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Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Found : adrfit at sea on a piece of timber flotsam

Whilst on patrol in my boat in the Solent,I found this teddy on a piece of floating timber. He was very cold and wet. So I wrapped him up and he told me that his name was Guiseppe Armando. He could remember little of how he came to be lost at sea, but he was sure he was on a voyage to somewhere…but knew not where.So I took him home with me for the night. He devoured a large steaming mug of cocoa along with two huge home made muffins. Whereupon, he yawned and said ” I am really very sleepy now”. So I lined and box with a soft towel and tucked him in for the night. In the morning ….. he had gone. How he left or to where, I cannot tell. Davie Flannagan, Harbour Master,
Newtown National Nature Reserve.

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Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Westminster, Colorado

“Guess what Lucy! We have tickets to a rock n’ roll concert tonight, and you’re coming with us!”
Lucy was beyond excited! Ever since she came to America, she had secretly hoped someone would take her to a rock concert! “Who are we going to go see?”
“Here’s a hint: he’s one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time!”
Well, Lucy immediately knew exactly who they were going to see. “Are you telling me Slash is in town!? What luck!”

Being a rock n’ roll bear at heart, Lucy had always been a big fan of Slash, who was the famous guitarist from the American band Guns N’ Roses. Even though Guns N’ Roses was most popular in the mid 1980s to early 1990s, Lucy was very familiar with their songs because they are still played on the radio back home. Their album “Appetite for Destruction” from 1987 still holds the record as the best-selling debut album of all time in the whole world (that’s a name Lucy can also relate to because, as a bear, she often has an “appetite for destruction”). And just like her, Slash is British; he was born in Hampstead and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire until he was 11 when he moved “across the pond”. Lucy loves to see Brits going out and conquering the world!

Lucy donned her black T shirt, (“Very rock n’ roll!” said her friends), and hopped in the car for the quick drive to the Ogden Theater in Denver. Lucy and her companions got a good spot on the dance floor, and Lucy roared loudly when the stage lights came up and she got her first glimpse of Slash (in his famous top hat)! She wanted to get a picture with Slash, but alas, she was a little too short, and he is only sort-of visible in the background of the picture (if you know where to look)… but that’s good enough for Lucy!
Lucy and her friends danced and partied into the night, singing along to all of the songs, including her favorite “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. But sadly, all good things must come to an end, and as Slash and his band took their bow after the encore, Lucy exclaimed “That was so much fun – I didn’t want it to ever end!”

Lucy and her friends headed home, their ears ringing from the loud music. Lucy said “temporary hearing loss is the price you pay for the true rock n’ roll experience, although next time I will definitely remember to bring ear plugs”!

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Westminster, Colorado

Lucy woke up one beautiful morning and said to her caretakers “I have seen the Rocky Mountains in the distance on the drive from Wyoming. Is there a road we can drive on that can take us even closer to the mountains?”
Her caretakers said “Sure! But you should have the true Colorado mountain experience, which is not in a car.”
An hour later, Lucy and her travel companions arrived in St. Vrain State Park near Lyons, Colorado. Lucy said “Lyons, bear, oh my – the tiger is missing!” which made her companions laugh. Lucy then noticed a tall rocky peak. “What a beautiful spire!” Lucy exclaimed.
“That’s called Spire Rock,” said her companions. “And it will be even more beautiful from the top!”
“But, I don’t see a trail…” Lucy said, confused.
“That’s because we are going to CLIMB it!”
Lucy could hardly believe her ears. Rock climbing was one of the adventures she had hoped to experience in Colorado!
To reach Spire Rock, they had to cross St. Vrain Creek, and Lucy was thankful that bears are good swimmers, because the creek was deep in spots! Once they all got across safely, she took a rest on some rocks to dry off in the sun. After a short hike through the woods, they finally made it to the bottom of Spire Rock, where Lucy sat patiently and watched her companions get into their climbing gear. Lucy was impressed at how easily they formed loops and knots with their ropes, and how they knew exactly where to attach their clips they called carabiners, but she started to become nervous and worried that her paws would not be able to make secure knots. Her fear soon disappeared as her companions said “Don’t worry Lucy – we’re here for you!” while they expertly helped her into her climbing gear.
Lucy’s companions held her rope as she started up the side of the rock. At first, she felt awkward and nervous, but she soon got the hang of it – literally! “Look, no paws! Which means ‘no hands’ to you!” she called down to her climbing companions, who cheered her bravery. She took a moment to enjoy the panoramic view of the evergreen trees and rocky cliffs that surrounded her, with the majestic mountains in the distance. It was very quiet and calm, and Lucy thought it was one of the most peaceful experiences she’d ever had. But it only made her more excited to make it to the top, and after a short time of more climbing, she was there! She couldn’t believe it – they were so high up! The highway they drove on to get there looked like a squiggle among the trees, and their car looked like a tiny beetle! Lucy exclaimed “Colorado is amazing! And I love rock climbing! Can we do it again tomorrow?”

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Arrived in the post!

Theodore spent the weekend with myself and hundreds of other downhill mountain bike enthusiasts at the Caersws Cup English Downhill Championships in Wales.

Theodore had an adrenaline fuelled weekend, doing over 20 runs of high speed downhill and uplifting with me.

I put in a good time first run, but knew I needed to knock some time off to win my category, so I consulted Theodore for some race line advice. Second run I smashed it, and I was delighted to take the English Champion Title in the Expert Category.

See some photo’s of Theodore sat on my 2010 Commencal Supreme DH Race Bike below.

I would like to thank my sponsors of which helped me through the weekend:

Scouttingforparts & Goingonabearhunt.


Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Yellowstone National Park, USA

She was the last thing we expected to find in Yellowstone National Park! We had stopped to take a picture of a herd of bison on the road, and a small white sign underneath a tree caught my eye. “Colorado or Bust” it said, and behind it was a small bear who appeared to be hiding out there, away from the stampeding bison hooves.

“Do you need a ride to Colorado?” we said.
The bear nodded, and introduced herself as Lucy Cavendish.
“Well, today’s your lucky day, because we happen to live in Colorado, and are leaving for home right now!” said Lucy’s new travel companions.
Lucy smiled from ear to ear, and politely thanked them as she climbed into the back of their Jeep.

On their drive out of the park, Lucy suddenly called from the backseat “Pull over! Oh please, oh please, pull over!” Her companions had no idea what was going on, but they had never traveled with a bear before, and were not familiar with bears’ travels needs, so they did as she asked. Lucy had her companions pull over at Yellowstone National Park’s Roosevelt Lodge, named for the 26th president of the United States, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Lucy told her companions this story: “A long time ago, Teddy Roosevelt went hunting, and came across a wounded baby bear. His hunting companions wanted him to shoot the bear and claim an easy trophy for himself, but he took mercy upon the little animal and refused. The story of his mercy quickly spread around the country, and soon toy bears were made commemorating this event, which eventually became the most popular toy of all time!” Lucy’s companions immediately understood her excitement, as Teddy Roosevelt is the man from whom teddy bears got their name! Lucy proudly sat atop the sign at Roosevelt Lodge so all could see one of Roosevelt’s most popular accomplishments, in the flesh (or fur).

Several hours into their trip from Yellowstone to Colorado, Lucy and her companions stopped in Dubois, Wyoming to gas up their Jeep at The Country Store. To their surprise, this gas station also had a giant stuffed jackalope! Lucy was unfamiliar with this American word, which to her sounded like a cross between “jackrabbit” and “antelope”. She soon learned that jackalopes are animals found in the western United States. As she suspected from the name, they are rabbits with deer antlers (some species additionally have the tail of a pheasant), and are thought to be near-extinct. While some people might think that jackalopes aren’t real, cowboys in the Old West would swear that jackalopes were real, as they would commonly hear them singing along with their campfire songs. The giant jackalope at the Country Store was available for humans to ride for a small $1 donation, and bears could ride for free! The companions quickly paid the donation fee, and had some great fun with the jackalope!

On their ride through Wyoming, Lucy and her companions drove through a huge thunderstorm, common during summer days in the West. Lucy was scared of the loud thunder, and with every loud thunderclap, crawled further and further into a suitcase in the backseat. Once the storm passed, a beautiful rainbow was left in its place! Lucy said the scary thunderstorm was definitely worth it!

Lucy finally made it to Colorado, and cannot wait to see what sort of adventures she will have there!

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Derwood, MD

The next three days flew by for Lucy and her friends as they made multiple trips into Yellowstone. The park was bigger than any other park that Lucy or her friends had ever been to and even after three days they still hadn’t come close to seeing everything they could.

Lucy and her friends learned that Yellowstone was created through a series of volcanic and violent tectonic movements. The center of Yellowstone is a large caldera, an underground volcano that is still quite active today. However, since this “super volcano” is below ground level, layers of water and earth on top of it allow the volcano to release the pressure that builds up underground through numerous geysers and sulfuric hot pools. The most famous geyser in in Yellowstone is Old Faithful, a geyser that goes off on such a regular basis that rangers in the park can predict the time when the geyser will erupt next to within 10 minutes. The plume of water and steam that explode out of the geyser amazed Lucy and her friends.

After seeing Old Faithful, Lucy got to wander in and among other geysers and many of the hot pools which came in a variety of beautiful colors including bright sapphire blues, deep rust reds, and even bright neon yellows. Some of the pools were quiet with thin wisps of steam blowing across their surfaces while others bubbled violently, engulfed in steam. Some were even filled with mud, spitting mud bubbles up into the air. The colors of the pools came in part from the sulfur and acids in the water but also from the numerous bacteria that inhabit the super hot pools. In fact Lucy learned that the DNA work her friends do is possible because of a bacteria found in the hot pools and geysers of Yellowstone in the 1980s.

Following their time at the hot pools, Lucy and her friends drove through the rest of the park, seeing breathtaking waterfalls and the deep Yellowstone canyon. The walls of the canyon were stained yellow from sulfur and other mineral deposits and is the reason the park was named Yellowstone. The water was so crystal clear and vibrant blue against the green of the trees and yellow of the rock it was beyond words, and Lucy and her friends spent hours hiking along its rim.

Lucy and her friends got to see lots of the park’s wild inhabitants as well. Giant elk and furry bison wandered in and out of the trees, even crossing the roads and looking into car windows. At first Lucy was scared but when she saw the small baby bison she couldn’t help but fall in love with them. Lucy and her friends even got to see the park’s two most elusive residents, two bull moose and a grizzly bear. The trio found the two bull moose relaxing in the noon day sun, eating the leaves off of bushes in a clearing. They watched the pair for awhile, marveling a their huge antlers. As for the grizzly bear, the friends got to see him getting a quick drink from a river while he protectively kept watch over a dead elk that was his dinner in the middle of the river. The group watched the bear for awhile until suddenly he sniffed the wind and looked directly at them.

“Hi cousin,” Lucy called out and the bear nodded his head in acknowledgement before settling into the weeds for a nap.

On the last day of the trip Lucy and her friends traveled a few miles south to Grand Teton National Park. Like Yellowstone, Grand Teton was breathtaking. Grand Teton was much more mountianous than Yellowstone with large peaks dominating the landscape, and many more crystal blue lakes, such as Lake Jackson and Lake Jenny. The mountain peaks were so high they still had snow on them and Lucy and her friends learned that the snow was actually glaciers still resting on the sides of the mountains many cliffs. Grand Teton was the largest of the mountains and Lucy’s favorite. In the park, Lucy and her friends saw more herds of bison and elk, but also herds of small, colorful prong-horned deer, and scruffy little coyote out looking for breakfast.

At one of the rest stops Lucy made friends with entire wall of different teddy bears and furry animals, all hoping to go on adventures of their own. Outside Lucy got to ride on a real covered wagon and pay inside a teepee.

As the sun began to get lower in the sky, Lucy and her friends drove back into Yellowstone and went swimming in Firehole River. Lucy enjoyed jumping off the rocks and into the water, allowing the current to take her on a ride down into the larger pool where the group swam. They ended their evening in the park by watching Old Faithful erupt one last time at sunset.

“This has been a great trip,” Lucy mused as she packed up her suitcase. “Thank you so much for taking me.”

“We had a great time with you, Lucy,” her friends replied. “We’re glad you were able to join us. Where do you think you will go next?”

Lucy thought for a moment. “If I had a choice I think I would like to go to Colorado and see more of these amazing Rocky Mountains, but the best part of an adventure is the journey.”

“Well, we wish you the best of luck wherever you go,” her friends smiled.

After saying good-bye and giving lots of hugs, Lucy Cavendish put on her sunglasses, grabbed her suitcase and headed out into the early morning sunlight ready for her next big adventure.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Derwood, MD

The next morning Lucy and her friends began the last long leg of their journey to reach Yellowstone National Park. On their way through Nebraska they stopped in Alliance, home of Carhenge, a replica of the famous Stonehenge made entirely out of cars all painted gray. Since Lucy knew Stonehenge she found Carhenge hysterical and thoroughly enjoyed climbing all over the old cars, out climbing her friends by leaps and bounds.

After a few pictures the trio moved on along Route 26, a modern highway that sits along the same famous covered wagon route that early American settlers took to reach the Pacific Ocean and settle the rugged West. The route was called the Oregon Trail and along the way, Lucy passed some of Oregon Trails’ most well known landmarks including Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff. Chimney Rock is a long, spindly finger of red rock standing tall and straight alone in the middle of the Nebraska landscape, making it an easily recognizable landmark visible for miles. This is why early settlers considered it such an important landmark. Scotts Bluff on the other hand was more of collection of large rocky outcrops that also dominated the surrounding the landscape. Lucy found both of them beautiful as the car drove by and into the state of Wyoming.

“The sky is so big here! And are those wild horses?” Lucy exclaimed, climbing up the back seat to get a better look out the window.

“Yep,” her companions laughed. “Welcome to the wide open land of Wyoming.”

Lucy just sat and stared, transfixed by the wide open prairie and large mesas, hills and random, sparse tree lines that dotted the landscape reaching to the horizon. As the hours passed the land slowly became more mountainous as Lucy and her friends reached the enormous Rocky Mountains, which contained their destination. But the little bear was so sleepy and as hard as she tried she eventually dozed off in a warm patch of sun in the backseat.

“Lucy, we’ve reached Yellowstone!”

“Huh?” Lucy blinked her sleepy eyes opened and was amazed by the dense forest land that now surrounded the car. Huge mountains, dark green pine trees, softly blowing golden marsh grasses, and crystal clear rivers were everywhere she looked. “Wow,” she breathed and hopped out of the car to take a closer look.

“Lucy, silly, come down from there,” her friends called, as Lucy had climbed up the nearest tree to get a better look. “We need to check into our cabin”

“Aww can I stay up here just a little longer?” Lucy begged.

“We have three days to explore the park,” her friends smiled. “Trust us, you’ll have plenty of time to play in the park.

“Ok,” and Lucy made her way back down out of the tree.

As she waited for her friends to check in and get their cabin assignment, Lucy began wandering around the forest land that the ranch they were staying at encompassed. But the trees were so tall and thick she soon got herself lost. Suddenly she saw a woman on a horse ride by.

“Excuse me, but I think I’m lost,” Lucy called out.

Turning her horse around, the woman quickly rode back to Lucy. “Can I help you?”

“I seem to have wandered off and gotten myself turned around,” Lucy reluctantly admitted. “Can you help me find my friends.”

“Of course,” the lady smiled down and lifted Lucy up on to her horse with her. “I’m a park ranger here at Yellowstone,” the lady explained. “Don’t worry, we’ll find your friends.”

After a short ride back to the ranch’s main cabin, Lucy was reunited with her friends and the trio crawled into their beds excited for the park the next day.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Derwood, MD

The last few days have been very busy for Lucy and her new traveling companions. Friday morning Lucy was awakened before sunrise and after a quick breakfast of peanut butter on toast she was tucked gently into the backseat of her companion’s car to begin her new adventure….a cross-country trip to Yellowstone National Park. Most of Friday was spent making the long drive from Maryland to Highland, Illinois, a small town just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, the first big stop on the trip. Lucy spent most of the drive napping on a pile of comfy towels in the back seat and watching the dramatic landscape change as the small car made it’s way through the windy, hilly, fog filled roads of the Appalachian Mountains and into the flat land of the Ohio Valley and into the corn field lined interstate of Indiana and Illinois.

“How many states have we passed through today?” Lucy asked as they pulled into their hotel for the evening.

“Six,” her companions replied. “Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.”

Later that night Lucy was awakened by the sound of a very odd siren. It was like nothing she had heard before.

“What is it?” she called out tentatively from her bed.

“It’s a tornado siren,” one of her companions replied. “A severe thunderstorm has moved into our area and there is a very real possibility of a tornado developing, so the siren is to let everyone know to be aware.”

As scared as she was Lucy made her way through the dark hotel room over to the window and looked out at the storm. “Are we going to be ok here?”

“I think so, though we have never experienced a tornado or even heard a warning siren before either. How about you crawl into bed with us and we’ll wait it out together.”

The next morning Lucy and her companions continued on their way to St. Louis. No tornados actually had formed and the three were very happy to see blue skies overhead. As their car made it’s way into the suburbs of St. Louis, Lucy got her first glimpse of St. Louis’s most famous landmark, the Arch, a huge metal arch along the banks of the United States’ longest and most famous river, the mighty Mississippi. It was beautiful with the sunlight reflecting off of it.

But her companions had an even better surprise for Lucy. Their first stop was the City Museum, a multi-story building composed of what at first looked like all sorts of crazy metal art sculptures, but as Lucy drew nearer she realized the entire building, inside and out was one giant playscape! There were tunnels to crawl through, slides to ride, and more crazy metal ladders and netting to climb all over – it was a bear’s paradise. And because Lucy’s traveling companions were “adults” she was even able to access the roof level with additional climbing structures, slides, and even a ferris wheel that Lucy road again and again. The view of the city and the streets below were amazing and a little scary all at the same time but Lucy and her friends had a blast.

After the museum, the trio made a quick trek down to the the Arch for pictures. Lucy learned that during America’s pioneer days St. Louis was considered the Gateway to the West since its location along the Mississippi had made it an important port for people traveling up from the Gulf of Mexico and from those traveling from the east, planning to begin new lives on the wild frontier.

Later that night Lucy and her companions attended a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Since it was Lucy’s first baseball game, her friends made sure to teach her all about the game: how to keep score, the differences between balls and strikes, the proper ways to taunt the pitcher, and all the words to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Lucy enjoyed her first ballpark hot dog and got to see Albert Pujols, arguably the best baseball player, hit a single and steal second base. Later Lucy decided to thank her new friends by buying them a souvenier cup and soda. The lady behind the snack counter was surprised to see such a small bear ordering the drink all by herself, but Lucy did a great job handling the new American dollars she had, and the lady said it had been a pleasure to meet her. Lucy really had a great time at the baseball game and after the game was over she even got to sneak down to the field and have some fun climbing the left field foul pole.

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Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Derwood, MD

Sunday morning Lucy and her companions woke up early again and began the long drive from St. Louis to North Platte, Nebraska where they planned to stay for the night. Before they left St. Louis, Lucy and her friends made a quick stop back at the Arch so Lucy could dip her toes into the Mississippi River. It was a bit chilly but felt nice since the day was already starting to get hot.

Since Lucy’s new friends were also forensic DNA analysts they decided to stop in Kansas City, Missouri and see the only World War I memorial in the United States. The tower had four statues carved in its top each facing one of the four cardinal directions. They represented courage, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice. The memorial was very moving and Lucy loved the view from the observation deck high at the very top of the memorial’s tower.

Their next stop was in Topeka, the capital of Kansas and the site of one of the most famous court decisions in America’s history….Brown vs. the Board of Education. The case, which challenged the segregation of white and black children in public schools, was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, and their ruling was the first major step forward in the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Schools could no longer be just for whites or just for blacks, rather everyone had equal rights under the law regardless of the color of their skin. In Topeka, Lucy was able to see the school house that Oliver Brown’s daughter (the man for whom the court case was named) went to school.

The rest of the day was spent driving across the vast prairie land of Kansas into Nebraska, which Lucy could not believe was so flat and wide. Everywhere she looked were fields of long grasses and corn, blowing yellow and green in the breeze. Here and there, fields of sunflowers grew to the horizons and black cattle and colorful horses grazed in fields that seemed to go on forever.

“How would you like to learn to drive here in the United States?” one of Lucy’s companions asked.

“Really? Can I?” Lucy exclaimed with excitement.

“You steer and I’ll work the gas and break pedals,” her companion replied.

“This is so much fun!” Lucy smiled. “Though it’s a little scary driving on the wrong side of the road.”

“Wrong side?” her companions laughed. “We drive on the right side of the road here, literally.”

“Haha, I suppose you are right there,” Lucy laughed.

As they neared their destination for the night, Lucy noticed a few interesting billboards along the interstate and asked her friends if they could stop. The first was the Greyhound Hall of Fame. “For Rex,” Lucy begged. Inside Lucy and her companions met the most famous and successful greyhound in the world, the TalentedMrRipley, or Ripley for short. Ripley, who was 11 years old, had won every possible award that a greyhound could win nationally and internationally in just 2 short years and was retired early. Now he spends his days as the Hall of Fame’s official greeter, and despite her small, furry size, Ripley snuggled gently up with Lucy. The museum itself was dedicated to educating the public on the history of greyhound racing and showcasing the best dogs from across the globe. Lucy’s companions were even able to enter Rex into the Hall of Fame.

Next up Lucy noticed a sign for the World’s Largest Ball of Twine and sure enough there it was on the side of the road with it’s own roof and mailbox for comments. One of Lucy’s friends made sure to make a note in the Ball of Twine’s official notebook for any future visitor to check out Going on a Bear Hunt.

That night Lucy and her friends enjoyed a delicious steak dinner followed by a very special treat for Lucy, s’mores.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Found in the Morse Bar at the Randolph Hotel

A very nice young bartender found Diomedes sitting all alone in the Morse Bar at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford. Thinking a little girl must be missing her teddy, he put Diomedes aside and waited until the end of the night to open his little note. After hearing his story, the young bartender knew just how to help Diomedes on his journey. He brought him home to stay with his fiancee, and introduced him to his housemates from all over the world (Canada, France, Lithuania, Poland, Ireland, and even Robin Hood’s Nottingham!). They all loved Diomedes and wanted to take him with them on their journey home, but the young bartender soon decided that Diomedes would reach New Zealand quicker if he went to….France!! Diomedes will be flying early this week to the South of France where the young bartender and his fiancee wish him all the best while he explores the beautiful beaches of Montpellier…

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