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Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC)

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"Tamron Hall"

MSNBC anchor and reporter Tamron Hall steps outside her comfort zone to explore the beautiful but brutal desert of southern Utah with the legendary Bear Grylls...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.nbc.com/running-wild-with-bear-grylls" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]

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Recap

Bear's latest victim, er, make that fellow adventurer, is Tamron Hall, veteran reporter and anchor for NBC and MSNBC. With over a decade spent facing constant deadlines, early wake up calls and the ongoing challenge of living in Chicago and New York, she's survived a lot. But she's a city girl through and through and surviving in the stark high country of southern Utah promises to push her in ways she's never known. We meet Tamron as she's driving an SUV along a remote dirt road, looking for her rendezvous point with Bear. With his customary flair for entrances, Bear swoops by hanging from a helicopter and pointing to their meetup location. Tamron isn't so sure what she's getting into; this is her first trip into the wild. Bear clips Tamron into a harness, attaches it to the chopper and off they fly. Tamron's fear of heights is immediately apparent, but Bear reassures her. They skim the treetops and head for a high altitude landing spot. But the clearing isn't quite large enough to set the copter down, so Bear and Tamron rappel from the hovering chopper. It's an invigorating kickoff to their adventure. "Can we just call it a show now?" Tamron asks, only half-jokingly. The chopper thunders off and off our adventurers go, trekking through thick pine forests and rocky trails. They emerge from the high forests occasionally to traverse and descend exposed ridges where the red, weathered dirt crumbles underfoot. Steep descents are inescapable and Bear must rope Tamron to him for safety. It's a perilous, relentless set of crossings for the rest of the day. At places the news anchor must scale down sheer cliffs of loose rock; she's terrified but determined, anxious but fearless. After slipping and skidding more than once, Tamron seems to become frozen by fear. But in each case the gentle, encouraging words of Bear guide her down the hill. Her confidence grows at each step. Wild-caught cuisine is always part of the Bear Grylls experience and today it's squirrel on the menu. Bear spots the dead rodent atop a log on the trail. He smells it and determines it's fresh enough to eat. With some very persistent prodding, he convinces a hesitant and squeamish Tamron to gut the animal. The city girl has just gotten in touch with the food chain. They locate a campsite, pitch a couple of hammocks and build their fire. Roasting the squirrel (maybe burning the squirrel would be more apt) results in some passably edible protein but there's no avoiding the smell and texture of a dead rodent. Despite the noxious nosh, the two get a chance to unwind and talk about their lives. Tamron reveals details of her sister's murder and the resulting toll it took on her and her family. They chat quietly around the fire, watching the setting sun cast its golden light on the dramatic red rock outcroppings in the distance. As they settle into their hammocks, Bear's convinced Tamron's snug and content; Tamron confesses to camera she's sore, sunburned and ready to make a run for it - if she could only move. The sun pops up and the journey is underway again. The two began their trek at over 9,000 feet and have been steadily climbing downhill. But now, with the exfiltration point just on the horizon, they run into a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: a 150-foot-deep chasm. Bear knows there's just one way out: straight down. Tamron's intrepid, but compelling herself to step off a seemingly endless cliff is a giant leap of faith. She girds herself for the epic rappel and with Bear's encouragement and guidance leans back and takes a tiny step down. And then another step, and another until the two of them are a third of the way down. Bear challenges her to sneak a peek at the canyon floor below. Bad idea. Tamron shrieks and needs a few moments to pull herself back into focus and continue her way down. They push on, descending steadily as they watch the earth come up toward them. On the ground at last, Tamron celebrates. She knows that not only has she been introduced to the outdoors by one of the legends of survival, she's broken through several personal barriers. The pair finds their way to a waiting motorcycle and, with Bear at the controls, they roar off into the forest.

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