Walking the Grizzly’s Path

Today’s story just so happens to be true.

Back thirty years ago or so, my friend Darrel and I were required to take the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course in order for us to legally hunt in British Columbia.

Funny at the time because Darrel’s family hunted for years, past along from generation to generation within his Norwegian heritage in Prince George, B.C. But now any one who wanted to hunt was required to take this Provincial Hunters Course, which is totally understandable.

To fully understand the whole story I’ll begin by me meeting Darrel during the first days of class at Fulton Jr. High School in Vernon, B.C.
His dad had just relocated to the small town, working as a Provincial Scaling Officer. Our friendship hit it off from the get-go when it became clear we both enjoyed the outdoors. We spent most of our time hiking and fishing throughout the Okanagan and Kootenays.

After passing CORE, Darrel’s dad invited us up to his yearly hunting party deep within the Chilcotin Region of British Columbia. The group of hunters consisted a mix of old friends, relatives and new friends, like myself.

If you ever hiked in the Chilcotin, you know what I mean when I say your in the heart of B.C.’s wild wilderness carved by raging turquoise rivers and mountains featuring a variety of dense white spruce and lodgepole pine.

Our camp location was approximately an hour away from Williams Lake, with the Chilcotin River dividing us from the protected Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park. On one side you could see Big Horn Sheep grazing on the mountainous grasslands while our terrain featured eroded gullies masked in a deep green forest.

I was the proud owner of my very first rifle, a brand new semi-automatic Browning 30-06 featuring a high powered scope. Needless to say this kind of weapon requires your full attention and respect. It felt good to have learned how to operate and care for your rifle during our hunting course in Vernon. But little did I understand the experience of hunting until my trip into the Chilcotin, an experience I will never forget.

The first few days a group of us younger hunters ventured into the wilderness stocking our prey, tagged for deer or moose. With Darrel’s previous experience I was in good hands, knowingly this green horn would soon learn the skills about hunting.

Throughout the week the older hunters had their cache of deer and moose while Darrel and I were still hopeful to bring some wild meat to our families table. Early one morning, around 4:30 am, Darrel and I hop into his shiny new Toyota mid-size truck heading down one of the many whining dirt roads, eager to start our day.

We thought to check out the area where Darrel’s dad showed me the day before. Mr Colin’s was a skilled hunter surveying his terrain using his finely tune senses. It was then he pointed out to me the largest paw print I’ve ever seen reviling the unmistakable signs of a Grizzly. What made it even more dramatic then I expected, a puddly of water had just finish oozing from the indentation. Mr Colin’s nodded, looking around, never keeping his eye off from the deep forest throughout, he said,” Do you know what this means?”

I looked down taking careful note, but wasn’t really sure of its immediate threat,” Not really,” I said.

Mr. Colin’s was stern, not filching a muscle, fully armed and ready for action. Of course, there’s me, nonchalant with little worry in the whole world, not realizing the impact of the situation.

Mr Colin said in a low monotone voice,” This means this grizzly is very close and most probably watching us right now.”

Suddenly it was as if a light bulb went off in my head, my heart raced quick thoughts of, who’s the prey now? I immediately said,” Are we ok?”

Mr Colin’s calmly said,” That depends?”

“Depends on what?” Now more nervous than ever.

” Are you ready?” Mr. Colin’s grinned.

” Huh. Ready? Ready for what?” Beads of sweat began dripping from my brow.

“It’s ok. The Griz is gone. You can relax,” Mr Colin’s chuckled.

That’s when I quickly learned the importance of knowing your surroundings, keeping alert and vigil at all times. I learn later he had spotted the Grizzly in the distance, taking note of our presence and then wandering back into the cover of the forest.

The chilly morning in November left a light snow fall the night before, guiding us easy access to any visible tracks of wildlife. Darrel and I began our deer hunt, with me keeping in mind what I saw the day before. The frozen dark forest sent chills through me, even though I was properly bundled up in my red coat with the green and white crest showcasing my achievement in the Hunters course.

Drudging up and down the countless valleys on the mountain side we decided to taken a quick break, parking ourselves on an old fallen tree braced at the right height for me to dangle my feet. I removed the fresh fallen snow with my mitts and sat comfortably. We had fashioned up some gourmet peanut butter sandwiches the night before, which we gladly consumed in minutes.

It wasn’t long after we continued on our way, with me not paying too much attention to where we were. But, I knew Darrel must surely know the way out. I figure it was mid morning when Darrel quickly stopped to look at the terrain ahead. With my head down, thinking how tired I was from the early start, I nearly ploughed into him.

I said,” What’s up?”

“Oh nothing,” Darrel claimed,” I was just thinking we should do a loop around this old mountain. You go one way, I’ll go the other,and we will meet up on the other side.”

Thinking not too much of it, I said,” Yeah. Sure. I think I can do that.”

And if I had realized what was about to happen I think I should have said,” No. Not a good idea.”

Instead we went off in our separate way intent on meeting up just on the other side. I was soon to learn how quickly the forest can play tricks on you when one is not familiar with its surroundings. If you’ve ever walked in the wilderness by yourself, you know what I mean by the eerie quietness, with the only sound coming from your boot making contact on the snow-filled forest floor.

Resting for a minute, taking in a deep breathe, it was then in horror, I realized I wasn’t the only one on this side of the mountain. Four striding Grizzly paw tracks became all too clear, sending an immediate rush of panic into my senses. Carefully I scouted the area best to my knowledge, not seeing anything.

But that didn’t seem to matter, because for some strange reason I started to run with my firearm in hand, racing aimlessly through the forest. Running out of breath I stopped, thinking to myself,”What am I doing! I should know better then to panic. After all, didn’t I just take that damn course telling me exactly what NOT to do? ”

Off to the corner of my eye I noticed a couple of hunters off in the distance.

” Oh, is that Darrel up there? Who’s he with?”

Ok. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I headed their way to catch up with them. Not realizing all this time I’m headed in a totally new different direction.

And guess what happened next?

Yup. I lost them. They disappear into the thick woods without any trace or sound. To this day I wonder if I really did see them or not? Was it possibly a mirage?

Once again I ran aimlessly into the depth of the what now seemed like a monster, than a friendly forest. Tired and fed-up carrying my now heavy rifle, it made sense to swing it over my back with the straps provided.

“Oh great!,” yelling with such force I’m sure someone is sure to hear me. I stopped to listen. Nothing, not even a squire chirping. Starting the way back, it was crystal clear I’m officially lost. Checking the time, it dawns on me I’ve been running around the wilderness for over two hours. It’s cold and becoming dark.

So, now what?

Do I swallow my pride and let the whole world know I’m actually lost? During the hunters course they taught you what to do next. Slowly retrieving my rifle, loading it with three bullets, I took a deep breathe, aimed my Browning 30-06 into the air. Squeezed the trigger and shot off three warning shots. Three warning shots alerts anyone nearby that someone is either in distressed, injured or lost. If anything I was embarrassed, even with no one around.

Here I am, Big White Hunter…lost! I lowered my head in discuss.

Placing the butt of the rifle down into the snow I lifted my head to see a huge Grizzly starring directly at me, not moving a muscle, only six feet away. I’m not sure who was the scariest, me or him.

I couldn’t move. Completely frozen.

The old Griz could have charged me and still it wouldn’t matter. Didn’t dare lift my firearm in fear it may retaliate, tearing me limb by limb into fresh hamburger. My heart felt as if it was in my throat. It seemed like hours have past before the Grizzly raised onto his two feet, sniffed the air and settled back down on all fours. The huge beast began to walk away in a slumber stance. It would have been funny if I wasn’t so scared, because it reminded me of Yogi Bear walking away from his finished picnic basket.

Thank God I wasn’t his meal for the day.

Still shaking uncontrollable by either fear or possible a sign of hyperthermia, I was determined to find my way out of here. It was then, I realized the best way to see where I am is by climbing to the top of the mountain so I can oversee the trees. The light was slowing disappearing into the shadows of a very cold night. This was my last chance before nightfall.

Valuable time had past before reaching the top, but it was like setting a new Olympic record when I could barely see the overall terrain beneath me. It was then my eyes caught the most welcoming sign of them all, a dirt road leading somewhere. Even though not knowing where this road would lead me, I knew this would be my best option. With all the hunters in this region someone is sure to find me.

Running frantically down the mountain with my firearm slung over my back, I headed directly to the lonely dirt road. Must of been a good twenty meters away when the welcoming signs of lights beamed in the darkness. Quickly aiming my rifle into the air, exploding off three shots in a row. Suddenly the vehicle stopped dead in the middle of the road. Wasn’t going to wait, I ran as fast as my feet would carry me towards that vehicle. Crashing through the woods it was clear to everyone, someone or something was coming down to meet them. The closer to my arrival I heard their inviting voices in the cold night air.

It was a hunting party of three who were finish for the day heading to their designated campsite. After a series of questions, they covered me with a blanket and squeezed me into their small cab only meant for two. But I didn’t care, the warmth of that cab was like reaching heaven. It wasn’t long and they dropped me off at my base camp, where the only person there was Mr. Colin’s. His worried look greeted me with open arms. He told me it’s standard practice for one person to stay close to the camp while everyone else formed a search party, looking for me. Apparently they even set up huge bonfires on skid landings in an effort that I would see them. Little did they know at the time I was a good ten kilometres away, completely in the wrong direction.

To this day I’m referred to as the little great white hunter that found his way out of the bush with his trusty Browning 30-06.

Of course I told them of the Grizzly Bear, but not one believes it to this day. Believe you me, if it was up to the Griz, this story may have ended badly on front of Newspapers or headlines for the evening news. Maybe it was the act of God that saved me, but whatever the reason I have the deepest respect for Grizzly Bears and wildlife all together.

I was lost for over ten hours.

Written by Bari Demers

Bari is a screenwriter for Black Angels of Sirus 5

The photo below was taken by my daughter Tianndra

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Las Vegas Fun

The Dream:

My dream jet streams off to Vegas, in all things, a private Lear Jet. Near to my destination it’s not hard to see the bright colourful lights below. My face pressed up against the pressure framed window I quickly confirm my curiosity.

The white jet (not sure why I’m dreaming white) lands seamlessly onto the runway only used for executives or stars. It’s like I’m watching this all as third person.

It dawns on me they must have the wrong person on their flight plan simply because there is no way I could possibly afford such a ride. But no, the stewardess greets me as we land,” We have landed in Vegas, thank you for flying Quality Air. May I take your glass Sir?”

It’s all like tunnel vision when It comes clear my hand is sloshing the ice around. Well, so far I’m loving this dream.

I jump ahead of scenes as if I’m watching a movie. Seconds later driving down the strip in a gigantic limo passing by what looks like The Mandaley Bay Resort.

Huh. Ok. Guess I’m not staying there.

Once again my dream shoots ahead with the driver opening the white car door (there’s the colour white again),peering out it’s clear I’ve arrived at The Wynn & Casino Resort, Las Vegas.
Quickly ushered into the lobby greeted by the house guest,” It’s a pleasure to have your stay with us. How was your flight? ”
“Relaxing,” I remember saying.
Seconds later I’m inside the lobby of the Aria & Casino Las Vegas. My mind realizes the transition thinking how strange is this dream. Next I’m looking over the Vegas Strip from the 27th floor. I’m memorized by the nice panoramic view.
It’s then I wake up…

The Reality:

I’m dreaming of Vegas means only one thing, it’s time to visit Vegas once again. Since 1989 my wife and I try our best to plan our trip every year,if not twice a year, which is a big commitment living in Canada. The costs for Canadians traveling for any adventure easily starts with a price tag from $1500 – $5000 depending how long you want to stay and what entertainment interests you. Sure, I’ve heard this before, go for only a couple of days and it won’t cost as much. But with any holiday, we like it to last at least a week, simply because our next stay may not happen until the following year or god forbid two years.

Our motto,” Get the most out of each Vacation”

You may ask,” Why go every year? There must be other great vacation destinations. There are, but at what cost?

We had the privilege of traveling to Hawaii but now the costs are reaching serious coin. On average an Hawaiian trip costs Canadians between $5000 – $15,000 for a ten day stretch. My American friends find it hard to believe these prices as a full trip will cost them only $3000.

Canadians are plague with the Great White North Sunshine Tax, meaning if we want to enjoy the sunny destinations expect to pay for it.

And there you have it why we like to spend our time in Vegas, of course
exercising caution when gambling.

Las Vegas can be an affordable stay for regular folks offering reasonable priced rooms along with great food and entertainment. Vegas changes throughout the year with an array of events to keep you fully entertained, from free exhibits showcasing the Bellagio Conservatory or it’s musical fountains to T.I. (Treasure Island) featuring the pirate battleship called the Sirens Cove.

With any vacation you have to shop around looking for the best deal that will suit your lifestyle. West Jet offers Canadians reasonable packages with upgrades already on their website. Sometime I will use a particular Vegas Hotel offerings and book the flight separately, but so far West Jet deals compare evenly with each hotel.

Here are some important rules or tips I have learned from experience:

1.Take Vegas in strides, in other words don’t try to see all of Vegas on your first trip.
2. Plan ahead is essential to making your stay enjoyable. Set a budget and stick to it!
3. The Vegas scene can be overwhelming if you don’t use caution when it comes to gambling.
4. Planning your stay with events, entertainment and tours before you leave helps exercise commitments instead of ending up all your savings in the casino.
5. Of course relax, have a good time and try out the variety of restaurants and shows like Shania Twain or Cirque Soleil.
6. Just remember each hotel, including Caesars Palace, all have daily resort fees ranging from $20 – $30 per day on top of what ever your cost is for your room.
7. Be prepared to also pay $100 per day if you tend to charge items to your room. Each hotel will refund what ever you don’t spend, but it can be a shocker just after you check in and your credit card is charged for the total of days you plan on staying. For example, the cost for seven days was just over $700. But once again if you don’t spend $100 per day on room charges, it’s refunded.
8. It’s getting to the point where there’s no need to charge items to your room. In the past it would of been to your advantage because the more you gamble, the more the hotel will comp (complementary).
9. The complimentary service has decreased considerably in the past year. Two years ago I would charge my restaurant and entertainment bills to my room with a nice comp of $400 paid for by the hotel. In 2013 I did the same amount of gambling and only received $56 in comp (and no I didn’t use any free room offers either).

And there you have it. The main rule is to HAVE FUN!

Only spend exactly what you can afford or you may go home extremely disappointed. If you do win think of it as a bonus.

Vegas Hotel Corporations are becoming too clever with the constant changes with their membership cards in order to confuse us, the customer. Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of it. But I do use caution and plan ahead. Las Vegas to me is considered my adult play-land featuring 24 hours of FUN.

[If you have constructive ideas to share, please let’s us know, we love to hear. I have a “Just For Fun” Facebook page not at all associated or related with any hotels or their partners. I’m just someone who loves everything about Vegas and going since 1989. Yes – a customer. The photo below is one of thousand of photos I have taken]

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The Indie Sci-Fi Revolution

The Indie Sci-Fi Revolution

A new generation of scifi geeks are indeed the gatekeepers of today

Damien Walter

In late 2012 Hugh Howey was an unknown writer of science fiction, even to most dedicated science fiction readers. And yet he had sold over 250,000 books, optioned film rights to the legendary Ridley Scott, and agreed a six figure book deal with major publisher Simon & Schuster. All this before his dystopian sci-fi novel had even, in traditional terms, been published.

Howey has gone on to become the poster boy for a small but quickly growing band of sci-fi and fantasy authors who are independently publishing their own books, and making a small fortune in the process. These ‘indie authors’ are surfing the crest of a wave driven by the rise of the e-book, the smartphone and the Amazon Kindle. And the popularity of the sci-fi & fantasy genres is putting them at the cutting edge of the revolution.

Sci-fi and fantasy writers have always had an air…

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Dreams I Remember

You never know where your dream will take you. This dream falls into the Category of the Strange. Whatever the meaning is, I’m not too sure.

My dream begins on the shoreline of a white sandy beach overlooking the vast turquoise ocean. The seven story waves (yes exactly seven ) crashing violently , inches from my feet. I step back respecting natures power admiring it’s beauty at the same time.

My eyes quickly pick out movement, something is hiding within the sand and edge of the ocean. Suddenly it becomes clear to me what it is. It’s a Sting Ray, the size of a large flatten beach ball with no tail at all. On closer observation I see a strange mouth extruding razed sharp spiked teeth. Frightened and unsure of what it may do, I instinctively step back a few feet for good measure.

Seconds later I’m inside a cottage perched precariously on top of a rocky cliff. My nose pressed against the kitchen window I can see the waves below. It’s then I realize my knees hurt from the hard surface of the counter ,so I jump off landing beside a table.

On the table is a large white pail with the unmistakable smell of fishy sea water. Something is splashing inside it trying to get out. It’s then I realize it’s the same Sting Ray found earlier on the beach. In horror it tears free lashing its teeth at me. As I fall hard to the ground, the beastly creature flies away into the next room.

Fearful of what to do I edge closer to the doorway, knowing all the time, this is such a dum idea.

My heart is racing with beads of sweat streaming down my face. “What am I doing” thinking to myself, this is so silly of me. My feet are telling me to get the hell out of there, while my curiosity is creeping my body forward.

It’s dark, really dark, can’t make out a thing. Suddenly a silhouette of the creature slips through under my legs dashing for the open door. It’s gone. I’m so relieved the danger disappears.

Now, this is where my dream takes a turn.

Without any notice I’m confronted by the most beautiful woman just as I turn around from the open doorway. It’s like a dramatic scene you see in the movies. The background showcases anger clouds with a terrifying ocean below and a wind sweeping through you.

The girl is in her late thirties, approximately 5′- 4″ tall with short blonde hair and a petite build. We know each other but I don’t know her name. She embraces me, pressing her head on my shoulder. I feel that instant chemistry, an immediate warmth. Without question we’re meant for each other. Her eyes meet mine and it’s then I realize they’re turquoise like the ocean waves earlier. She closes her eyes to be kissed.

And that’s when I wake up.

Chalking it up to another strange dream and leaving me with more questions than answers.
In reality, they say a dream forecasts something within your subconscious, but I wonder, I wonder what it is?

The one question I ask,” Is it a dream or is it a memory?”

[The photo was taken by me in Kelowna]

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Attack of Bull Moose

While living out on my acreage around Stony Plain, I had one of the most surprising experiences that would easily fall into the “Close Call” Category.

It was a crisp Fall day as I prepared my garden for Canada’s typical long winter just on the edge of the Great White North.

A couple of my dogs were helping me out (sort of helping) sniffing their nose in the nearby bush on my property. Started up my little Sears tractor when all of a sudden I heard a crashing locomotive noise heading out of the bush, splinters of wood flying everywhere. It was without a doubt the largest bull moose I have ever seen, swinging it’s massive rack, taking direct aim for me.

I jumped off my tractor stumbling hard to the ground. Quickly got back up and ran for dear life into the safety of my home. My hands couldn’t move any faster, grabbing that handle and slamming the heavy wooden door behind me.

The large animal sent my little tractor over like it was nothing more than a tin can.

My dogs on the other hand, jumped around the moose like rabbits, confusing the old animal off. Luckily the moose didn’t kill my dogs or have a chance to injury me.
My heart was racing – that’s for sure. A true story.
[Once again the photo below was taken by me. Up along Kettle Valley you can find many hiking trails leading into a dense forest of young cedar trees. The colours don’t require Photoshop as this picture is the real thing.]

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Do Pets Dream ?

I believe they do.

Scientists are always testing the effects of RBD ( Sleep Behavior Disorder) in humans and what is called paradoxical sleep without atonia in animals.

Atonia is a state described where a brain mechanism is triggered causing our muscles to relax, which is really a good thing.

Can you imagine the outcome of acting out your dream?

Clinical studies agree there’s noticeable behavior in our pets experiencing dreams. Unfortunately they can’t express their dream for obvious reasons. If they could it would remind me something like Garfield (the cartoon cat) would say,” Hey there human? You want to hear about my dream? ”

Every pet owner will agree with me without a doubt they do indeed dream. I have experienced my dog Piper whimper, growl and twitch in a manner that resembles dreaming.

Have you experience your pet dreaming?

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What’s in a Dream

 

The Dreams of our Imagination by Bari Demers

 
A dream is like a roller coaster, never knowing what’s next. They say a dream is nothing more than your brain systematically hashing out the old with the new. You might even compare your brain to defragmenting the complex human computer processor.

But I believe otherwise. What is it where you will come back to the same dream months or even years after? Sometimes you can have the same dream for over a week. Is there something or someone trying to alert you to pay close attention?

Maybe. Maybe not.

In my blogs of Dreams and Reality I will entertain you with my dreams and then try to reason them out in reality. Join me in the journey or share your dreams and let’s see if it’s scientific or a spiritual connection.

What’s in a Dream.

About me:

I’m a screenwriter for a science-fiction horror film called Black Angels under James Montana Scripts. Writing is the best way to express my inner thoughts.
“My inner voice is the director, instructing me to express each story, flowing words onto a blank canvas” Bari Demers 

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The Planet of Judges by Bari Demers