Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bears: A good reason to be the fastest runner

Coat: Old Navy (they have a similar one this year.)
Plaid shirt: Gap (thrifted)
Dress: Pacson
Tights: Icing
Boots: Madden Girl
Handbag: Liz Claiborne Leather (thrifted)

Is it stupid to say that I was really excited to wear this outfit today?   I'm one of those people who does not dress decently on the fly, so I like to lay out my outfits the night before.  (Too many years of getting up at 4 in the morning for work.)  I've been waiting for the temperatures to get above zero so I could wear these tights with this coat. 

And since some people did ask for the bear-chewing-off-face story, I'll demonstrate my terrible story skills for all to see.

Seward is a small town along the coast, about 100 miles south of Anchorage and is nestled right on the edge of the mountains and the ocean.  Since it's wilderness all around, there are always a ton of black bears in the area, they even walk around downtown.  Most of the time they'll run off if they see a human, but being wild animals, they're pretty unpredictable.  Almost everyone in town carries a gun, especially if you go into the woods or up on the mountains  there's a pretty good chance that you'll end up needing it.  The one time you don't take a gun will be the one time you'll need, as my dad's friend found out. (Sorry, no names are being named.)

This is Seward, above is a map giving you a little visual reference for where in AK it is. Both images are from Wiki.

Our family friends lived just a mile out of town, right next to a creek that was a prime salmon run.  My dad's friend was playing down by the creek with his kids, having great time until they heard a growl and looked over across the little creek.  A black bear was standing on the other side, only a couple of feet away and everyone froze.  Body language is your best way for telling what might happen in a wild animal encounter and this bear was pissed, black bears might bluster a bit to scare people off but this one was in attack mode. It charged just as he yelled for the kids to run, he ran towards the bear trying to distract it away from them.  It was one of those rare time when he didn't have a gun or even a knife on him, it must have been one of the most terrifying things ever, to face down a decent sized, pissed off bear with nothing but your hands.

The kids made it home and were able to call 911.  When the police found him he was laying by the creek, pieces of his scalp and face just flayed off.  He was rushed to Anchorage via helicopter, Seward has a small hospital, but Anchorage is where all major medical emergencies go.   He loss a huge amount of blood but after digging a few teeth out of his skull, he ended up being pretty okay.  The bear was hunted down since bears that attack people so close to the town are considered extremely dangerous, usually if they attack once, they'll attack again.   He has some pretty gnarly scars all over his face now, but he always said he considered them to be a good trade off for his kids being okay.   He totally won Dad of the Year award that day.

At some point in time everyone has a bear encounter in Alaska, his was one of the scarier ones.  I got lucky the one time I went hiking without a gun, a friend and I'd had the day off and had decided to go hiking up Mt. Marathon.  We made it half way up the mountain when we came across some super fresh bear scat (poop), it was fresh enough that we got really nervous and started really looking around.  Sure enough, we heard a bunch of snapping around in the bushes  a strong smell came wafting through the air and we took off at a brisk walk, both of us scared out of our minds.  The snapping sounds followed us down the mountain a ways then faded off.   It was one of the scarier moments in my life, both because of the bear and that I was definitely the slower runner of the two of us.  

Heh, I think one of the nicest things about Fairbanks is that we really don't get bears right here in town.


  1. Oh my gosh, I would be SO scared to encounter a bear! Glad you are safe and okay. How crazy!

  2. Yeah we always get bears right on our street. It's super scary and I'm always kind of scared to take outfit photos for fear a bear or moose might attack me. Hah Alaska problems ... But anyways, I especially like this outfit! Looove the pattern mixing going on.

  3. Damn! Dad of the year award? More like dad of the century award! He should have called Discovery channel for that show-I shouldn't be alive :-$
    BTW you are looking damn pretty near that street. Need a lift pretty gal, I'm not creepy at all :-D

  4. Wow. Amazing pics. Have a nice day.

  5. Temperatures to get ABOVE 0?? WHOA! So glad you got to wear your tights- they look fantastic!

    It's an Easy Life

  6. You look great. I love the pattern on pattern. Its so subtle that it works beautifully. Oh those tights are so cute. I need to find some awesome patterned tights to wear with my all black outfits.

  7. OHMYGOSH THAT IS SO TERRIFYING! seriously, what an amazing dad, but my god a bear? and it just killed me too as i have never been an outdoorsy person, so that story just scares the crap out of me. awesome / amazing that he's okay though. but crazy. and that totally ditracted me from how cute your outfit is. i love that coat. and i wouldn't be able to live somewhere that got cold so quick becuase of my disdain for pants. and to think i've been complaining about 40 degree weather

    <3 katherine

  8. Adorable! Love your Style ,great Blog!
    haha .. funny Title :D


  9. Oh my god, I cannot imagine having to go up against a bear. I'm so glad the kids were able to get to safety and that he's still alive.

    On a less serious note, I love those plaid patterned tights! My co-worker was wearing something similar yesterday and I'm thinking I have to have a pair!

    The Tiny Heart

  10. And now I'm thankful for not having to worry about bears during my morning commute. Love those tights!

  11. wow... I am thankful your Friends dad is okay, what a man. He definitely gets father of the year for like his whole life.... And I am glad you are okay too!! Plaid plus black dress? Going to steal this.


  12. seriously, what a great dad. i can't even imagine how scared he was. and how scared his kids were. on a different note, you look gorgeous in this outfit. i love the dress and the coat is so perfect!

  13. oh wow, grisly (pun totally intended, in the most complimentary of ways). I have never had a bear encounter, ever, and I'd like to keep it that way. In Anchorage, I remember there was a scare a few years back since the bears were just walking into neighborhoods. Scary indeed. Moose can be terrifying too, and they're all over the place!!!

    On to more important things, like your outfit ;) LOVING that coat, lady! and the dress is so pretty with those tights!
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

  14. I love all of your photos! The background is so beautiful and different from where I live (California). I love the outfit! Even though I feel like you must still be cold, even with that jacket. It is possible that I'm wearing a heavier jacket than you are today... clearly I'm a bit whimpy.

    What an amazing story!

  15. Your story is so crazy and I'm glad that he's Ok. Jeeze, I would never be brave enough to face a bear, maybe Winnie the Pooh, but an actual wild animal. No way Jose! Print mixing and mashing is the best, I especially like that you went with different types of lines as well as the cheetah trench, super interesting and tres chic!


  16. I like to lay out my outfits the night before as well.

    Your title is cracking me up!!

  17. First of all, your tights are awesome. I love them and they are so you. Second, this bear story is crazy. Most definitely dad of the year. Or dad of the decade.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  18. And to think people in Chicago are all up in arms about coyotes coming into the city.

    I really like the plaid tights with the plaid shirt! The way they mirror one another is fun.

  19. reall winter! lovely look :)

  20. Hi dear, firstly, that is a stunning coat and love how you carried the plaid theme through with the cute shirt and tights. Secondly, omygosh, you live in such a beautiful place! I was so shocked to hear that the bears roam around so freely, I'd be terrified. People think that we have lions roaming around in our back yards here in safrica, but thats not the case. That is a really frightful story, it must have been terrifying to witness, but he is a hero!

  21. That is the craziest story ever, your dads friend is lucky to be alive. Wow. My brother in law (who is a country boy) always told my sister to be careful because bears can go from 0 to 60 in matter of seconds. Yikes.

    On a happier note these photos are beautiful, the trees and all the ice with your dark hued outfit is gorgeous. Plus that coat. Love!

  22. Wow, that is one crazy story!!! He was definitely lucky and I'm so glad he's ok! Definitely Dad of the year!

    Loving your coat by the way :) It's stunning.


  23. love that coat, i almost bought it last year, totally should've
    Xo Megan

  24. oh beautiful for loveliness, that outfit, & those photos! is it the coat, the tights, the snow, or the hair i like most? i don't know. ok the bear story seriously scares me. it sounds like a bad nightmare. what a different world i've never lived in.

  25. I forgot to mention that I like your hair in this post, too. Gorgeous!

  26. What a terrifying story! I'm glad he and the kids came through ok. It's really a different world. B and I once nicked a not-quite-full-sized black bear who darted out of the woods into the path of our car. This was in a provincial park about 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa. It's not unheard of to see them in the area, but not usually in mid-afternoon as we did. The only other close bear encounter I had was a mama bear and her cub who crossed a boardwalk in Jasper Natl Park close to a visitor centre with lots of tourists around. The rangers were alerted and kept people at a distance, except my brother who was young at the time, and initially oblivious to everyone's calls to move it! I guess my dad had confidence in the rangers' rubber-bullet guns because he whipped out the videocamera. The landscape behind you is simply magical. I want to go hang Christmas ornaments on those beautiful white branches!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I always like hearing feeback! (It really makes my day!)