The Ricks Ranch
1999, North Nikiski, Alaska
“I’m going up to see if the blueberries are ripe. Be right back,” I told Bob. I jumped in my old green Thunderbird that Bob called the Green Bean Machine.
I drove up past the blueberry patch just around the corner from our house, turned around and stopped on the side of the road, leaving the car running and the door open.
I walked around the front of the car and stepped down into the ditch and up onto the area where the blueberries were. “Wow! They are ready to pick-what was that?!” I caught a movement in the bushes as I looked up. Not seeing anything I went a few more steps farther into the blueberry bushes. I saw a movement again! I looked up to my right just in time to see a big brown bear stand up on his hind feet, stick his neck out, sniff with his head held high....probably thinking I was going to steal HIS blueberries.
My heart stop!! My feet turned to lead. I just stared for a half second. Then my heart jumped into high gear, my feet started going backwards toward the ditch, down the ditch, up the ditch onto the road, feeling for the fender my car, the hood and the other fender, around the open car door..... I jumped in, slammed the door. I was safe and heaved a big sigh!!
Then my over imagination kicked in..OH NO!! I left the door open!! I wonder if a BEAR is in the back seat! My head whipped around, looking to see if a bear was looking at me...NO Bear! I put the idling car in gear and took off like I was scared of a bear of something!!
My hair still stands on end telling this story and I have NOT been back to the Big Brown Bears’ Blueberry Patch!