Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Day in the Woods, eh?

image from

My sister heard an amazing true story of survival in the woods from a friend of hers in the horse community here in Port. This woman was on a pack trip on horseback, in a line of horses and riders traversing a narrow path  that wound along the edge of a sheer cliff going up a mountain in the wilderness. Somehow, her horse had gotten turned around, facing the wrong way on the path. Her inner voice told her she should dismount, and lead her horse around, but she stayed on her horse.

As the horse turned, its hoof slipped and the horse bucked, bucking this woman off. She should have fallen straight down the cliff to her death, but was miraculously saved by a few bushes that stopped her fall. Climbing back up to the ledge, she realized her shoulder had become dislocated, very painfully, and was now sitting on her chest.

The rest of the pack train continued on, taking all their rifles with them, and this woman and one man started walking back, to return to base camp and get some help. She was crying with the pain when her companion said to her, "You have to stop crying. I hear something."

There were now two trails that intersected just ahead of them, and along the other trail came a huge grizzly. They started to run - you can't outrun a grizzly - and she speeded up like the Roadrunner, booking it past the man as fast as she could go. As they ran - this not being enough of a difficulty, in a cosmic universe that apparently has a weird sense of humor - they disturbed a swarm of mud wasps along the trail, and were being attacked and swarmed and pursued by mud wasps as they ran from the grizzly.

Just then, thankfully, two of their friends returned on horseback, which scared off the grizzly. I gather they got away from from the mud wasps as well. They returned to camp and called for help. Being in such a remote location, a helicopter had to come to pick her up and take her to a hospital and all ended well in a situation which could have been far worse.

My sister said what made her laugh, at the end of this incredible story, was that she asked her friend, "So............ have you been on any more pack trips since then?"

"Oh, yeah," said the woman airily. Like it was all no big deal.

True story.


  1. Amazing story. The dislocated shoulder and 1,000 stings from the mud wasps would have been the least of my worries, even had the bear not attacked. The heart attack? More serious.

  2. Wow, what a story. You could say she was unlucky or lucky that day, whichever way you look at it.

  3. Patti: so funny: the heart attack? more serious. Hee hee.
    Paul: Very lucky indeed. Yikes!

  4. Freaking crazy Canadians!

    LOL. ;-)

  5. very interesting story.
    thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Amazing! Sounds like a case of all the karma taken care of in one day - at least one would hope she wouldn't have too many more of those days... :)


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