Saturday, June 26, 2010


Many of you have asked for the bear story... so here it is.  Right after school ended, we spent 5 wonderful days on the Long Beach peninsula (Thanks Aunt Kathy and Uncle Brian!) near Oysterville.  The far north tip of the peninsula is Ledbetter state park.  Animals are aplenty in this area.  We decided to drive up near the hiking trails.  This story starts out with me yelling out "OH.MY.GOD."  There was a bear cub sitting on the side of the road.
The bear cub took off, and we continued on the drive.  When heading back down this road again, there was the same bear cub, sitting in the same place on the side of the road.  We chalked it up to what a stupid bear.

Let me interject with the excitement level in my children.  None of us, including the adults, had ever seen a bear.  Sure, at the zoo, but never in the natural element.  My children were giddy.  Thrilled. 

The next time we went down this road, we saw a bear cub, but this time it was black.  Then we saw the brown cub again.  Then we saw an older one sitting in a field.  We were pretty bear-struck by this point.

The children begged for one more visit to this area.  Our last visit.  We had barely started down the road when we spotted a FULL SIZE black bear, walking down the white line on the side of the road towards us.  We stopped and watched in amazement while he dumped a garbage can.  Owners came out yelling "No bear," and their dogs went into attack chase mode.  We watched the bear run off to a little turn off area up the road.

Interest peaked, we of course followed up the dirt road.  This part of the story is why I called this our last trip.  This was the full bear experience we lived through, and had no desire to go back. 

We quickly discovered that it was merely a dirt driveway into a camping area...FULL OF BEARS.  Two adult black bears, one adult brown bear, and four bear cubs.  Side note, little bear cubs are so cute!  The little cubs scampered up the tall trees, like a squirrel climbing a fence.  The big black ones stood guard at the base.  The big brown one came sniffing and snorting to check us out.  Of course we decided now was the time to back out.  That's when we noticed a car was blocking us in taking pictures.  We waved our arms and mouthed to move... to no avail.  She decided, instead, to continue snapping pictures.  I could see the headline now:  Tourist catches family of four being eaten alive by bears on film.  Clearly at this point, the only thing to do was...take pictures.

The brown bear backed right up to the bushes on our side...and pooped.  Seriously, pooped.  There's another first for the four of us.  Eventually, the car behind us came to it's senses, and we were able to back out.  The children begged and begged to go back in the following days.  We never went back.  I was unwilling to witness what would top that story.

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