I knew watching The Revenant before a backpacking trip was a bad idea.
Yesterday I’m trekking through the south side of the Smokies with two good friends. We crest out on a ridge and shuck our packs and grab munchies and wander a short distance off-trail and stretch out under the trees and enjoy the fall colors and the view of Fontana Lake.
I, being of sound intentions and unsound intellect, get up and stroll out along the ridgeline and stand admiring the silence; which is broken when my friend Kevin calls out, “Hey, Early Retirement Dude…don’t look now, but there’s three bears in that tree you’re standing under.”
Attend me: “Don’t look now, but you’re standing directly under a wild two-hundred pound animal who’ll rip your gonads off and feed them to her babies if you so much as make a threatening gesture” is very poor advice. Guaranteed that you’ll immediately freeze and look up.
So I freeze and look up. And then I go all Brave Sir Robin and back slowly away. My friends and I gather our stuff, and and in a sure and steady way we nope right back down the ridge. But Kevin had been holding his phone at the moment of truth, and had the presence of mind to snap a quick pic…so here, my friends, is the proof.
And consequently I present to you today’s lesson: Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t be stupid. That’s pretty much all the advice you need in life.