Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Off-Topic: Aquapocalypse Now!

This past weekend my pal Bob and I went on an epic 300+ mile journey from one end of the vast Lake Roosevelt to the other in an old school motor boat, a journey that I will now think of as “That One Time When That Bear Almost Ate Me.”

A little background: Lake Roosevelt is a 150 mile long reservoir in Washington State that was created when Grand Coulee Dam plugged up the mighty Columbia River. This flooded valley extends from the scenic desert canyons around the dam all the way up into the dry pine hills near the Canadian border, where the line between lake and river blur. It winds through national forest land and Indian reservations, so there is relatively little human development on the lake itself.

Our goal was to travel from one extreme of the lake to the other in our little motorboat the Red Sled while camping on the lakeshore and avoiding dangerous wildlife. We had beer, some food, some fuel, sunglasses, baby wipes, and Cybershark.

Thank God we had Cybershark. As the box copy informs us, Cybershark is “the most terrifying cyborg of the future” – as opposed to the most terrifying cyborg of the Renaissance, I guess. It is a remote control shark that looks and moves like a real shark – but with glowing red eyes. It dives, it surfaces, it thrashes its tail around, and it fixes you with those red, burning eyes. We enjoyed making Cybershark swim under the boat and surface from the depths. Plus – the remote control is water proof! It’s fantastic – order your Cybershark today!

Anyway, we had the usual mishaps and misadventures and near disasters that usually occur when Bob and I go on an adventure together, and this time was no different.

We were investigating these winding stream-fed inlets along the shores of the lake one evening. The sun was low in the sky, and as we slowly maneuvered the boat up through these side canyons the filtered light made everything mysterious and primeval, just like the Jungle Boat ride at Disneyland. We would get back as far as we could in these twisting canyons, slowly turn the Sled around… and then haul ass full throttle out of the inlet, just like James Bond in Moonraker.

We were looking for inlets that were suitable for Moonraker action when we saw the bear at the head of the inlet. Bob shouted “BEAR!” and we gunned the engine, scaring it off – go figure. Thinking that we had disturbed its meal, we decided to wait and see if it came back.

We backed the boat into this very narrow inlet and cut the engine. The water was only three or four feet deep, and we had about ten feet of room on each side. Tight fit. We sat quietly, cameras ready.

The bear did return, and it wasn’t happy to see us. It was a black bear, maybe a couple hundred pounds – not huge, but big enough to fuck you up real bad. For the next hour or so, as it got darker, the bear stalked us through the underbrush on each side of the inlet, glaring at us and making intimidating guttural noises. We were psyched.

The bear, which Bob called The Old Man and I called Mr. Chocolate, became progressively more agitated, and worked his way closer and closer to the boat, which offered illusionary protection from the beast. I figure it could have gotten from the shore and into our boat in all of two seconds.

Mr. Chocolate worked himself up, snorting and growling, until he got so pissed that he bluff charged our boat twice.

That picture over there is Mr. Chocolate beginning the second of his two fake charges, which were more than a little terrifying. I have one of the charges on video, and you can hear me uttering a deeply heartfelt “oh shit” when Mr. Chocolate gets frisky. At least I didn’t scream like a little girl. Like Bob.

After a while, Bob and I left Mr. Chocolate to his meal and went off in search for a campsite – on the other side of the lake.

Anyway we had a great time, and it inspired me to plan even greater and more stupid expeditions in the future. More than once this weekend I felt like a combination of Lewis & Clark and Miami Vice’s Sonny Crockett.

Next time I’m bringing my Best of Jan Hammer CD.


Anonymous said... Sasquatch nookie or killer marmosets... but having to carry your girlie-man friend "BOB" home after he soiled himself is an alright"reason" for missing Monday.

Nice tale of epic adventure!

Did you eat jerky?
All wilderness journeys need jerky.
And racoon (faux) fur hats!
And Daniel Boone rawhide jackets!!
(Fringe optional - mandatory for "Bob".)


Anonymous said...

" . . . and sometimes, the bear eats you."

That was a great story. Thanks for dropping it in. Glad you made it back and will not be starring in "Grizzly Man 2: Electric Boogaloo."

Anonymous said...

All I could think of while reading this post was the following quote by Sean Malloy - "The easy way to tell the difference, if you're being chased by a bear, is to quickly climb a tree. If it's a black bear, it will climb the tree after you and eat you; if it's a grizzly bear, it will push the tree over and eat you." And no, I have don't have any idea who Sean Malloy is.

Anonymous said...

Don't mess with bears. Bears are scary.

Anonymous said...

Sasquatch *is* something I haven't seen before!!!

Unknown said...

Mr. Chocolate I love it!

I have to admit though; I was hoping to see this story told in comic book form.

McGone said...

Is Bob real, or is he your Tyler Durden friend? That camera could have been set up on an auto-timer, or the bear may have taken the picture. I'm betting Bob is a figment of your imagination, and it was actually you Dave, who screamed like a girl.

Unknown said...

So my mom's visiting, and she says all of this is just about 9 miles away from her (Grand Forks, BC).

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Chocolate"--you rock.

Although why anybody would disturb a bear and then stick around afterwards to watch it after seeing The Grizzly Man is WAY THE FUCK BEYOND ME.

Anonymous said...

Damn, Dave! You missed an opportunity--a once-in-a-lifetime, forty-naked-virgins-offering-candied-heroin-at-a-Beatles-reunion-concert-featuring-J.D.-Salinger opportunity--to answer the ultimate question of the universe...

Who would win in a fight between a bear and a robot shark?

Gaze in awe as God's deadliest mammal faces off against Man's perfect killing machine!

Behold the showdown between the Furred Fury of the Forest and the Metal Menace of the Mare!

Gasp as ginsu claws meet dorsal fin and razor teeth meet hairy skull!

Blood will gush! Oil will spew! Sparks will fly! Barks will howl! Skin and shell, intestines and wires, vital organs and motherboards!

Two beings will enter the forest...only one will leave...

...and the other will float lifeless across Lake Roosevelt like a bloody piece of shat haggis in a pool of sour piss!

The battle for the future of Earth has begun!

Still, nice pictures. ;)

S Bates said...

Erm, what comic is this story from? Silver Surfer #61?

As the box copy informs us, Cybershark is "the most terrifying cyborg of the future"

So does that mean it's not the most terrifying cyborg of the present? Firstly, what is then? And secondly, what happens to this cyborg in the future to make it the most terrifying?

Mr Chocolate. Ha ha. So he was sweet and kinda melted in the mouth, huh?

We had beer, some food, some fuel, sunglasses, baby wipes, and Cybershark

Baby wipes!?! Wimp.

Gayest Neil said...

You totally owe us a play-by-play break down of who would win a no-holds barred cage match of CYBERSHARK v. MR. CHOCOLATE!

Anonymous said...

Oh Dave,

You're blog posts are one of the few bright points in my incredibly dreary work atmosphere. I hate my job, love my benefits, and am thankful for a creative, funny, okatu blog like yours.

Best Regards,


Anonymous said...

Robot sharks AND bears?!?

Best. Post. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Take a picture with Bob opening Mr. Chocolate's jaws with his hands. Bears like that.

Anonymous said...

Dave Campbell is Sonny Crockett.

(eyeing Mr. Chocolate:)

"I get these occasional urges for stability in my life."

Dave Campbell, we love you

PS Try uploading clips of your tape on YouTube

Anonymous said...


Good thing you brought the baby wipes.

Good thing for "BOB".


J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

I'm ashamed, Dave! No Karate Bearfighting? We know you could use your mad skills to karate fight that bear!

Anonymous said...

The picture of that bear somehow reminds me of the cyborg bear scene in The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower III.

Anonymous said...

OH DAN!!! you are awesome. I am a huge fan of that series!!! Sir, I think I love you.

Big AL said...

"Its not the heat, hmph... its the humidity"