Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beyond the Bear

I just finished reading an outstanding book this past weekend called Beyond the Bear. It’s a first-person account by Dan Bigley who tells his story of being attacked by a grizzly bear in the Alaskan bush, and his long road to recovery.

Dan survived a horrific mauling by a grizzly sow while fishing on the Russian River on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula in 2003. The attack was probably about as much as a person could take without actually dying, and left the 25-year-old badly disfigured and permanently blinded.

Although what he experienced was horrendous, his story is extremely inspiring. The book describes how Dan would overcome the attack. It all started at the Russian River that evening. While lying in a pool of blood, and almost drifting off forever, he remembers making the conscious decision to live. Dan discusses how he survived with the help of his friends, medics and doctors, what he had to do to reclaim his life, and how he refused to allow his blindness to stop him from enjoying life.

Interwoven in this story is a woman whom he had just met weeks before, and more or less fell in love with on the night before his attack.

Although you might think this could be a pretty heavy read, the opposite is true. Dan comes across as having a great sense of humor, and it’s obvious he was able to move forward with a mostly positive, can do, attitude.

All in all I thought this was a great read, and highly recommend it. For more information on the book, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park


  1. Great recommendation. Sounds like a good read, appreciate the write up. ~ Tom

  2. Thanks Tom! It really was - it was one of those books that was really hard to put down.


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