
Stories are a wonderful thing. They relive the past, bring happiness, and often times never fail to make you laugh. A story that seems to always come up is that of my 16th birthday. My father surprised me with a four day, father and son back country trip into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. I was so excited to climb peaks, fish in the streams, and leave society behind. After much preparation and planning we were ready. The plan was to kayak six miles to the other side of Fontana Lake, up Eagle Creek, and then back pack through the mountains to our camp. Everything was perfect. The weather was amazing, there was nobody else around, we had the entire woods to ourselves, or so we thought. Our days were filled with adventure. We fished, cliff dove, and explored the mountains. Then on night three, things got funny. We all knew there was a threat of bears. We took our precautions with food and bear cables. We were set. After dinner that night we climbed into our tents and drifted off to sleep to the sound of Eagle Creek. Around midnight my father shook me awake, scared to death! He said, " Son there's a bear right outside the tent." My sarcastic response was, " Well invite him in the tent maybe he's lonely." My dad was so ticked! All it took was one grunt from that bear and my dad jumped out of his sleeping bag in nothing but his underwear and a pistol! He chased that bear through the woods naked as a jay bird hollering like a crazy person! He loves to tell that story only around large groups of people for the sole purpose of embarrassing me. Moral of the story is embrace your funny stories and always stay in the tent!