Lions, Tigers, and Bears oh my – Day 18 & 19

One of my favorites from 2018. The story of a cougar, and Doug the Great.

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Lions, check
Tigers, check
Bears, not yet

Yesterday and today have been so busy, taking care of little issues with the government to ensure no income hang-ups half way across the country etc.

Camping last night is where the new problems cropped up. My tent zipper in the entry way has been busted for a while now, and I could live with that, but now the doorway zipper is going too. I can get a few more weeks out of it if I’m real careful, but it’s nothing to leave town with. Kamloops is the biggest city until Calgary.

   

Okay so hold that thought.
Last night was really rainy, so I didn’t hear it, but a young mountain lion was living in the woods right next to my camp spot (that makes 3 times since last May). When I went to bed the sand was nice and smooth, but in the morning there were marks from where it had come up over the sand dune in front of me to hunt a small animal.

 

place the cougar attacked – my footprints are also visible

It was clear where its feet dug in and then took a big leap and began running quick enough to kick up sand as it lightly touched the ground. I checked down the beach and sure enough there were tracks going down from the swampy shore line to the river.

Later I talked to a man who emerged from the woods with a dog – we will call him Doug the Great, a tiger of a man – and he was surprised at how you could see how much exertion the cat was using as it bound across the sand. This was all of 10-15 yards from my tent.

Doug and his dog Max were kinda vicious, or so it seemed. He made sure I had no animals from a football field away, and then when I walked ten feet towards his direction, he steeply warned me not to walk towards him. Other than that he was a really big nice guy. He offered me beer etc, I turned him down. But after I turned him down a second time, he offered to make me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich instead. I told him sure, so off he went and said he’d be back in half an hour.

Doug and Max on a mission

Good thing it took me an hour to pack, because just about the time I was to grab my handlebars and start pushing the bush pilot and trailer through the sand, Doug could be seen in the distance holding a plastic bag, this time instead of Max there was another man with him.

All Packed up

“oh awesome, I won’t have to scare him moving his direction again,” I thought.

Once Doug hollered something out I answered and started walking towards him, I got about 20 feet and the same situation happened. This time Doug told the man he was with to stay where he was, and repeated his warning to me to stay put. This time I was feeling a little nervous, I mean I feel like I’m a tough guy, I lived in shelters for a month or two when I began feeling ill in 2012, and really I’m not afraid of confrontation in the small scale; but when someone doesn’t fit the normal pattern of behaviour it’s hard to gauge things.

I observed him checking to see if the other man was staying put as he walked towards me.

“What’s with that?” I said.

“what?!” he laughed like a king.

I said, “I don’t know. I just don’t understand. Whats with it?”

Inside now I’m wondering if I should let him get close to me! As I eye two nicely made sandwiches in their own wrapper along with a banana and apple, I picture his giant fist punching me in the side of my head.

“As if I’m gonna get knocked out buy a guy who took the time to bring me breakfast” I figured, and decided to stick with this one, reasoning, “I just don’t understand on this one”.

He laughed again, this time his demeanour softened. At 20 yards away he says, “I don’t know Don. I like you, you’re in the good books with me”.

I smiled, still didn’t want to move, then took one step towards him after kicking up a bit of sand with the tip of my shoe. After that, subconsciously I felt I could stand my ground.

Doug arrived, and his presence up close felt more like he wanted to give me a hug. He handed me the bag and said his mama made it for me – shook my hand and asked if I’d be back, and that was it.

Doug and his friend he said was his other dog

Once he reached his friend, off they went. Doug the great is an awfully nice man, although his dog feared his giant frame yanking his chain a little.

I feel that in the end the guy had some love in him. Doug the Great brought me breakfast because it felt right to him – thats love, the kind of love that breeds more love, the kind that requires time and energy, even risk.

The second great commandment is to love our neighbour as ourselves. And here, indigenous Doug was acting it out. He didn’t just love the white guy he brought with him, he loved me too even barely knowing me. He knew people out in his neck of the woods are the hungry type – hungry to kill the pain, to fill the belly. After all, I was out on the river bank, at the fringes of where some of Kamloops addiccts roam and even live.

Doug being Mr nice guy was offering me a beer, on the other hand, love was an hour and a half round trip for sandwiches – this one cost him something extra and is a good sign he could be Gods child even if he doesn’t recognise it yet.

When we love others, we naturally don’t murder, cheat, steal, lie, or become jealous of them. And in that case, then the law that only the wicked are judged buy doesn’t apply to us. Er, well most of it anyway, we still gotta love God too, then the other four also get squared away, and naturally so.

 

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient..

1 Timothy 1:9

 

In a perfect world, that’s almost all we’d ever need to know. But with boots on the ground in this one, it’s a bit more complex; so thank God forr his forgiveness, because we all need it, every last one of us.

Image Source: Pixabay.com (Public Domain)

Bike tour update:
Ahead of me is Rogers pass at about 1300 meters, and then back down into the valley and through Golden at the base of the proper Rocky mountains where I’ll climb to about 1700 meters (5577 feet). Unfortunately the 15 speed Rick gave me is not quite able to pull my current gear up inclines like the ones I’ll be seeing in the near future, so there are some decisions to make.

I get about 1150$ a month. That’s enough to pay rent, eat, pay my phone bill, and buy a few bike parts here and there if I need them.

The drive train on my old bike was rebuilt over the last year, sans the front wheel, and I expected it to last me at least until the east coast. Its really too bad I didn’t buy the correct trailer, because the one I have now would have ensured my bike stayed in one piece.

A new bike with cheap parts from Canadian Tire will cost ~500 plus tax, and a tent that will keep me warm in Canada is ~179 plus tax. That will bring my next cheque back down to nearly zero, so I’m going to need to find some temporary work.

30 days living in a tent without movement sounds like a punch in the gut, but I’m getting used to the idea and won’t give up. It will be something to look back on, a goal achieved in the face of adversity.

Somehow the pattern of events in my life suggests I’ll live, even if the things out of my control continue on this trend. Its an ugly thing to have things go wrong, but having read the entire bible through many times, the kind of people God has chosen are people who needed Him.

It feels good to be needed, don’t you think?

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