But not all my vacations have been relaxing. One time I went with my family up to a "cabins on the lake in the woods" vacation. No TV, no phones. No Internet. No cel phone service. Just south of Algonquin Park. Very peaceful.
The environment was peaceful anyway. My family... not so much.
Here's a picture of the area.
So one evening while the sun was setting we went for a walk down the road. Typical Northern Ontario crushed granite gravel road, bordered on both sides by birch and pine trees. We were on our way back and it was getting very dark. I'd gotten ahead of my family and was fooling around with some wood I'd found in the ditch. Suddenly Dad called out to me.
"Hey Teddy, that bear over there wants to talk to you."
I jumped out of that ditch so fast I'm amazed my socks and underwear didn't fly off.
High comedy. Thanks Dad. Scare me to death in the woods. Yeah, yeah you can stop laughing.
So one time I was staying up at my Grandparents house along with my cousins Leilani and James. They lived way out in the country in an area of red granite and pine forests. Much like the above picture.
We went for a walk down the road. I was the oldest so it was my job to protect the little ones. Right. The first thing I did when we got about half a kilometer down the road was start talking about bears. (Hey, I learned it from my dad.) Leilani and James got really nervous, bottom lips quivering, ready to cry. I was so mean.
We stopped and I said, "What's that noise? Over there in the woods! Shhh!" We all froze. Of course, I was making it up. There was nothing there. Or so I thought.
Suddenly there was a real noise in the woods. A kind of chuffing, snorting belch, very deep and growly. All three of us screamed and started running. We blasted across the field towards the house as fast as our little legs could take us, not looking back, shrieking in terror.
Partway across the field we heard a new noise. It was Grandpa, waving the cowbell to get our attention. He was shouting, "Children! Come back!" This struck us as odd behaviour for Grandpa but we were so scared we didn't care.
Then he tells us that he came looking for us because there was a bear in the woods. Some vacationer had been killed and the police had phoned the residents and warned them to keep kinds and animals inside until they tracked the bear down and killed it.
I don't think my cousins ever forgave me.
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