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"Move your long sticks, bro!"

Camping Encounter

By Lana V LynxPublished 2 months ago Updated 23 days ago 4 min read
Campsite at Grand Teton National Park minutes after the visit

The two friends went into the lake for a warm sunset swim, leaving the campfire high on. This was their first trip outside a tight group of six that they usually went with on so many different hiking and mountaineering adventures. This time they all had different study and work schedules and couldn’t do it all together.

As it was just the two of them, they decided to travel light. They promised each other to stay together no matter what. It could be dangerous here in these Wyoming mountains, with all the wildlife around them that ventured even into designated camping sites. It was their territory, after all. Humans had no business here.

It was the friends’ second night at the same campsite. They took no tents this time as it was supposed to be a three-days-two-nights quick trip. They did take hammocks and sleeping bags, and that’s how they slept the first night, in the hammocks next to the fire.

It wasn’t a good night sleep as they kept falling out of the hammocks. Getting back in and finding and keeping balance in a swaying sleeping bag wasn’t easy. But they had left the car at a parking lot two miles away and didn’t want to go back there at night. They kept telling each other it was good exercise for their muscles and motor and balance skills and laughed every time one of them fell out. Again, it wasn’t a restful sleep but when you are 21, does it really matter? It’s all about just having fun and good adventure, especially because for one of them it was his 21st Birthday trip, a celebration of adulthood and their friendship.

They both were excellent swimmers, their moms made sure of that signing them up for swimming lessons and YAMC swim teams when they were kids. They even had some swimming medals and trophies. Now, a late-night swim after a whole day of hiking and climbing was just what their bodies needed. They were fooling around in the water when they heard a quiet growl coming from the campsite.

They both turned around in the water and froze as they saw a black bear ransacking through the campsite. Without saying a word, they turned to each other and put their index fingers to the lips: Shhh, keep silent. They both knew that any sound would reflect from and amply on the lake’s surface. They became nothing but two heads silently bopping above the water, watching the bear.

The bear was clearly looking for food. The boys didn’t have anything but protein bars in their backpacks, which the bear simply slapped out of his way. He made a couple of circles around the fire and left, having found nothing. Amazingly, the bear didn’t even look their way.

They quietly sat in the water for about ten more minutes, afraid that the bear might come back. Then, without saying anything, they got out of the water, quickly dried themselves, put their clothes on and packed the hammocks and sleeping bags.

“Dude, it’s two miles to the car,” one friend said to the other. He was pouring water over the fire. “What if the bear went that way too?”

“We’ll make a run for it!” his friend responded, going for more water to the lake. “We need to leave now, before it gets too dark!”

“You know any four-legged animal will outrun us, right?”

“Yes, but I’ll take my chances. I’m not staying here. I won’t be able to sleep knowing he might come back.”

“We could hide in the water again.”

“You know bears can swim, right?”

“No way!”

“Didn’t you watch any nature documentaries or cartoons about polar bears?”

“This was a black bear!”

“All bears can swim, Google it up!”

“I would if the phone worked!”

“See, no signal here! We won’t even be able to call for help! Imagine, someone comes here like in a week and finds us dead here, half-eaten by a bear! We need to get back to the car, bro!”

The fire was finally out. They put their backpacks on, ready to take the hike to the car.

“Why only half?”


“Why only half-eaten? Wouldn’t the bear eat us entirely?”

“Have you seen yourself in the mirror, dude? There’s not much meat on those bones!”

They both laughed. Levity was much needed in this situation.

“So he'd eat you entirely then, you have a lot of meat,” the skinny friend said to the buffed-up one.

“Bro, just shut up and keep the bear spray handy!”

"So we can't even talk now?"

"Not until we get to the car! Move those long sticks, bro!" he nodded at his friends' long skinny legs.

They made it back to their car in ten minutes.

thrillerYoung AdultShort StoryHolidayAdventure

About the Creator

Lana V Lynx

Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and short fiction. For my own sanity and security, I write under a pen name. My books: Moscow Calling - 2017 and President & Psychiatrist

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (6)

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶28 days ago

    An amusing story for your photo.✅😀

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    Ohhh my lord i would be terrified!!! What a life changing decision, potentially, to take that hike! Awesome tension, Lana. I was riveted!

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Move those sticks...hilarious! Wouldn't have needed to tell me twice.

  • I didn't know bears could swim! Also, only last year I learned that bears could climb trees! I saw it on TikTok! Anyway, I was hoping the bear would eat them, lol! Loved your story!

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Nice job. Guess they hadn’t learned to cache the goods in the tree far away from campsite. 🧸🏕️ 🤣🤣

  • Amazing what fear can help you accomplish - 5 min. miles is impressive!

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