You might wonder – What’s with the name? Where did Bear Creek come from?
Funny you should ask, because, like most things in life, there is a story behind that too!
It was a late summer weekend. Brian and I had headed to West Virginia for a few days to relax and talk through the “idea” of what would later become Bear Creek. At the time, I had a concept for the initial business and was working on prospective names; one of those names being Bear Creek. Maybe it was my propensity to over-analyze or my fear that it wouldn’t be “just right,” but I was having a hard time saying yes to it. The name had to mean more than just words on a page.
That Saturday morning we loaded our bikes into the back of the truck and drove to a trailhead for the Greenbrier River trail. Personally, there is something about being in the beauty and stillness of nature that helps me think. As we biked, gravel crunching under our wheels, it was easy to get lost in the sounds of the slow moving river and birds calling through the trees. For the most part we had the trail to ourselves; interrupted only by the occasional hiker or fellow biker as they passed us in the opposite direction.
About mid-way through our planned ride we came to a long stretch of trail; a steep mountain bank to the right, and a small pasture & swampy creek separating us from the main river on the left. Just as we reached midway, Brian came to a skidding halt in front of me, and I applied my brakes in an effort to avoid crashing into him. As I looked up to see what could have caused such an abrupt stop, I saw it.
A black bear climbing the creek bank and coming to a full stop on the trail. I think my heart stopped. My brain scrambled to remember what to do in the case of a bear encounter. As we stood there, mere minutes seemed to stretch on forever. Finally, as we slowly backed away, the bear turned and ambled slowly off the trail and up the bank on the left side; occasionally turning to look at us.
After a few moments Brian whispered “I think he’s gone. Let’s keep going.” I personally was ready to turn around, but I knew I couldn’t let fear get the best of me. So we hopped on our bikes and pedaled quickly down the trail; well away from the direction of the receding bear.
Later, I looked at Brian and said “I think it’s a sign. Just what I needed to decide.”
And so we became Bear Creek.
I think the name is fitting as we work to help people get outdoors and we salvage materials from our projects to care for this great planet God has given us.
But it’s not just about salvaging, but about being mindful of how we affect this world we live in, how we choose to treat those around us and doing our part to support our employees and their families and our community at large.