Not One Single Step More

Snake River, Yellowstone National Park, © Google Maps/Blake Everson

He thumbed through the guidebook, flipping it open to a dozen dog-eared pages and pointing. “There’s Snake River loop, Trout Lake trail, Purple Mountain climb, Lost Lake hike. Which trail do you want to do first?”

She shot him one of her are-you-kidding-me looks. “I’m on vacation. I didn’t come out here to exercise.”

After the bison burger and cheesecake at the Old Faithful Inn, she sat back with a smirk. “Okay, I’ll walk. But I’m only doing three miles. Not one single step more.”

Three-quarters of the way around, he froze on the trail, spreading his arms wide to block her path.

“What? What is it?”

“A bear.”

She snorted, pushing past him. “No, seriously. What is it?”

Her mouth fell open at the sight of the grizzly grousing at a rotting log. Back-stepping, she whispered, “Who’s up for a three-mile hike back the way we came?”

148 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.


  1. I think maybe a three mile run, maybe? Then more cheesecake and probably a stiff drink. Well done!

    1. Lol! Three mile run is definitely called for, under the circumstances!

  2. Love it! You capture the dynamic between the two characters so expertly. You’re a natural story-teller, Karen. You draw the reader in so effortlessly.

    1. Aw, Penny, you are so very kind. You made my day 🙂

  3. A bear can outrun a person, so unless they’re lucky and the bear doesn’t feel aggressive or threatened, I’d say they’ve had it.

    1. No, silly. Only the slower of the two has had it.

      1. I can’t argue there.

  4. peterkirsch

    This pic makes my heart hurt. I spent almost three years in Teton-Yellowstone country. Fortunately, never saw a grizzly closer than 300 yards.

    Great story. I hope the bear survives.

    1. That location/photo showcases the very best of that region! You are lucky to have spent so much time there.

  5. It’s amazing how far you can walk or run when your life depends on it. Love the contrast of the two characters. Now I’m hankering for a bison burger. 😉

    1. 🙂 A little cheesecake doesn’t sound bad either. Thanks for reading!

  6. A bison burger, cheesecake, then a nap is more like it! I’ve spent time in black bear country. Thank goodness I never saw one. The dialogue in this is spot on, Karen. Fun story,

    1. Thanks Lish! I would sure hate to run into one at close range.

  7. Dale

    Love this. After a bison burger and cheesecake, they may have a bit of trouble high-stepping it outta there… 😉
    I agree, great dialogue.

  8. Great story. I love the interactions between the characters.

    1. Thanks so much Lisarey!

  9. […] Maps. This week we are off to Yellowstone National Park in the US and on my bucket list. Thanks to K Rawson for hosting the challenge. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click […]

  10. Famous last words 😀 I could see this happen! And let’s hope the bear’s full of trespassing trekkers 😉

    1. Hehehe, I’m afraid that it is! Thanks for reading, Dahlia.

  11. […] thanks to our tropical travelers Karen and Josh for hosting this […]

  12. Dear Karen,

    This reminds me of the vacation we took in Ft. Lauderdale, He ate. I swam. Both happy. Now that grizzly’s another story. I could just see it and it made me laugh out loud. Welcome back and well done.



    1. Thanks Rochelle. Seems like if you can both be happy doing (or not doing) what you want, that makes for the perfect vacation. Thanks for reading, commenting, and contributing!

  13. Excellent! Caught me with the ending.

    1. Haha, better I catch you than a grizzly bear.

      1. True. That would be a grizzly time, barely.

  14. Over here, the most threatening animal we’d find is a fox or a wild boar! Definitely time to run. Good dynamic between the characters Karen

    1. Thanks so much, Lynn!

  15. A hike, maybe a jog… okay, I’ll race you! She only has to run faster than hubbie heh heh 🙂

    1. Well said! Thanks for reading.

  16. A lovely told tale, Karen. So easy to read and understand. The emotions, the dynamic between the bear of a wife and her racoon husband. Welcome back.

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