Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Giving the Bear?

Wednesday I felt ok, and I thought a nice evening camping alone, grilling over a campfire, and a nice early morning jaunt in Rocky Mountain National Park would help me. (REALLY???)

I gathered my camping belongings out of my toy bin in my room (yes, i have a toy bin) hauled it all to my car, stopped by Deanna's to pick up the last 2 installments of Harry Potter to read, and left. I didn't have much of a plan, except for hitting the west end of the park...and staying there..somewhere.

330pm I arrived in the park, purchased my annual pass, found a first come first serve campground, and went to through the motions of self-registering. I had to pick out a campsite, first. I was relatively crowded, but I had SOME options. I like seclusion, so towards the end of the grounds, there was a site, out by itself, with a great view across a valley. It was perfect.

The view from my campsite

Tent set up, I crawled in and read. I really did absolutely nothing for a good hour. Then I began my fire for what promised to be a FANTASTIC dinner.

Just a couple weeks ago I picked up some frozen alaskan salmon from the local farmer's market. I had a recipe, which included lemons, cilantro, green onions, and some other stuff, so I was stoked. Unfortunately the recipe was written for those who were cooking with an oven. Well, I had heat...

I did have some fire troubles (It's difficult to go from burning small twigs to large logs, since wood gathering was outlawed, and small twigs is all you can find)

It got started, however, and I arranged my fish in aluminum foil, and tossed it on.

Then it hit me. I'm not usually to worried about wild animals..I do all I can to ward them off, such as putting food in bear bins, or in my car, and cleaning up my campsite before I go to bed. But I realized, that bears love salmon....and salmon SMELLS....FISHY... I didn't have dishwashing liquid or paper towels, so I was basically going to be wearing the odor also.

Not to mention that if a bear decided to come prancing through this here valley up to the campground, mine is the first he'd come across.

GREAT. Nothing I could really do about it now, so I cooked my dinner (turned out...ok.) washed my dishes with water as thoroughly as you can, and packed everything away. As I sat by the fire reading, the ranger walked up to invite me to the evening campfire presentation on Bighorn Sheep. (Little did I know that it is Colorado's state animal).

THEN he proceeds to warn me of the danger of bears, and tells me that just YESTERDAY a bear had visited "THIS EXACT CAMPSITE!"

OH GREAT. Theres a bear out there, who likes fish, and knows where I live. sheesh.

That night, after the program (where the bear visit was ALSO mentioned), I laid down, and all I could think about is the bear. TWICE I could have SWORN I heard sniffing near my tent about 30 mins after I had turned in. I sat up and listened for another 10 mins before I decided that it was nothing. I slept on and off until my alarm went off at 3:30am. (My plan was to hit a trail early and maybe catch a sunrise over some peaks.) After that kind of rest, there was no way. I slept until 7.

My plan was ruined. All because of this bear that never even came to visit.

My whole


Deanna said...

sorry your trip did not go well. you should have come to see hp with me. i slept till 11am and it was a wonderful sleep!! : )

Lauren said...

I agree with Dee. You should have seen HP.

kenny [ ] said...

Great story Jeremy - except the part about sometimes putting your food in your car. Bears don't have much trouble smelling food through car windows, or getting into a car for that matter. Stick to the bear bins.

The Juice said...

i said that to the forest ranger, and he said it would be fine in the car, that they havnt had issues with bears breaking into i just stuck it in there.

Kelli said...

There's no feeling like knowing you are bear bait. :) Sounds like you are doing well! Do you ever fly out of Dallas? We fly pretty often, and I would LOVE to see you on a plane! Have a great week!

laura g said...

oh man, i SO wish i had been there! awesome.