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Weird things do not usually happen to Art Bernsteinexcept once in a great while and, for some reason, almost always when hiking. Here, the veteran guidebook author offers sixteen compelling stories of strange-but-true events that occurred while he was exploring the great outdoors. Sometimes poignant, always witty, these tales of unexplained phenomena, mythical beasts, and unusual incidents cover ground from the Grand Canyon to the Florida Everglades, and they include such hair-raising incidents as a chance encounter with the mysterious Lady in the Woods and being stalked by a herd of mad deer.
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Art Bernstein is the author of 13 nature and hiking guides, including Falcon's Hiking Oregon's Southern Cascades and Siskiyous, and is an avid hiker and naturalist with in M.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan. He has lived in Grants Pass, Oregon, since 1970, and he claims that weird things have only happened to him on 13 of his hundreds of hikes over the years.
Read an Excerpt
I don’t know if it was the rising moon that touched off the deer or not. All I know is that with the moonrise, anything that moved outside the tent was projected in shadow on the feeble layer of nylon that protected us from all outside threat.I first noticed the moving shadows when a gentle breeze shook the scraggly pine tree. Looking up at the tent wall through the darkness, the shadowy motion resembled the claw hands of a witch grasping at our tiny shelter. The sight made my stomach lurch and triggered a brief squirt of adrenaline, until I figured out what it was. A while later, when the rustling noises outside began increasing in frequency and volume, I attributed it to the wind. Until I saw the shadow of a deer on the side of the tent, projected to twice the size of a grizzly bear. This time there was no question: That definitely had not been a tree branch. Sweat or no sweat, I climbed into my sleeping bag and pulled it over my head. I did not mention to Brian what I’d seen. I hadn’t heard from him in a while, and if he was asleep I saw no reason to disturb him. On glimpsing the deer shadow, however, I knew that my own night’s sleep was pretty much shot.“Did you see that?” Brian whispered. “Yeah. Our friends are back.”“Get the hell out of here!” Brian hollered at them. And the shadow dutifully trotted off. But not for long. As they had done during dinner, the deer shadows began circling our camp in an endless procession, drawing gradually closer. Hollering caused them to back off at first but they gradually got used to it and began ignoring us. After a while the circle around our tent was so tight, we could hear the deer brushing against the nylon with a soft swoosh.This went on for hours. We debated packing up and leaving but decided against it. We might find our way out of the valley and up to Deer Creek Lake by the light of the full moon. However, the tent, as frail as it was, represented our only defense. Once outside, there was no telling what might happen. At around 2:00 a.m., lying huddled in my sleeping bag, watching the shadows go around and around and around, I reached my limit. Rage, fatigue, frustration, and confusion welled up inside me.“GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” I screamed, jumped out of my sleeping bag, rose to my knees and began pounding the side of the tent with my fists. “GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!” Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I was vaguely aware of Brian trying to calm me down but it was just too much. I continued yelling for ten minutes.Fortunately, Brian’s tent was pretty strong. I came close to knocking it over or ripping it but in the end, no harm was done. I only wished my pounding made a little more noise. It made virtually none. “Feel better?” Brian asked, when I finally calmed down. “I guess,” I whispered.
Table of Contents
Hike One. The First Hike Glen Helen Ecological Preserve, Yellow Springs, Ohio Hike Two. The Power Source Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California Hike Three. Panic on the Pacific Crest Sky Lakes Wilderness, Oregon Hike Four. Against Bears and Men Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, Arizona Hike Five. I Hear Footprints Everglades National Park, Florida Hike Six. Dream Trails Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan;
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington Hike Seven. Cryptozoology Trinity Alps Wilderness, California Hike Eight. Mad Deer Trinity Alps Wilderness, California Hike Nine. On Beyond Bigfoot Big Bend National Park, Texas Hike Ten. The Weirdest Hike Ever Tongass National Forest, Alaska Hike Eleven. The Barrens Pinelands National Preserve, New Jersey Hike Twelve. The Black Butte Miracle Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California Hike Thirteen. The Lost Mountain Great Basin National Park, Nevada Hike Fourteen. A Voice Crying "In the Wilderness . . ."
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Oregon