The Tale of Chocoholic and the Three Bears

Once upon a time…

there was a young lady (or so she imagined) named Chocoholic, for she loved dark chocolate to a great extreme.



She was married to a fine man (who she also loved) named Short-timer, who was very kind and $upportive of all her endeavors.



One fine summer’s day, Chocoholic had a desire to walk in the woods.  As everyone knows, the Province of Ohio is completely devoid of trees.

So the couple traveled for many a mile…

to the domaine of Ye Olde Appalachian Byway.



Shouldering their packs, the couple headed into the forest.  Unbeknownst to them, the magical white blazes marked hither and yon magically turned one day of casual hiking into a five day trek.



Or perchance it only felt so to Short-timer.



“Come, let us return to the Queen City on the Ohio,” said he to his companion. “These woods are deep and dark and full of danger.”



Chocoholic pondered this suggestion.  Should she return home to do good deeds for charitable organizations and take care of hearth and home?  Or head off on a purely self-indulgent journey of three months to the State of the Peach?

The answer was clear.


Kissing her beloved farewell…

she turned and set her sights south on the magical path.



After a a few hours of gaily tripping down the route, she entered into the Kingdom of Shenandoah.  Not long afterwards, a snug little cottage of stone came into view. Approaching, she called out, but no response was to be heard.



Having traveled for many days now, she was suddenly quite eager to sit and rest her feet.  But where?  Looking about, she saw a large rock nearby.

“Oh no,” she said, “that looks much too pointy to sit upon.”



Near the cottage was a dear little hut in which there was a white seat.  But, as she drew closer, she quickly exclaimed, “Oh no, that is much too stinky!”



Finally, she spied an inviting little table with benches before the cottage.  Sitting gratefully, she realized that this was just right.



Soon her stomach reminded her that she hadn’t eaten for some hours.  Looking about for some nourishment, she came upon a package of ramen.

“Oh yuck,” she cried out. “Way too much gluten!”



A sudden movement on the nearby trail caught her eye.  It was a darling little bunny.  Dinner, perhaps?

“Heaven forbid,” cried the lass.  “That looks just like a meal on our favorite outdoor reality show. But I could never harm Peter Cottontail!”



Then, searching the cottage a bit more thoroughly, she came across a pot of dehydrated spaghetti and buckwheat noodles. Having followed the website of for some time, she immediately knew what to do:  add water, bring to a boil for one minute, let stew ten minutes.  She greatly enjoyed her fine repast.



The miles had taken their toll.  Rest was needed.  But where?

Looking inside the cottage, there was nothing to be seen but a shelter journal, a mishapen broom and a wooden floor.

“Certainly not!” declared Chocoholic.  “That floor looks much too hard!”



Looking about the cottage gardens, she suddenly spied an inviting little white tarp set up under the trees.  But in inspecting it more closely, she said, “No way!  The bugs would eat me alive!”



But she then came across a cozy little insect-proof net tent.  The clever girl attached this under the tarp and added an air mattress, also at hand, which completed the picture.

“Yes,” she said with great satisfaction. “This will do quite nicely.”



And with that, Chocoholic crawled into the tent and promptly fell asleep. The innocent damsel slumbered, secure in the knowledge that the 2mm thickness of the insect netting would protect her from whatever danger might  lurk in the forest.


Not long after that…

a family of three bears made their way back from a morning stroll to their humble abode (although they lived pretty high on the hog, compared to all their friends in caves).

First came Mama, because she more or less called all the shots in that family.



She was followed by Baby, who was both precious and precocious.



Papa Bear followed a bit later, having lost his way but refusing to ask for directions.



Arriving home, they immediately saw that something was amiss.  Well, dear reader, you know how the story goes…


Eventually, the family came to the little white tarp.  Peering inside, Baby Bear (being precocious) cried out,  “Someone’s been messing with our stuff, and here she is!”


And with that, the Three Bears quickly turned and ran away as fast as they could and scampered up trees far from of the frightening human being.



After a relaxing slumber…

Chocoholic awoke.  Crawling out of her secure little dwelling, she immediately spied three piles of something disgusting in the trail: a large pile…



a medium pile…




and a small pile.



“That’s odd,” said she.  “It almost appears as if someone was scared….”


With a good meal in her belly and her body well rested, she donned her Little Red Raining Hood, hoisted her bag of goodies and turned towards the trail.  She had in mind to head for the nearby meadow to pick wildflowers.



Little did she know a new adventure awaited her there…





Dear reader, just to inform you, my second week on the trail has gone very well.  The 64 year old body (which evidentially houses a 12 year old’s brain and sense of humor) has cooperated very nicely with all the demands made upon it.

I hiked for 7 days till I came to my next town where I could have a good “zero day.”  My longest day of hiking had to be 20 miles due to the placement of shelters and lack of water sources.  I survived but crawled into my sleeping quilt sweaty and with unbrushed teeth.  Horrors!

My food is working out really well.  I feel well nourished and dip into my bags o’choco quite frequently and with gusto. Many thanks to my dear husband, my Postmaster General.

I’ve met many interesting hikers, but then have to move on.  It does keep the days interesting.  Now that I have left the Shenandoah, there will fewer day hikers to chat with.

The views in the Shenandoah were magnificent.  I hope further sections in the south will be as rewarding.



My tally for direct bear sightings is now up to 12.  If I hear loud crackling of twigs and branches in the woods, I know to stop and searched for a big black body.  And they can certainly scoot up a tree quickly!

The weather has been great, with mostly moderate temperatures and light breezes to cool me off when I sweat like crazy going up steep grades.  There was only one day of rain, at times a downpour.  But with my good Red Raining Hoood and rain kilt, I was well protected and actually enjoyed walking in it.

And with that, I bid you out adieu, Dear Readers.





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Comments 26

  • Little Bear Stumbles : Aug 9th

    I so enjoy reading you blog! Glad to hear things are going well. I’ll see if I can catch up with you.

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 9th

      That would make this trek perfect!

    • Susan sagan : Aug 14th

      You go girl!!!
      Glad you are enjoying your adventure! We listened to a walk in the woods so we could understand your adventure.

      Remember that you are in our thoughts [email protected]

  • Mary Jo Peairs : Aug 9th

    Ruth, the best version of Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood ever. I’m so glad everything is going well. Mary Jo

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 10th

      Thank you, MJ, for your support. And you, of all people, would know all the other versions of Goldilicks, after umpteen years of teaching kindergarten!

  • Eileen : Aug 9th

    What a wonderful Adventure your story of you and the Three Bears is a hoot stay safe missing you I’m sure you will have tons of stories when you get back thanks for sharing

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 10th

      Thanks, Eileen. Since we find the same things funny, I’m not surprised you enjoyed it. I’m glad you did.

  • Kelly Knox : Aug 9th

    I love it! I’m so glad you’re having a rewarding journey and that your sense of humor is still intact. Thanks for letting us join you vicariously. 🙂

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 10th

      Hi, Kelly! I dreamed up the story on a 20 mile day which required 11 hours of hiking. Since the scenery is usually the same (trees to the right of me, trees to the left of me), you get in a daze watching the trail for rocks and roots, and your mind wanders. At least this time it was productive. ???

  • Carol Olausen : Aug 10th

    This is great! Love the humor and adventure combination. I’m so glad to hear that it’s going well, and I can’t wait to hear more from the chocoholic!

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 14th

      Thanks for reading my attempt at great folkloric literature. These trails are working me hard, but I’m loving the whole experience. It’s so rewarding to be learning new skills (getting just the right tension when tieing my shoelaces) and overcoming fears (going outside into the dark in the middle of the night to pee).

      See you back in the Queen City on the Ohio in a couple of months.

  • Margaret McLandrich : Aug 11th

    Oh, Ruth, you are having fun! Good to hear all the humor! I knew you could handle those bears, oh my! Keep on trekking, Ruth,

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 14th

      Margaret, it makes my day to hear from you! I have thought so often of you and Drew and all your backpacking experience. This isn’t as wild and woolly as your midnight trek to a shelter’s outhouse on a snow covered peak, but there are still lots of scary noises out there at night.

      I look forward to talking with you at length in the future about all of this. Thanks for writing.

  • Martha Metter : Aug 11th

    Hi Ruth! So glad you are still out there! I’m one of the sisters you met on the trail in Shenandoah that had 2 different boots on….we made it back home last Thursday, and my bunion will be taken care of swiftly! We did earn the nickname “the Bunion sisters” lol. Love the blog, I’ll be living vicariously through you until I can get back out there.

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 14th

      Martha, what a treat meeting you guys! Iris amazing how fate aligns the stars so that your path crosses another’s. I felt that with you and your sister. Amazing how you guys came from the very neighborhood of St Louis that has such fond memories for me (my Granny’s house).

      Thank you for following up and checking out my blog. I can’t promise creative endeavors every rest day, because I need to also REST on my rest day. But long days on the trail Can also spark to creativity.

      Enjoy your hikes with your sister. ?

  • Myra : Aug 12th

    Hilarious story Ruth, thank you for entertaining us all and at the same time assuring us that you’re doing well. I’m glad the food is working out, that’s no big surprise.

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 14th

      Hi Myra! Thanks for your comments. Hearing from my friends and family really encourages me to put interesting stuff into my blog posts.

      Yeah, happily, the food couldn’t be better. I have been having Bill also send me some powdered energy drink, but I usually forget to use it. The real foods I’m eating are doing the trick. Plus, of course, my bag a day of dark nectar of the goddesses.

      By the way, know where I finally found a CVS’s display of high end Lindt chocolate bars? On an end cap display right by the feminine products. Only there. They know who needs this and when.

  • Connie Kroos : Aug 14th

    I love hearing about your adventures Ruth! You are so creative!

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 14th

      Connie, thanks so much. That means a lot. By the way, we’re going to cut the hair even shorter next April. I love taking off my cap at day’s end, pouring water over my head, finger combing the hair and being done with it. I don’t have to see it, others do. And they look (and smell) just the same or worse.

      My toilette bag (a snack size ziplock) contains a 3×3 inch bag of Olay skin lotion, toothpaste tablets, a child’s toothbrush, a meter of floss, eye drops, chapstick and an 8 cent comb from a pack of 12 from Dollar Tree. That’s simplification.

  • Jennifer : Aug 15th

    In my 30 years of backpacking/camping I have never experienced bear on trail. Can you beleive it! Guess, I gotta hit the AT ! Glad to hear all is well. Onward and upward!

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 16th

      I hear that Shenandoah and the Smokies are the primo spots. I’ve marked 13 tallies on the belt of my waist pouch, one per bear. I hope to see more.

      It helps that I’m hiking alone quietly. Whenever I hear branches breaking , I come to a dead halt and scan around for a fleeing black blur.

      Yep, get thee to the AT!

  • Rhinestone : Aug 15th

    That was so funny. Just started thinking about backpacking. Your writing is inspirational.

    • Ruth Morley : Aug 16th

      I’m so glad it inspires you! One of my goals had been to encourage others (particularly women) to dare to turn dreams into action. We only have one life. Well, as far as I know…..

  • Christine Graeter : Aug 28th

    Thanks for your email prompting me that I was not getting notice of your blogs! Wouldn’t want to miss them. 🙁

    This was post was a great intro… so much fun and sense of adventure. What an illustrative word picture of your empowering journey.

    Looking forward to reading the rest from beginning to present, so that I may share the journey. Thanks for offering this gift to all of us!

    My love and prayers are with you. Air hug, air hug. <3

  • Christine Graeter : Sep 12th

    Yay chocolate!

    What a fun integration of fairy tales. I can see the teacher in you enjoying this adventure.

    • Ruth morley : Sep 12th

      Christy, I had so much fun composing this story during a long day of hiking. I’m glad you and others enjoyed it.


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