Coat: Old Navy (they have a similar one this year.)
Plaid shirt: Gap (thrifted)
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.