Who: Jamie Coulter, then director at Camp Hurontario, now managing director at a financial services firm
Where: Around Chapleau, near Sudbury
What: “Twenty years ago, three of us from Hurontario (John, Mark and myself) were scouting out a possible canoe trip route for the following summer for kids.
As we were getting ready for bed on the first night, a bear came rambling out of the woods and walked up to the tent vestibule. Mark was on the other side of this thin piece of nylon just taking off his shoes. To this day he can still recall the sound of the bear breathing.
We sprang into action and scared the bear off, at least for the moment. Of course, the bear returned when it was later and darker. Eventually, we elected to abandon our camp site.
Grabbing our flash lights, we waded a river, bushwhacked through the woods and ended up on a logging road. Unfortunately, only two of us had shoes. Mark had taken off his shoes and was in his bear (bare) feet.
John cut the legs off his track pants and we duct taped them to the soles of Mark’s feet*. It is now dark.
We start walking.
At some point, we lie down on the side of the road and sleep for a bit. Dawn starts coming. We continue walking towards a cluster of buildings in the distance and then enter the biggest one and collapse into some chairs. About an hour later, some guys walk into the building. Understandably, they were quite surprised to see the three of us.
As it turns out, we had stumbled into a Ministry of Natural Resources site. More interestingly, they were studying black bears. They showed us a map with pins in it. Each pin denoted a black bear that had a radio collar on it. The map was covered in pins.
Needless to say, we didn’t recommend the route to the camp.”
* Apparently the track pants were baby blue and there is nothing a little duct tape can’t fix.