Getting bare for a bachelor party

Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Dino Dave’s Adventures

Ryan was a childhood friend and college roommate. Shortly after he graduated, he came home and told us he was engaged to his high school sweetheart. We were proud of him, and he made a great choice as they are both still happily married with who knows how many kids. Anyway….Ryan had one last request. Not a bachelor’s party in the worldly sense, but he wanted to do one more guy thing. Some type of guy adventure.

What we came up with, is that we would take our motorcycles, ride as far as we could away from Bozeman and whenever it got dark, THAT is where we would camp. The goal was to get completely in the middle of nowhere as possible. I loved the idea and sounded like my type of bachelors’ party. The day came and we loaded our backpacks with camping gear and took off on our old Hondas.

We started from Hylite Canyon and it wasn’t long before we had no idea where we were. Remember, this was before the GPS days and this was just the adventure we were looking for. We made our way through some treacherous switch backs, made a couple hunters mad, and continued into the unknown trail blinded by the dense forest around us. Ryan and Dave had the same ring to it as Lewis and Clark.

Everything was how we imagined except…. my motorcycle had its chain come off often. I would have to stop every so often and put it back on. It only took a minute, but very annoying. My bike was older, and I didn’t do it any favors on how I treated it. It was an XL which was an enduro built for the streets, but I would always take it where it didn’t belong. Hence, it was pretty beat up. Despite the chain glitch we rode for a good four hours. We were completely lost. Our goal to get as far away from Bozeman and it was going splendidly. The sun was setting and we were now looking for a nice flat place to camp before dark. Just a little further, and a little further…..nothing….and it was getting darker.

Finally, we got to the end of the trailhead where we thought we could camp and there was a sign! The sign said, Bozeman and it pointed with an arrow, 1/4 mile. What! Only a quarter mile! We drove for 4 hours….how could this be? Our hearts were sunk. It was now dark and somehow we did a giant circle and ended up right back into Bozeman. It was the exact opposite of what we wanted to do.

We ended up at Bear Canyon Road, which is just outside of Bozeman. “Well,” we said, “we could go home, or just go up Bear Canyon in the dark a ways and make the best of it.”

But my chain was getting worse and worse. The stops between putting it on more and more. We just couldn’t stop now and decided to press on. Going home was not an option. We drove up the canyon in the dark about a 1/2 mile and my chain came off twice in that time. I couldn’t take it anymore. I said, “Ryan…if we are going to make it, I have to stop and tighten this.”

So we stopped in the darkest black of night. Ryan shined his head light on my chain and tire so that I could tighten it enough to get us to where we need to go. It was dead calm. I was focused on my chain when Ryan said, “What’s that?”

“What’s what,” I said.

He replied, “I think I heard something, like some rustling.”

I stopped working on my chain and got up as Ryan started creeping a little closer to the rustling as if he was in a scooby doo cartoon. I was still a couple steps behind when all of a sudden Ryan yelled, “Bear!!!!”.

I knew by the expression on his face that he was serious.

“Bear!” he yelled again and by this time he was already turned around and two steps past me the other way. I had no choice but to follow him. Now, the key to not getting eaten by a bear, is not to be faster than the bear….but to be faster than the people you are with. Ryan had a track scholarship for the 400 yard hurdles for Montana State. This was not good news for me. Ryan ran to the nearest tree and I followed. He started climbing, and maybe it just felt like slow motion under the circumstances, but if tree climbing was a track event, Ryan could kiss that scholarship goodbye. In the back of my mind, I was waiting for a bite out of my butt as I climbed and pushed Ryan up that tree. We both made it about 10 ft up and both felt lucky to be alive...for now. I never did see what Ryan saw, but obviously I was going to take his word for it.

Now what? We were both 10 ft up a tree in complete darkness with a bear in the vicinity. We waited.

“Hey Ryan, can I tell your wife how BARE you got on our bachelor party?” Ryan didn’t laugh. We waited more. Eventually we didn’t see or hear anything anymore.

We crept up to the bike. I made sure I had a half step jump on Ryan towards the tree this time. We started the engine then revved it as loud as we could to hopefully scare it away. With undaunted courage we drove for only about a 100 yards further when we saw fresh tracks! We knew it was from the culprit. We stopped again and showed the flashlight on the tracks.

Like a horror movie, we slowly followed the tracks with the light a few more feet when there it was! The culprit of those same tracks! The very same beast that forced us to a tree! We shined the flashlight directly in its eyes and the ghastly beast fearlessly stared back at us only 10 feet away.

There, down Bear Canyon road, in the darkest hour of the night, stood face to face a mighty BIG!!….. BLACK!!!…angus cow.

Yes ... we got treed by a cow. Like most guys and bachelor parties, we both vowed never to tell anyone what happened that night. I guess I keep secrets about as well as I can run from bears.

Dave Fuqua is a Glendive native. You can find out more about him at . He can be reached at