Bare to Bear



In the year 2001, I married a Native American,Apache; Carl Womack. We decided to take our honeymoon from Hawaii,our home, to  mainland,Oregon. Both of us loved to go camping. This story is true about something that happened on our honeymoon.  It is currently a very funny memory to me, although very scary when it happened.  I hope you enjoy it.


"Honey, did you pack the beer? You know we have to be careful when we are camping in the forest to put away all of our food." exclaimed Carl. "

" I know , I've camped many times. I know bears from living in the mountains in California before I ever came to Hawaii." I laughingly responded.


Our journey through the forest from Medford, Oregon to the coast was on an especially beautiful day. The scent of pine trees and a cozy kind of love between us kept our hopes up for a very pleasant honeymoon.  Little did we know that our honeymoon would become a big adventure.


We traveled along the coast and decided to head south of Oregon to a place just across the border into Northern California. We saw on the map that this campground was forest that went clear down to the sea. When we arrived we set up our tent by the closest site nearest the ocean so we could hear the sounds of the waves at night. Tired from our journey, we decided to have a beer and something to eat and just relax with conversation for a while. My husband, (now passed) had a very intelligent and expressive mind and I loved to listen to him.

It began to get late as the sun was setting very soon. We didn't want to miss watching the sun go down so we meandered along the path to the ocean. It was very lovely with sea lions barking and waves crashing against the rocks, as the sun turned the skies to that purple before twilight.


Upon returning to camp, we were not very hungry at all,  so we put all of our food and beer in the van and closed it tight.

Feeling the need to retreat to our tent and other things that were on both of our minds, we crawled into a zipped together sleeping bag. After a bit of lovemaking, we fell asleep.


Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by the sounds of a snorkeling sniffle coming from my side of the tent from the outside. I knew that sound and I froze, fear striking me still.

"Carl! There is a bear out side my side of the tent just inches from me! " I whispered frantically.

Carl, was bare assed naked inside of the bag. He awoke quickly, jumped up, grabbed a Native American spear that he had been working on for the mayor back in Oregon, that he had promised him.

Along with the spear he grabbed a tomahawk. My native American husband carried Native American weapons.

I laid  shaking, in the sleeping bag,frozen unable to move,as Carl ran out to greet our guest. 

I could hear the bear shaking our van violently and wondered what was going to happen.

When he ran out, the bear reared up and was quite a bit taller than Carl was. Carl threw a tomahawk into a tree and placed the spear into the ground ready for battle. While I couldn't see any of this, I could hear all of it and was mortified  and paralyzed with fear that the bear might attack my husband. I had never in all of my camping days had a bear come this close to me.


Finally, as Carl shouted and became more aggressive at the bear, the bear resisted and ran off.

" You chicken-shit bear, you come back here and fight like a bear!" Carl screamed into the darkness. Relieved as I was, I snickered a little at my Native American man's aggressive attitude, but I knew it was disturbing other campers by now. I got up from the sleeping bag, and peaked out of the flap in the tent to see a totally naked man in the moonlight, raging at a retreating bear and neighboring campers peering out at him.

Oh my God! I thought to myself.  Carl came back into the tent and began to tell me what had happened out there. After a while he went back to sleep, but I stayed awake listening for any bear noises in the darkness before dawn. 


The next day I asked my husband to consider going to another place to camp. I didn't want a repeat experience. He suggested that we go talk to the Ranger about what happened to us.

So, we left our camp and looked for the station, finding it in another part of the campground further away and we ventured in to tell our story. After listening to us relate our experience, the Forestry Ranger

had a story of his own.


It seems this particular bear had been raiding beer from a group of teenagers that were partying before we ever came along, in this campground. The bear had carried off a case of beer and was later found by the forestry agents passed out cold from being drunk on most of a case of beer. He explained that it was our beer in the van that the bear wanted. The Ranger called this bear a teenage bear.

I, smirkingly replied " Well maybe you need to move this bear before he or somebody might get hurt or worse. " The Ranger went on to warn us that if we had killed that bear we would've gone to jail. We then decided to break camp and leave our bear tale behind .

We returned to Oregon, camping on the beach and was told ,by the mayor of Gold Beach, himself there , that mountain lions sometimes chase deer down to the beach. 

We stayed two nights more, gave the Native American mayor his spear

And left for Hawaii.


I've not slept in a tent since;)

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KindredSpirit's picture

Great story

Natives don't scare easily.



Sassylass's picture

No they aren't afraid

if anything he toughened me up .

i love Native bravery.

He carried a huge Bowie knife in back and another for any opponent.

Tossed to the other guy he'd say okay ,"scores even, let's dance."



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