Bear, on the mountains of Colorado: “High altitude, steep cliffs, deep forests.” Vlaidmir Nabokov once hunted butterflies in Colorado. Colorado and Wyoming stunned him because of their similarity with the Russia of his boyhood. Ed Helms remarked about the beauty of Colorado, and added, “I think I’ll buy it. All of it.” That’s good nonsense. Colorado marks the beginning of the resplendent west. Nebraska’s state slogan is something like ‘Nebraska--the first whiff of the west” but I think Colorado’s the first whiff of the west.
“Distant mountains. Near mountains. More mountains; bluish beauties never attainable, or ever turning into inhabited hill after hill; south-eastern ranges, altitudinal failures as alps go; heart and sky-piercing snow-veined gray colossi of stone, relentless peaks appearing from nowhere at a turn of the highway…” (156, VN, Lo).
Bear and Ed Helms hiked and camped in the mountains of Colorado. They didn’t fight any cougars or bears. They ate squirrel for dinner.
-Bear brought Ed Helms to the top of a steep peak, 9,000 feet high, via dangling from a helicopter. Bear should’ve arranged an entrance for my friends’ upcoming wedding. One should always dangle from a helicopter when traveling somewhere: to a grocery store, a library, or Observation Point in Zion. No, one must hike Observation Point. (It was closed when I visited Zion last August).
-Helms successfully repelled down the side of a mountain. Afterwards, he became emotional. Bear told a story about soldiers of the First World War who cried not because they felt cowardly but because they faced their fears. I climbed Angel’s Landing this time last year and became emotional when I reached the peak. I wonder what it is about nature that overwhelms our emotions, because of the ascents or the descents. I think becoming emotional is different for everyone, meaning the reasons for it.
-The Colorado Mountains look gnarly and fill me with a fascinated dread I know from my solo adventures in the West. I know well the feeling of walking along a narrow path that drops a long, long way to the bottom if I slip and fall off. Bear tied a rope to Helms in case Helmsy slipped. Bear would save his life. The steep, steep drop was only a passing worry. They descended a part of the mountain that took them away from scary, steep edges.
-They reached the tree line and the camp. Together they built a wigwam. Bear went to hunt food, while Ed Helms lit the fire. While they ate, the ‘humanize the celebrities’ part happened. Bear listened to Helms talk about having open heart surgery at 14 after his heart murmur became a problem. At night, Bear spooned him. Bear also ate some chocolate. Helms drank some whiskey. The chocolate did not melt. The interest in Bear’s authentic wilderness adventures ended over five years ago, but what if his cameraman sneaked him fresh, cools chocolate from a cooler? Gawker Media would scorch the earth trying to destroy him.
Also, Bear, depending on the celebrity, alludes to various movies or TV shows the celebrity he’s with worked on. During their uphill climb the morning after, Bear compared it to a ‘hangover.’ Ed Helms didn’t notice the allusion to his most famous movie. NBC and the Running Wild production team missed a great chance to do a gag that was old five years ago, though. Ed Helms could’ve found Justin Bartha when they reached the top and expressed profound bewilderment while Bear giddily pointed out how it resembled the very movie Ed Helms appeared in. Bear’s act-out words: “Incredible! You never know what you’ll find in nature!”
-Bear listed the many things a person could use pee for, which includes washing wounds, putting out fires, and drinking. Helms added, “Purging the body of toxins.” Bear responded: “But that’s such a conventional one!” The pee bit came about because Bear peed on his small finger cut to sterilize it. Whether or not he did I can’t tell. I don’t think he did. Both men sustained small cuts on their fingers after squeezing through a narrow passage on their way to the exit point.
-The feel-good lesson of the episode was “Have confidence in yourself.” It’s the feel-good takeaway lesson of every episode. Belief in oneself and confidence in oneself will take one anywhere.
-The final challenge of the Ed Helms adventure had him scale a rope from a rocky edge to the solid ground quite a few feet away. Ed Helms fell silent whenever he felt afraid of the challenge. Bear, by day two, understood the meaning of Helms’ silence. Whoever edits together the trailers engages in a special kind of manipulation. Each episode begins with a montage of Bear’s time with Helms or Hudson or whoever. The clips are cut together to show the excitement and danger. One such Helms clip is of him nearly falling off the rope. The audience finally sees the rope excitement in the last act. Helms turned around on the rope because he reached his destination. That’s it. Earlier, Ed Helms thought Bear yelled for help. Bear did, but he wanted help lifting a rock he used to kill a squirrel.