Travel Classics Writers Contests
Writers Contest Winner
Best Travel Story Alberta
Jill K. Robinson
for "The Other Day, I Met a Bear"
"'You are in bear country,' warned the trail map. 'Make plenty of noise when
approaching blind corners, dense shrubs, or when moving into the wind.' I tried to think of
something I wouldn't mind singing while out on the trail, and settled on Lyle Lovett's 'Bears.'
The map showed endless combinations for linking trails together: wide dirt roads for leisurely
rides to scenic lookouts, narrow cross-country trails on rolling terrain, and single-track tight
turns winding through fragrant spruce forest. As I zipped along the Bow trail, which dips in and
out of the forest's edge and offers occasional glimpses of the breadth of the park, I tried to
recall the lyrics to my bear song.
'So meet a bear and take him on out to lunch with you,' I sang above the humming of the bike's
tires. 'Even though your friends may stop and stare...'
I turned a blind corner, still singing. Ahead of me was a car of a bear--big like a Volkswagen
beetle. Either my singing or the gravel spray from my speedy braking caught its attention, and it
swung its huge head around to gaze at me.
A phonograph needle scraped across the soundtrack in my mind, like the work of a beginning DJ.
Next on the play list, the song from my childhood.
The other day, I met a bear, out in the woods, a-way out there."
About the Author:
Jill K. Robinson writes about travel, adventure, food and drink for the San Francisco Chronicle,
AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Saturday Evening Post, Robb
Report, Islands, Coastal Living, American Way, Let's Go With Ryanair, Organic Gardening, Westways,
Journey, and more. She's a 2012 Athleta featured athlete, specializing in kayaking and stand-up
paddling. She is a tequila expert, runs a kayak business, and surfs near Maverick's big
is provided by Travel Alberta
and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
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