State Of The Trip

Even though I’m in Downieville now, this journal is still at Lake Tahoe. I’m going to be scrambling to catch up on posting, because the Wi-Fi is decent here.

But I am on high Bear Alert here in Downieville. Why? Because I have actually seen bears here before. At night, the bears dig in the dumpster in the parking lot. About three years ago, I went outside and surprised one. It did not matter that the bear was just as surprised as I was or that he ran in the complete opposite direction. That bear was going to eat me, I just knew it. Breathless, I raced inside and launched myself onto the bed where Kim was reading. “OHMYGOD, BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! BEEEAAARRR!!!” By the time he ran outside, the bear was gone, and he didn’t believe there really had been a bear at all. But then a couple of days later, driving home on a winding road, a bear ambled right out in front of our car. Kim slammed on the brakes and started frantically pointing — as if I could not see that there was a huge bear strolling across the road right in front of us — and sputtering in shock, “Muh ma bu woo uh…!” And I calmly looked at him, “Yeah, like I said … BEAR!!!

So when I arrived at the inn this time, I went to the office to ask the innkeeper if it was safe for me to leave any food at all in my car, because I am traveling with several bags of groceries and I’ve heard stories of bears breaking into cars to get to sandwiches and stuff, and I know they have an incredible sense of smell. He said, “Well now that you’ve brought it up, if I didn’t tell you to bring it inside, I’d feel responsible if your car got destroyed.”

So I schlepped all the bags in. Heavy, heavy bags. Paper bags. In the pouring rain. Bags that no longer had handles attached by the time I wrangled them into the room.

But I am happy to report that bears did not peel my car open like a grape in the middle of the night.


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