Season 1 Episode 4
Comic and actor Tom Arnold heads into the wilds of coastal Oregon with Bear Grylls for an ultimate lesson in survival...[button color="black" size="small" link="http://www.nbc.com/running-wild-with-bear-grylls" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
After running around with the likes of Channing Tatum and Zac Efron, Bear's been taking the extreme route, pushing himself and his celebrity mountain men to the edge. Now, with Tom Arnold anxiously awaiting pickup at the edge of Oregon's wild coast, it might be time to tone it down a notch.
Arnold is an experienced comic and star, a veteran of over 100 films and TV shows. But as an outdoorsman he'd have to be qualified as a neophyte. Still, having lost 100 pounds recently, Tom is up for a physical challenge; he hopes to pick up a few outdoor skills so he can take his young kids on their own adventure. Game on. The two hop aboard the skids of a helicopter and are soon skimming over the dense treetops of some of Oregon's wildest landscape.
The pilot deposits them on a tiny knoll and disappears. Bear explains their route will take them across terrain that is steep, rocky and wooded all at once. They'll hike about 10 miles, spend the night in the forest and then make their way toward the coast for an extraction on the beach. Almost immediately, Tom is slipping and sliding through the brush. Bear knows he'll need to keep him close; getting lost or separated in a wildland forest this thick could cause real problems. When it comes time to rappel down a moss-covered cliff, Tom's spirit is willing, but the flesh is not so cooperative. But Bear is nothing if not encouraging - as in projecting courage onto others. With an ingenious relay rig, some stout knots and a broad smile, the two men make their way down.
The pair comes across a stream, and Bear's hunting instincts come out. Knowing the small pools are ideal holding habitat for trout, Bear reaches under a submerged rock, traps a wild trout and tosses it to a waiting Tom, who cradles the fish surely in his hands. Tonight's main course has been procured.
Back on their trek, Bear and Tom come across a small ravine with an old, moss-covered log bridging its two banks. There's an old cable strung about four feet above the log (clearly the log's been used as a passage in the past), but still, the task of balancing on a narrow log with at 20-foot fall to a rocky creek bed below clearly terrifies Tom. Bear is quickly across of course and immediately turns to the task of getting Tom calm and focused enough to traverse the log. "Look at your feet, not down to the creek," Bear yells out. Tom is tentative, wobbly. But he slowly makes his way across, boosting his confidence in the process.
After a bit more hiking, Bear has Tom help him build a fire. They enjoy their trout, share stories of fatherhood and talk about the meaning of life. Tom's forthcoming with problems in his past; it's clear the simplicity of being outdoors, living directly in touch with the world is opening him up. Bear offers a special treat in the form of dark chocolate. They turn in for the night, but as usual, it's only Bear who actually gets any quality sleep.
They're up with the morning sun, making their way through the forest. Tom, though sleep-deprived, seems emboldened. And it's a good thing, as they're very quickly upon the next formidable obstacle: a broad, swift-flowing river. Bear explains that rivers are among the most dangerous places outdoors; people tend to underestimate the power of moving water. Emphasizing safety, Bear has Tom tuck right in behind him, while Bear moves slowly and deliberately, using a chest-tall stick for balance. After a methodical crossing, they come out on the river's opposite bank.
They make quick work of the homestretch and soon are out on a seaside bluff, high above the Pacific. Their ATV awaits down at the beach, but to get to it will require a safe descent down a sheer rocky outcrop. Bear sizes up the routes, but the only real way down is a straight rappel. Bear rigs up Tom and coaches him down a 60-foot drop, paying out line and shouting encouragement all along the way. An exhilarated Tom arrives at the bottom, then climbs up to a nearby ledge, cinches up the rappelling rope and serves as a counterbalance for Bear's own rappel down the cliff.
The two men rejoice at the end of their journey well spent, make their way to the ATV on the shore and drive off up the coast shrieking and laughing as they go.