A listener writes “I was in the Nyack region of Glacier National Park in August of 2001. Pre-dawn hours I was awoken by rustling and thumping near my bear bag which was hanging very high about 80 yards from my tent. Whatever was making this noise then made a beeline straight to my tent, walked around the tent 3 times, and on the third rotation lightly drug fingers across the rain fly. I was duly petrified.
It was very large and bipedal. It wasn’t a moose, it wasn’t a bear, and based on the deep and raspy sound of it’s breathing it wasn’t human. I have lived my life mostly in the woods and had no alcohol, or anything else that would alter my perception.
I heard it walk off towards the trail that I took into the area, and waited for the sun to come up. Discovered two odd things once I got out of the tent: my bear bag was displaced and disheveled, and the trail through the grass left by the intruder crossed the wet hiking trail, but left no prints.
Heavy weather was predicted for the area, and I had a very bad experience in high winds two nights before on Two Medicine Pass which nearly cost me my life. Therefore, I decided to go deeper into the valley to a NFS cabin that was rented by cross country skiers, rather than try my luck getting back over the mountain pass. I was thinking that it would be safer there.
The cabin was fortified, and I wasn’t about to commit a felony by destroying part of it over a threat I couldn’t prove. Absolutely positive that I was being watched by something, I went into a tactical mode and set up camp with my tent at the edge of a steep ravine and three fires in front of it to create a perimeter.
As the sun went down I had the overwhelming sense that a fight was imminent. Despite my exhaustion from hiking, setting up camp, and collecting copious amounts of firewood, I fashioned a few crude weapons and hunkered down. Once the sun was down I kept hearing strange noises to my left (southeast), and catching strange glimpses to my right. I did what any self-respecting 23 year old American male would do and started to calmly talk sh1t. Nothing loud, nothing aggressive, just claiming my space and being assertive. At one point I pretended to be bending over to grab some firewood from near the tent and looked through the space under my armpit to directly behind me. A very large, very hairy creature swayed out to it’s left side from behind a cedar, and I was easily able to make out the head, shoulder, arm, and hip of it. If I had to guess, it was 18 yards away. I had caught glimpses earlier, but this ruse of mine confirmed that I wasn’t just seeing things.
I was alone, in the middle of the most remote part of a very rugged National Park, with heavy weather predicted, and absolutely no clue of what I was dealing with. I didn’t know WHAT it was, I just knew THAT it was. After zero sleep that night, I hastily packed at dawn and got the F out of there with a quickness.
There are several details that I have left out to keep this short and readable.”