Camp stories


I have actually seen bears sit at tables like this. One time in Yosemite I actually saw one open a full jar of mayonnaise, proceed to lick it clean and then belch loudly before padding off the to next site. Another time a neighbor left their small dog tied to the car door overnight. The window was open a crack, just a crack mind you. The next morning they told us the dog had been so scared that he wedged himself into the car through that impossibly small crack. If they hadn’t told me, I would never have believed it! We nicknamed him Houdini after that.

Another time we had just set a beautiful table for breakfast, eggs, bacon, pancakes, the whole 9 yards. No sooner had we put the first forkful into our mouths we hear shouts of, “Bear, bear!” echoing throughout the camp. We looked up to see a good sized one trotting right towards us. I guess the human fear was overridden by the smell of bacon and maple syrup. It was every man (and child) for himself, as we all ran in different directions. He proceeded to clear the table of everything, including us.

In their latter days of camping my Mom had taken to sleeping with a scissors close by her bed, “In case I need to cut my way out the back when the bear comes in.” I guess she was assuming that the bear would automatically use decorum and come in through the front flap. Ever tried to cut into heavy duty canvas? I guess with the presence of adrenalin and fear anything is possible. Just ask Houdini dog.

This picture brought back some good memories of camping in my youth.

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