Hey Bear!

Eileen before the trail ride in Many Glacier


Upon hearing the story of Erin Bolster and her spirited horse Tonk charging a grizzly to save an 8 year old boy from imminent danger while on a trail ride in the Flathead National Forest near Glacier National Park, I thought of my brave little girl Eileen and our intrepid trail guide Esther.

I’m sorry to say that Eileen and Esther didn’t get invited to The Late Show with David Letterman like Erin and Tonk are scheduled to do Tuesday night, but their adventure is no less exciting.

It was the glorious summer of 2009. David, Mallory, Eileen and I were on a trail ride in Many Glacier. Eileen was riding Digger right behind our trail guide Esther – when suddenly our horses stopped cold.

Right in the middle of the trail was a determined looking bear staring us down and thumping the ground.

What were we to do?

As the scene unfolded in front of me, I wondered what would happen if the bear charged Eileen’s horse. She was in the front of the line – near the guide – closest to the bear.

Would the bear lunge at her horse? Would the horse rear up on its hind legs and throw her? Could she hold on if the bear charged? What if the horse took off running into the woods?

It all happened so fast!

The bear charged!

Our guide Esther yelled, “Hey bear, hey bear!”

Digger wheeled around but not before Eileen was able to capture some remarkable video of the charging bear.

What a gutsy kid! If I had been in her position, (right in front) I don’t think I would have pulled it off so successfully.

As it was, I was in the back of the line farthest away from the charge, seemingly in the safest spot, but I still fumbled with my camera to get this awful, blurry picture as the bear veered off into the woods.


Check out the trail guide’s arms in the air “Hey bear, hey bear!”


What a rush!

There’s so much more to this excellent adventure – read all about it, here. And check out the totally awesome bear charge here.

Montana is a really cool place, and I bet part-time resident David Letterman thinks so too.

Erin and Tonk will be on his show Tuesday, October 11th.

So tune in to The Late Show for the cowgirl’s grizzly tale and who knows, maybe Tonk will plop down some horse poop for a real crowd pleasin’ good time.

You’re sure to get a kick out of it!

If you want more bear stories, we’ve got ’em. Click here.

Till next time,




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