Leaving Shasta City, and turning towards the north, as if bound for Oregon, the traveller passes through a mountainous country infested with enormous tawny bears, one of which alarmed me as I never wish to be alarmed again. I was riding somewhat in the rear of my companions. My mule was jogging slowly on, and, what with the fatigue of perpetual travelling, and the extreme heat of the day, I was more than half asleep. All at once, about twenty feet in advance, I beheld a huge bear peeping out at me from a cleft in the rocks, and swaying his head to and fro with the most tranquil and self-possessed air imaginable. The reins fell from my hands; the colour rushed to my face; I was paralyzed with terror, and had no voice to cry for help. The bear, however, content with the impression he had made, amused himself by rolling over and over in the middle of the road, without taking any notice of either me or my mule. A turn in the road now luckily brought me in sight of my companions. Their presence gave me courage, and, unwilling to prolong this exciting téte-à-téte, I put spurs to my mule, galloped rapidly on, and in another moment was indulging in a glowing description of the dangers through which I had passed.
Fanny Loviot, Amelia B. Edwards, trans., A Lady’s Captivity among Chinese Pirates in the Chinese Seas, London: Geo. Routledge & Co., 1858
Shasta City - Weaverville, United States of America, 1853