We just returned home from our 3rd camping trip of the summer. This was certainly our most exciting one yet!
We have been planning a trip to Lake Tahoe for months. We felt like pros by now. We were packed perfectly and on the road only an hour later than we planned. That’s a big win!
We pulled into our campsite in South Lake Tahoe – located in D.L. Bliss State Park. Just like the other campgrounds we’ve visited, the ranger gave us the run down about bears: “Keep your food in the bear box. Never leave food out. Never leave food or coolers in your car.” We had heard it all before. We have been to a few campsites with bears and had never seen one. We smiled, nodded, and drove to our site. It was PERFECTION. Plenty of shade, right by the bathrooms, a huge picnic table, and a water spigot right next to us. We unpacked while the kids are lunch and then headed to the beach! Our campground had a beach on the lake a mile from us. Someone had the brilliant idea to walk. (That would be me…) It took a lot longer then I thought. We got to the beach as everyone was leaving though, so that was perfect timing!
I doubt I will ever forget the moment I saw the lake for the first time.
It was stunning. Breathtaking. I suddenly knew what all the hype was about. Lake Tahoe was awesome! The water had the must lovely shades of blue. Deep and bright. I couldn’t wait to jump in. It was chilly at first, but once I jumped in, the coolness was exactly what one hopes for on a hot day. The water was so clear – I was always able to see the bottom. I probably looked ridiculous, flipping and jumping around as Josh watched the kids. We all jumped in and had a wonderful time!
It was getting late. Our bellies were starting to grumble. The thought of walking the kids back 1 mile uphill to our site did not sound appealing. I stayed with the boys while Josh and Ellie headed up to get the car.
When Josh returned he told us he had something cool to show us. On his phone, he had recorded a video of a momma bear and cub! He saw the pair walking around as he drove to get us! I was so jealous! I wanted to see one! I had never actually seen one close.
We quickly started dinner. It was dusk by the time we sat down to eat. In the middle of our supper we heard the campers next to us making weird yelling noises and a woman giggling. Totally obnoxious. They kept going. It was getting weird. August then jumped up with wide eyes and shouted, “BEAR!” We turned to look. Sure enough, the momma and her cub ran from their camp site into the woods about 100ft away. We all laughed when our neighbors noises suddenly made sense, remembering Auggie’s reaction. I finally got to see a bear pretty close! August and Eloise talked about it all evening.
Darkness was quickly falling. Josh started the fire while I nursed Harris to sleep in the hammock. The kids sat in their camping chairs watching Josh. It was dark enough to make it hard to see, but light enough to see shapes and dulled colors. I heard noises from behind me.
“Josh. What was that..??” I asked softly. I didn’t want to freak the kids out.
“What?? I can’t hear you??”, he replied.
“I heard something. Behind me..”
“Summer, you have to speak up! I can’t hear you!”
“I thought I heard something!!”
My assumption was correct. The kids started to freak out. Josh brought them with their chairs by the foot of the tree I was nursing Harris in. He turned around to start the fire.
I heard a CRACK behind me. Quickly, I turned around to see a full grown brown bear. Josh had left the bear box open because he wasn’t quite done getting stuff out of it. The bear was only 7-8 feet away from us.
“JOSH! That is a BEAR!”
To be continued…
Part two here: http://justatiredmommasblog.com/2017/10/19/kiddos-camping-bears-oh-part-2/