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Another Bear Story or Two...

Posted: October 12, 2011 - 9:11am

YEAR:  Late 1970's
Location: An Alaskan River

Repeated to me by the gal in this story.

"I think we are lost - let's go back up the river."  Unbeknownst to us - we were on a river that had dried up that summer and "thought "we were lost. We were young and very inexperienced at river rafting.

After hours of going back "up" river, pulling a large inflatable raft, we spotted a cabin. Because it was late in the evening, we trudged up to the cabin, only to see the door locked with a padlock. We knew the owner was not far because there were dogs chained in the yard.  So we proceeded to wait for him. Getting very late, we set up our tent in the yard and slept in the tent that night.

Very early the next morning, we heard a bear.We quickly crawled out of the tent, and spotted a big brown bear, ambling angrily through the bushes. Having nowhere to go, we ran for the smoke shed where the owner had smoked fish.

Having heard that the only way to scare bears away is to make noise, the gal of  the twosome, spotted a big wash tub and a piece of wood and started banging on the tub.  When the bear started coming closer, out of curiosity, and making big bear noises, they decided that was NOT the thing to do, stopped making noise and stood perfectly still.

They watched a bear cub that appeared out of no where, punch the tent and stand back, swipe the tent and stand back.  It was a good game and the twosome was very very glad they were not in the tent, and grateful to be in the smoke house.

The Mamma bear was trying to run her cub off and proceeded to make noise on one side of the yard and then she'd show up in the bushes on the other side of the yard.

After an hour the bear and cub left, and they got up enough courage, to slowly exit the smoke house and with an ax, broke the lock off the door and entered the mans cabin, for safety and security.  The gal wrote a nice note telling the owner that they were sorry about entering his cabin, but they were lost and a bear had been stalking them...and "thank you for the use and comfort of your cabin."

Shortly they heard an airplane overhead and heard it land.  It was the Fish and Game Department, looking for the big brown bear that had killed the owner of the cabin!!

Asking directions from the Fish and Game, they put the big inflatable raft back in the water and floated to the pickup point of the pilot who had dropped them off three days earlier.  He told then they were NOT lost, that the river had slowed down to a trickle and then picked back up to a raging river.  Floating through the narrow spots with not  much water for the big raft, the man of the twosome would get out and pull the raft and the gal, through the worst of it.  While doing so, he stepped in a pool with "snake-like eels"* in a big cluster, swirling round and round his feet. He jumped and hopped around, stepped into a deeper hole and one of the "eels" went into his hip waders.  Scared like anyone would be, he jumped, screaming into the raft, pulled off his boot and sure enough, that snake like thing, fell out of his boot.  Neither one of them know who threw the "eel" out of the raft.

And just to show that they are good river floaters, they floated down that same river the next year, only this time, with friends who had a canoe, which was easier to navigate, than the big river raft.  The canoer's spent a lot of time waiting for the rafters, because it was so big and slow. 

 * "snake like eel's" were Arctic Lamprey's

The Blueberry Bear

Year 1987, Nikiski, Alaska

"I'm going up to see if the blueberries are ripe.  Be right back."

I jumped in my old green Thunderbird - nicknamed the "green bean" and headed up to the blueberry corner.

I drove past the blueberry patch and turned around, stopped on the side of the road, got out, leaving the car running and the door open,

I walked around the front of the car and stepped down in the ditch and up onto the area where the blueberries were. Humm... they look like they are about ready......WHAT WAS THAT?"  I Thought I had seen something move.   Looking closer, I did not see anything, so I walked a few steps farther into the thick blueberry bushes.

I saw something move again!!  I looked up just in time to see a big brown grizzly stand up on his hind feet and stick his neck out and sniff with his head held high.  He probably though I was going to steal HIS blueberries!!

My heart stopped, my feet turned to lead.  I just stared back.  My heart jump started into high gear, my feet started going backwards, toward the ditch, down the ditch, feeling for the fender of my car, then the hood and the other fender, still staring at the bear.  Around the open door, jumped in, slammed the door.  I heaved a big sigh of relief.   I was in the safety of my car.

OH!! NO!! I had left the door open, when I went to look at the blueberries!!  OH!! NO!! I wonder if there is a bear in the back seat?!

My head whipped around, looked to see if a bear was looking at me - NO bear.  I put the idling old green car into gear and took off like I had been scared by a bear.

That old bear or his some relation of his, still stake their territory in the blueberry patch.  If we go blueberry picking, one packs a big pail and one packs a gun!! 

OFFICIAL LOUISANA MEAT PIE

My friend Pat, from Vinton, La. sent this to me.  Natchitoces (Nack-a-tish) is the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana Purchase Territory.  The famous meat pie is a must
when you go visit this most historical place. We love them and you will too!

MEAT PIE FILLING
1 tsp shortening
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 bunch green onions-chop fine
1 tblsp minced garlic-one pod of garlic
1 bell pepper minced
1 medium onion chopped
Salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste
1 tblsp flour
Melt shortening in heavy pot and add meat.  Cook until pink is gone.  Add vegetables and season to taste-season well as meat will lose seasoning when frying.  When meat is completely done, and vegetables are glazed, remove from heat and drain.  Stir in 1 tblsp flour.  Seat aside to completely cool before you assemble the meat pies.
 
MEAT PIE CRUST
1 quart plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening + 1 tblsp
1 cup milk
Sift dry ingredient and cut in shortening.  Beat eggs and add to milk.  Work gradually into dry ingredients until proper consistency to roll.  Break into small pieces and roll very thin.  Cut rounds using a saucer for a guide. 
 
TO ASSEMBLE TO PIE
Place a large tablespoon full of cooled meat along the edge and halfway down the center of round dough. Brush water around edges.  Fold the half over, making the edges meet and seal.  Form edges with fork.  Drop in deep fat and cook until golden.  Drain and serve hot. 
 
NOTE:  Because I cannot leave a recipe alone - or I do not have the ingredients or am in a hurry -I skipped the Meat Pie Crust and I used already made pie dough.  I brushed the tops with water and I sprinkled salt and pepper over the top.  I baked them in 400 degrees oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  OH YUMMY!!  Thanks Pat! 

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST  LOAF

1 cup flour
2 tsp flour, tossed with
1 pint of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp baking powder
1/2  tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup honey                  
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking powder, soda and salt.  In another bowl combine buttermilk, honey, oil and eggs.  Gradually stir into flour mixture until just blended.  Fold in the floured blueberries.  Pour into oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan.
 
Bake one hour or until test done.  Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST
 
Kids like the surprise inside!
1- 8 oz pkg of cream cheese room temp
2 Tblsp sugar
Combine and set aside.  Add nuts or fruit to cream cheese if you like
 
8 Slices of thick French bread.  Cut a 1 inch deep pocket into side of bread slice.  Evenly divide cream cheese mixture into 8 pieces and stuff into pockets.
 
In a bowl:
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon (op)
1/4 tsp almond or lemon extract
Dip stuffed bread in egg mixture and cook slices in a large griddle or electric skillet on medium heat in two tbsp butter.  Turn when browned and brown other side.  Serve with favorite syrups, jellies or warm maple syrup.

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