Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We started the day off with a long 6 mile climb. We were all focused and ready for business, not saying much on the way. On the ride up we met a GD racer from Tallahassee, FL (nicknamed Tallahassee by us). We all rested at the top and he left 10 minutes before us. As Jeff flew down the trail, he slammed on his breaks and started screaming "PAUL!!! BEAR MACE!!!!" Fred soon joined the screaming and Paul was quick with the mace to be ready. About 100 yards ahead were three bears, two cubs and the mom. The little ones bolted while the mother stood her ground and did a short charge towards us. Meanwhile, the three of us stood screaming our heads off and acted as big as possible. It worked, luckily it was a black bear and she bolted.

Later in the ride we missed a turn and ran into Tallahassee (who also missed it). We ran into a local construction worker who was a jerk and made sure we didnt camp on his property by following us out in his truck at less than 5mph. We stopped and went slow on purpose. The local ranger made up for the jerk by giving us directions to Holland Lake lodge, 20 miles down the highway. On the way we got caught in a lightning storm and had to rest off at a local motel. We met a family from Arkansas and relaxed with a delicious cherry coke under the protection of the motel.

The hill to holland lake lodge, we met another racer named Bruce from Iowa. Paul talked to him he knew Paul's hometown of Glen Ellyn. Bruce had relatives in Naperville, IL. The lodge was a bit expensive for us so we camped next to it in mosquito country. We ate beans and rice in the shelter of the bathroom. They had plastic chairs for us to sit in. Somebody got the toilet as a throne.

1 comment:

  1. In my camping experience, black bears will normally find noise and crazy gestures "frightening," for lack of a better term. I tend to sing and clap my hands and stomp my feet. You have to stand tall and not be afraid. If you're in a group, try to act as a group. Hopefully you won't have any more run ins with the wildlife!