We’d seen a few Blacks Bears. One at the dump was cool until it flushed the Thayer’s Gull, while another mom and cub double act showed incredibly well roadside. So well it took a few honks of the horn to push them off.
That night we hit the sleeping bags early – around 7pm. Then at 11.30 I was woken by the pierce of a distress whistle to my left. Trevor? Rheanna? Christian was in the truck sleeping and Jennifer was behind me so it wasnt them. 30 seconds later the truck horn blasted and there was a couple of shouts. I blasted my whistle and threw on some clothes – this was bear time for real. In the dark it was hard to see but the adrenalin was pumping and we followed the drill of making noise, beefed up by Christan making loud bear noises and chucking rocks from the campfire at the beast. You could hear the bear growling and rustling in the undergrowth. By now we were all up – Rheanna had heard the bear gruffling outside her tent, and blew her panic whistle, and it then moved into the back of the truck looking for food. Christan scared it from there when he woke up in the cab.
The bear was still about and Trevor’s rucksack was missing. We decided to quickly drop the tents and get out the area before it came back – which it did to the greeting of a volley of stones and whistles.
Not much sleep was had a few kilometres up the road and we returned in the morning after surveys to look for Trevor’s bag. We found it in the tress near the camp. It had been ripped apart and Trevor’s secret stash of Pepperoni and Frosted Shredded Wheat was gone. My toilet bag had got a paw rip on it, but survived.
“Frosted Shredded Wheat – that’s like crack cocaine to a bear” was quote of the day. One bear had got a taste of campers kit so it was time to clear out.
We are now even more Bear aware! All food stuffs are now in sealed boxes with none at all in bags, rucksacks and tents.