Try 1 month for 99¢
Chris Salese

For those of you who might have your own bear story, then you’ll likely appreciate the one I’m going to share with you.

During a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I decided to embark on a late-morning jog around the neighborhood where I was staying.

Since I don’t normally jog in high elevations, I thought it would be best to shorten the distance that I would normally run but to challenge myself with a few hills.

While all of this probably sounds like a decent plan, unfortunately it nearly got me into a ton of trouble.

As I was grinding out the final hill on my way back to the cabin, I almost stopped and started walking. I was on vacation, so really there was no sense in pushing myself too hard.

However, I kept going, barely, and reached the top of the hill.

With the cabin in sight and my music blaring, I looked up to see several family members waving in the window at me as I started to run down the hill toward the driveway of our cabin.

At that moment, I thought their waves were to cheer me on as I approached my invisible finish line at record time.

Playfully, I started waving back at them, with my arms up over my head and a big smile on my face as if I had won a marathon.

Even better, I stayed the course and kept running in the middle of this very narrow road leading back to the cabin.

When I crept closer, I noticed the look on their faces was not that of laughter at me. It was of complete horror.

Then I could hear them. Their frantic waves were accompanied by loud shouts of “bear-bear-bear!”

Out of breath and confused, I somehow managed to sprint fast enough into the safety of the cabin.

I turned off my music, heard the front door slam shut behind me and bolted up the stairs to the second-floor viewing area.

There, family members quickly gave me the news. I had just run smack in between a large mama bear and her three cubs as they were crossing the same narrow road I had run down toward the cabin.

In complete disbelief, I looked out the window and it was confirmed.

The bears had made their way across the road and proceeded to walk along the front door of our cabin. I watched them meander through the carport and around the cabin a few times before they disappeared into the woods.

Still stunned, I had many “what-if” thoughts run through my head for the rest of our trip. Later that week, on our drive back to Napa, I kept trying to shake those images and re-direct them to something positive.

Similar to a loan file, sometimes your most well-constructed financing strategy won’t always get the job done by itself yet coupled with a little bit of luck can push you over the finish line.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Chris Salese can be reached at or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1169 Equal Housing Lender.