By Dan Bigley, Debra McKinney
A 25-year-old backcountry wanderer, a guy happiest exploring wild areas along with his puppy, Dan Bigley awakened one midsummer morning to an afternoon packed with promise. earlier than it used to be over, after a stellar day of salmon fishing alongside Alaska's Kenai and Russian rivers, a grizzly got here tearing round a nook within the path. Dan slightly had time for "bear charging" to sign up sooner than it had him at the floor, changing his lifestyles perpetually. "Upper nostril, eyes, brow anatomy unrecognizable," because the medevac record positioned it. until eventually then, something after one other had fallen into position in Dan's existence. He had a task he enjoyed taking afflicted childrens on outdoors tours. He had simply obtained a cabin excessive within the Chugach Mountains with a view that went on ceaselessly. He was once newly in love. After a yr of being intrigued through a lady named Amber, they'd simply spent their first evening jointly. All of this used to be shattered by way of the mauling that just about killed him, that left him blind and disfigured. dealing with paralyzing soreness and impossible loss, Dan used to be in no form to be in a dating. He and Amber enable one another cross. 5 surgical procedures later, partway into his lengthy therapeutic trip, they discovered their as far back as one another. The couple's unforgettable tale is certainly one of braveness, tenacious will, and the facility of affection to guide the way in which out of darkness. Dan Bigley's conquer tragedy is a testomony to the facility of the human spirit to beat actual and emotional devastation, to decide on not only to dwell, yet to dwell absolutely. stopover at Dan Bigley's web site or past the undergo.
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Extra resources for Beyond the Bear: How I Learned to Live and Love Again after Being Blinded by a Bear
Indd 32 1/15/13 2:10 PM Last Light “We should swing by and see if Jaha wants to wet a line,” I said. Jaha, short for Jeremy Anderson Hard Ass, a nickname earned in middle school for holding his ground against bullies half again his size, was the most natural-born fisherman I’d ever known, an angling genius who could practically talk a fish into skipping the drama and hopping straight into his cooler. My favorite image of him came from a day at that same fishing hole we’d just left down the highway.
Over the course of the three-day festival, we discovered we shared a go-with-the-wind, howl-at-the-moon spirit, and during down times had long discussions about Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, which John carried around with him like a bible. Both of us were getting over heartbreaks that neither had seen coming. Both of us were more interested in fishing, even if we ended up getting hosed, or climbing some mountain in rinse-cycle weather than pursuing new girlfriends. indd 26 1/15/13 2:10 PM Last Light I had taught John how to roll a kayak, and had turned him on to the euphoria of skiing in deep, backcountry powder.
I had to fight to stay alive, no matter what it took. I remember this as a conscious decision. I remember promising myself that if I fought and lived, I would never look back and regret it. I didn’t know the mauling had left me blind. Once I’d made my decision, my mother vanished but I was not alone. A figure materialized off in the distance, showing itself as a silhouette backlit by a starburst of blue light. My long-dead grandfather. I recognized his lanky legs and the outline of his favorite ball cap.