Most Of The Time
Packing people into the back country doesn’t sound really exciting, I know. And if it gets exciting, it’s undoubtedly because something went wrong. But we did have occasional chuckles during those eight summers.
I stopped off at the backcountry ranger’s tent near Bullfrog Lake, in Kings Canyon National Park. He mostly checked fire permits and had a fun summer. He told me to get off my horse and in the tent … NOW, to see what he had.
He said no matter how many times they told campers not to feed the wild animals, there was always someone with a hearing problem. On the western slopes of the Park, where there are roads, a young guy was driving along in his brand-new Chevy hard-top convertible when he spotted a bear moseying along.
That’s when the great idea hit him. He wrapped some bacon around the steering wheel, opened the driver’s door, and stepped out with his camera. In a few minutes, the bear climbed in behind the wheel and was eating the bacon. He closed the car door on the bear. Click, click! Wow. It sure looked like the bear was driving the car. But when he walked over to open the door and let the bear out, the bear had other ideas. He growled and snapped and our photographer backed off.
When the bacon was gone, the bear discovered a creel in the back seat smelling deliciously of prime trout, and wanted that, too. So he turned and started climbing into the back seat. Unfortunately, the bear stepped squarely on the car’s brand-new horn as he went for the creel.
So the picture the ranger showed me was a good illustration of what a brand-new hardtop convertible looks like when a hand grenade goes off. Think sardine can. The bear left, and without using the brand-new door.
But most of the time ….
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