THIS T-SHIRT SAVED MY LIFE!

Posted In: Blog, Camping Gear, RV Lifestyle, RV Products, Yellowstone

THE FOLLOWING IS A TRUE STORY. *

A few years ago, my wife and I were hiking in Yellowstone National Park. The trail was no more than five miles in length. It cut a winding swath through mountainous thickly wooded terrain near Mammoth Hot Springs.

It was a beautiful early autumn afternoon, warm and sunny. Unfortunately, on that day, my relationship with my wife was not so pleasant. We’d had an argument over lunch (one triggered by a bad cheese sandwich at Old Faithful) and just didn’t feel like talking to one another. So we broke one of the cardinal rules of backcountry hiking: we walked mostly in silence.

Worse, our hiking speeds diverged. When she stopped to catch her breath, I walked on ahead. Before long, I was a good 50 yards ahead of her on the trail.

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The balmy autumn weather being ideal, we simply wore hiking boots, shorts, and our Official “Loloho” T-shirts. I carried a day pack with a canteen of water, some snacks, a camera, and a can of bear spray.

The trail was well marked. It wound through thick forest for the first couple of miles. As I rounded a turn, the path opened onto a grassy area that extended alongside a large beaver pond. The pond measured several hundred yards across from side to side. It was framed on the far side by more tall trees, and behind those trees lay a thick canopy of forest.

 

The balmy autumn weather being ideal, we simply wore hiking boots, shorts, and our Official “Loloho” T-shirts.

I continued along the trail, the pond to my left. As I strolled past the muddy water, my mind regurgitated the troublesome events of the day.

How had the fight started? A cheese sandwich? How had our argument careened so quickly out of control? Was my marriage in trouble?

I stopped walking, and looked back to gauge my wife’s progress. Sure enough, she was still trailing my pace by about 50 yards. I was dripping with perspiration, and decided to take a drink of water. I removed my small day pack and pulled out my canteen…

Then it happened. As I pulled the metal canteen from my pack, it slipped from my sweaty palm and fell into thick mud at the edge of the pond. When I bent over to retrieve the container, I lost my footing in the slippery sludge… With a loud SPLASH I flopped forward into the beaver pond!

The pond’s murky water was surprisingly cold and deep. My pack and I were separated by the fall. Weighed down with gear, it quickly disappeared beneath the surface.

As I dragged myself from the chilly pond, soaking wet from head to toe, my wife ran breathlessly to my side. For a brief moment, our earlier argument was forgotten.

“Are you okay?” she asked. “That looked pretty bad.”

“I’m fine,” I replied, as I turned my gaze back to the water. “But I just lost our pack. I’m going to go back in and dive for it.”

Of course, I was disgusted by the thought of what had just happened to my digital camera, which was no doubt ruined. But our photos could perhaps be salvaged, and I certainly didn’t want to leave the pack behind in the backcountry of Yellowstone.

My wife froze. Her eyes widened as they locked onto something behind me.

“Don’t,” she whispered. “Don’t… move.”

I turned my head to match her gaze. Then I saw it.

A large adult BEAR was standing on the trail behind us, not more than 30 yards away. It was moving quickly in our direction. Its eyes were locked directly onto mine.

I turned back to my wife, and saw more motion in the forest behind her. Two small cubs darted onto the trail.

I quickly realized we were standing EXACTLY where hikers NEVER never want to be – between a mama bear and her cubs.

“Where’s the bear spray?” my wife asked.

My heart sank with a sickening realization. Our bear spray was in the day pack. And our day pack was…

“In the pond,” I replied.

I turned back to face the adult bear. She was now RUNNING towards us with her gleaming fangs bared.

My mind raced. I remembered the bear safety videos I’d seen on Long Long Honeymoon. I had to think FAST. If it’s brown, lie down… if it’s black, fight back…

The bear was black.

I chose to fight back.

There was only one thing to do – I quickly removed my Official “Loloho” T-shirt and twirled it into a makeshift whip. With a terrific snap, I lashed the wet fabric towards the charging bear with all of my might.

CRACK! The loud pop echoed across the pond.

Not since Indiana Jones stormed the Temple of Doom has a whip been wielded with such violent precision.

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle: my wet Official “Loloho” t-shirt struck the charging bear squarely on its nose! The beast let out a startled cry and immediately turned back…to run away.

As we watched the adult retreat into the forest, her two cubs sprinted past us. They followed their mother into the woods.

Almost instantly, my wife and I found ourselves alone again, standing on the trail.

“I thought we were goners,” she said. “Thank heavens you had your Official ‘Loloho’ T-shirt.”

Indeed – the Official “Loloho” T-shirt had proven to be more than a stylish fashion statement. It had served us as a most useful defensive weapon.

“Aren’t we supposed to be mad at each other?” I asked.

She looked at me with tears welling in her doe eyes.

“What were we even fighting about?” she cooed. “A cheese sandwich?”

I pulled her to me in a tight embrace. Although my body was still soaking wet, she didn’t complain.

“There’s nothing cheesy about this situation,” I said.

“Kiss me,” she replied. “Just kiss me.”

And so I did.

Thus my Official “Loloho” T-shirt proved its worth in the fiery crucible of Yellowstone. It absorbed water, repelled bears, and very likely saved both my life and my marriage.

From that day forward, our marital relationship was forever changed. My wife and I pledged to work together to calmly resolve disputes; to love one other unconditionally; and to always wear our Official “Loloho” Tshirts whenever camping, hiking, or pursuing other outdoor adventures.

I strongly suggest that you do the same.

 

(*Editor’s note: A few elements of this story are exaggerated. A few others are outright lies.)


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