Bear and the Bucket

My paraphrase, from the Sky News article, is that this bear in Pennsylvania was freed from the bucket on its head, by a group of brave volunteers.  You can see a small video at the website above … If not there, then google Bear Bucket Images.

To the rescue: A group of volunteers conducted an impromptu rescue mission in the woods of Pennsylvania to free the Bucket BearThe Patriot News identified the hero-types as Dean Hornberger and girlfriend Samantha Eigenbrod who planned, and carried out, the rescue with other fearless volunteers.  Samantha (Eigenbrod) handled the video piece while the others tackled the bear down, pulled the bucket off, and used a saw to cut through the bucket.  Mission completed, the bear made a run for it, undoubtedly in a much better “head-space”.  At this time, there has been no contact with, or comments from, the bear.  Some believe that the bear has gone into hiding.  I cannot fully grasp the frustration he had to bear (pun).  Since I have ran out of space, and time, I will have to delay my thoughts about the legends of “Bear-Man”.  Some say that Bear Man is actually “Bigfoot”.  However, Bigfoot has a smaller head, and also stays away from buckets.,  But, again: that is a different story.  

 

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Indiana Wilder Man, The Septic Of Doom !!!

A map and a mysterious letter arrived in the mail from Egypt, a professor asking me to consult with him on a dig.  He warned me that a band of zealots were attempting to stop him from continuing with the dig.  The professor described them as notorious and obnoxious; known as “Asmemeken Aguibeha”: English translation, “Bring it”. 

*Note: it is important to keep in mind my “WMS”.  “WMS” stands for “Walter Mitty Syndrome”, also known as “IOE”, “Issues of Exaggeration”.   

I could not find my fedora, my bull whip, my khakis, my leather jacket, and that strange-looking bag with a shoulder strap that I put archaeological finds in.  Without my profoundly important gear, I almost scrapped the adventure …

 But

. . . that was not an option.  Guys who heroically go in (usually at night, not really), an extraction team, TAP (Tube And Pump) with a state-of-the-art tank on the back of the truck, were to arrive on Thursday @ 3pm.  No fedora?  No bull whip? No khakis?  No leather jacket?  No strange-looking bag with a shoulder strap that I put archaeological finds in?  No map?  “Too bad,” I told myself.     I had shovel, pick-axe, water …

And, I had one clue: two (2) black ropes sticking out of the ground, approximately 18″.  Legend has it that King Tut had placed those ropes deep in the ground to guard the precious secrets of the underground. 

When I first heard about this sobering story, I said to myself:

“Seriously?  What a bunch of NONSENSE!  What … I was born yesterday?”

So, the dirt was stacked against me; or, maybe they were cards … I did not know.  But, I am Indiana Wild Man, and this is what I do, when I am not eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking black coffee … very, very, black coffee.  And, I also look like Indiana Jones.  Then again, maybe not.

https://i0.wp.com/bucketreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/2008_indiana_jones_4_004.jpg

I had to dig down two feet of dirt to uncover the concrete caps of the septic tank.  I knew a man in Kabul, who would provide me with more information about this archaelogical dig, and get me the supplies I needed: ropes, sherpas, food, water balloons, chocolate-chip cookies, and … most importantly … black coffee; very, black coffee.  Unfortunately, he was a Kabul-in-a-china-closet, and he had just experienced an episode.  The secret police were watching my friend.  So, I never made it to Kabul.  I’m not sure why I even mentioned it.

Once the tomb of insufferable stink was uncovered, I knew … as Indiana Wilder Man… that the septic of doom must stay sealed until the guys from the service showed up, otherwise the earth might rip off of it’s axis and hurl into the sun.  Fire-breathing humming birds could possibly storm the Rocky Mountain Mountain Region.  And I would have to live with such an agonizing guilt.

This was truly a hair-raising adventure, which was good, because my hair is quite thin, up on top.  And, this dig … at the Septic of Doom … required super-human strength.  But, I am Indiana Wilder Man, and  a chartered member of a group called “Asmemeken Aguibeha”. 

“Bring It.”

Wilderman, Bob Marshall … Tribute

Guys have gone before us, have been in the wilderness due to their calling, mountain creeks running through their veins mixed with their blood that drove them into the unknown.  I want to learn about them, learn from them, with hopes I will be able to teach others along my way, along my “wilderman’s journey”.

Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range

Mr. Marshall came around in 1901.  WOW!  ‘Turn of the century.  Not the one we are in now; but the century before this one.  A redemptive haunting came to Bob Marshall from Alaska.  File:Bob Marshall camping.jpg  It would make sense that his book came about from his years of immersion there, an unprecedented wild place.  As you can see, he kept everything he needed  in a small backpack.  I hope that you know I am kidding.  And here is a FYI: I have a volume entitled  Points Unknown: A Century of Great Exploration , a collection of stories published by OUTSIDE BOOKS,  includes  some of Marshall’s book, Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range.

Bob Marshall was a forester, a writer.  He climbed.  Mr. Marshall had a robust appreciation for the Brooks Range, Alaska … and a similar appetite for the Adirondacks.  There are 46 peaks in the Adirondacks realm, and Marshall climbed all of them.  Actually, he was one of the first to accomplish that feat, with his feet (I thought that might be a decent joke, but I now have my doubts).  Another book he wrote was Arctic  Village, a 1933 bestseller, which was before my time.  Two years later, Marshall became one of the principal founders of The Wilderness Society.  And that is about all I have to say now, in my effort to practice some brevity.

Here a  small excerpt from his book, found in the collection of stories I referred to above:

 

“At three in the morning I awoke from the noise of rushing water.  It was raining hard when I looked outside and, much to my surprise, I discovered that the water in the quiet slough next to camp had risen almost to the fire, and had become a strong churning current.  I moved the cooking pots back to what I though was a safe place, commented casually to Al on the phenomenal rise of the water, and hurried back to bed.  Moved by my report, Al took one sleepy look out of the tent and immediately was all consternation.  ‘Hurry up!’ he shouted, ‘we’ve got to get out of here quick.  The main river’s cutting back of our island and if we’re not damn fast we’ll be cut off from everything.”

And that is more than I meant to bring to this blog-table.  Hope you enjoyed this encounter with Mr. Robert (Bob) Marshall, an individual I would respectfully consider a wilderman.

Fears of Wildermen

Some men fear …

Not being known;

Being known;

Thus, some men desire to be known and …

at the same time … fear being known.

Men fear being ridiculed.

Men fear condescension.

Men fear isolation and … at the same time … desire isolation.

Men fear pain.

Men fear intimacy.

Men fear loss, and defeat; men fear being shamed; men fear being bullied; men fear being backed in a corner. Image below, from the movie “Braveheart” http://www.evanrichards.com.

Braveheart447

Men are called to deal with fear, with honor, with the right timing, the right strategy.
Image right, from the movie “Argo”, http://www.geckoandfly.com.  Men fear being betrayed.  Men fear their anger.  Men fear living … not dying. Men fear failure.  Men, at the same time do not fear failure.  Men fear insignificance. 

“Courage is not living without fear.  Courage is being scared to death and doing the right thing anyway.”  (Movie, “Argo”)

A Wild Place I Want to Go

Jersey Jim, 2002

It is good to get a view, if it is a good view.  A view … for example … of the San Juan National Forest (Colorado) from the top of the 54′ “Jersey Jim Lookout” fire lookout tower , which was built in 1964, at 9,830 feet elevation.  I am referring to the current tower.  The original tower was built in 1942, but was eventually brought down, and replaced by the current tower. 

http://www.firelookout.org/cohost-co/graphics/jerseyjim_2002.jpg / Mark Roper

Original Structure, 1943

Incidentally, here is a picture of the original Jersey Jim (fire lookout tower) … fascinating.  You can see a man with his binoculars up on the catwalk.  Check out the old car in the bottom corner.

One question: how long would a fire look be up in the tower?  Three months?  And what about hauling water up 54′ of stairs?  The solitude?  Along with the view, that is what calls me to this adventure.  I could probably get some good reading in.  And the stars … WOW !   Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, you could bring someone if you want.  The bed sleeps two.  I would have to try putting my mummy bag out on the catwalk, although I would hate to roll off the side … unless I attached a parachute.  You know, I wonder if you can get an echo up there.

“HELLO-O-O-O …”

As for the newer tower, I’ve got good news for you.   You can actually spend the night up there … $40 a night.  I would very much like to spend a couple of nights up at the Jersey Jim cabin.  Yeahhhh.  That is what I would like to do someday.  This is what you would find up there:

  1. A 15 X 15 cabin;
  2. Original furniture, from the first tower built in 1942, replaced by the current tower in 1964;
  3. Propane heating and lighting;
  4. No electricity or water;
  5. A sink;
  6. Propane refrigerator / oven / stove;
  7. Dining table seats four;
  8. Double bed and dresser;
  9. Windows all round … a 360 view … which is why it is a fire lookout tower.

Yeahhhh.  That is what I would like to do.

The Duke: Up Ahead On the Trail

“Talk low, talk slow and don’t say much.” 

John Wayne

https://i1.wp.com/www.talktherapybiz.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/john-wayne-true-grit.jpg
John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, “True Grit

An image emerges: John Wayne and a young buck ride on their horses into “an unknown”.  John Wayne, also known as “The Duke”, keeps his eyes on the trail looking for what is ahead, while speaking to the younger one, who … in The Duke’s thinking, he is responsible for.  John Wayne, the mentor, wants to prepare the mentee for what is ahead … both in the immediate scenario and the long term journey.

Now, another image comes to mind of a dad, or a mentor, or both, walking with a younger one … a son, a mentee, a student … both attentive to each other: one teaching / modeling, and the other paying attention to what the younger knows is important, what will be remembered for the trails ahead.

I am immeasurably thankful for good men (the kind that are rare, who will always be remembered) who passed on some wisdom … not because they had to, but because they believed that this what needed to happen, and because I clearly needed to receive what they had to offer, for my own benefit.  And, in the name of tension, I remember … as well … the times where I struggled along the way, encountering the unknown, seemingly alone with no one there at the time to teach me, to guide me.

“Tomorrow hopes we have learned

something from yesterday.”

John Wayne 

My “young buck” status no longer applies, and I continue to grapple with what I call “ambivalence”.  My own definition of ambivalence goes something like this:

“Ambivalence: the existence of two mutually exclusive emotions, thoughts, or concepts.”

I’ve made mistakes.  And “the right thing to do” means: learning from those mistakes; choosing to live not in the past, but in the present with one eye on the future; and releasing any self contempt or bitterness about what has happened behind me.  I want to take care of my horse.  I want to listen well.  I want to “Talk low, talk slow and don’t say much …”, in the words of The Duke.

Haunts from Antarctic Wilder Man

CLOSURE.  I need some closure!

For years I have carried a distinct heaviness from a British Antarctic explorer by the name of Robert Falcon Scott.  He led an expedition to the South Pole.  They spent the winter of 1911 on Cape Evans, part of Ross Island, in a structure they built known as “Scott’s Hut”.  From here, Captain Scott selected four men to continue on for the South Pole.  Scott intended to get there before anyone else.  There was a Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, taking an Antarctic expedition for the South Pole at the same time.  Thus, a race.  Robert Scott reached the South Pole (01/17/1912) and was unfathomably despaired to see a tent, left by Roald Amundsen.  Inside the tent a note addressed to Scott explained that Amundsen’s team had arrived on December 14th, five weeks before Scott’s five-man team reached the Pole.  Amundsen and his team made it back to Norway.  Scott and his five man team died on the Ice.

So, where do I come in?  I worked in an Antarctica field camp (there are quite a few of us Antarcticans) for five months, a breakfast cook.  One evening, I was told to grab my ECW gear (Extreme Cold Weather) and climb into a Hagglund (below, http://www.milmac.se/index.php?page=hagglunds-bv206-personell-carrier&hl=usa).

Hagglunds BV206 Personell CarrierWe were going to Scott’s Hut.  The place is remarkably preserved, due to cold temperatures / low humidity.  I stood by the long dining table, next to the chair where Scott sat at the head of the table.  I feel like I know this guy; impossible … as he died before I was born.  His story is haunting; his pictures are haunting.  Maybe its time for me to quit thinking about Scott and Amundsen.  Maybe not.  His mission was a tragedy, not very positive.  Here’s the rub: Scott’s story is a prolific example of courage / desire to take on dangerous adventures. Things get crazy, sometimes, in a harsh environment.  Scott’s diaries show that he went after this dream.

I think of Antarctica as a cold, merciless, jealous, mistress that refuses to let some men leave; such as the five men on Scott’s polar team, pictured below: (http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/jan-18-1912-robert-falcon-scott-discovers-tent-of-explorer-who-beat-him-to-south-pole/?_r=0)

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/jan-18-1912-robert-falcon-scott-discovers-tent-of-explorer-who-beat-him-to-south-pole/?_r=0
Henry Bowers pulled the string for the camera. Robert F. Scott’s expedition team at the South Pole, Jan. 17, 1912. Left to right: Lawrence Oates, Henry Bowers, Scott, Edward Wilson, Edgar Evans.
scott-hut_dinner_spri
http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/05/captain-robert-scotts-hut-in-antarctica.html

 Here is an image of his last diary entry.  The lines read:

“We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.

R. Scott

Last entry

For God’s sake look after our people.”