I was inspired this morning by Ally’s post regarding a visitation by wild turkeys. I had a similar visitation by partridges some years ago in Wyoming, but that’s not what this story is about.
Somewhere, by the way, I might have photos of those partridges. I think that they were on an unprocessed roll of film that I have since misplaced. There are no photos, as far as I know, related to the story I will tell. There might be slides of the trip.
You see, when I was four (and a half) our family went on a camping trip in Eleven Mile Canyon in Colorado. Tent camping, as a matter of fact. I remember climbing a mountain, at least in my eyes, and siting on a giant rock that looked like a turtle. My mother apparently had something of a heart attack to see me up there but I was with my father.
We went fishing. Or rather, my brothers and father did. As I recall, my brothers caught nothing. Or they caught tiny little fish. Before we left, my father took me fishing and I caught a gigantic fish… per my four year old memory.
And a family of skunks visited our campsite in the evenings. They had a fascination with my mom. No photos, I’m afraid, but family stories of the skunks coming each evening and stopping in front of Mom to worship her. She was known as the skunk queen from there on.
But one night, my father left an open package of oreos on the picnic table. In the middle of the night, crashing about was heard outside the tent. A bear had wandered into the campsite and was eating those cookies! I guess we were lucky that the cookies were all that it took. In those days, no one locked up their food in the car or hung it from the trees – at least that was never a part of the story. The bear came, the bear ate the cookies, the bear left. We only ate Oreos, you know. My grandfather worked for Nabisco and was involved in the creation of the Oreo.
It would be wonderful to have photos of that bear. I don’t believe anyone left the tent.
I think, actually, that that was the trip we visited Santa Claus at his summer home. While I don’t remember rides way back when, I do recall hearing Santa say that he preferred popcorn and root beer more than milk and cookies. I may be getting two trips confused but our family provided Santa with popcorn and root beer after that visit. Surely the skunk queen could do no less.
You may remember this bear picture from a meme several years ago. It seems it was taken from a video shot in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada by Dorothy Hays when a young black bear came into her backyard.