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Yosemite Valley, 123

October 1, 2013

Bear

In honor of the 123rd Anniversary of Yosemite being a National Park—and because I seem to have picked up a few climbing readers with my last post—following is a short, cautionary tale from my first trip to the Valley:

It was well after midnight when we rolled into Camp 4. It was a dream come true for a then young, climbing bum and his dog.

Little did I know, one doesn’t simply “roll into Camp 4.”

You need reservations. You need to be registered. And dogs… well, they don’t really like dogs in the park. Who knew?

So under the cover of darkness, Blackfoot and I quickly slipped from the cab of my truck into the back. I put towels over the windows so no one could see us. Just as I started drifting off, I heard a noise in the parking area; surely a ranger had seen me drive in and had come to investigate.

Blackfoot was already snoring, and I didn’t even dare peek out the window. I pulled my sleeping bag over my head and the next thing I knew it was morning.

There was a big commotion in front of my truck. Tourists had gathered all around, and they were taking pictures.

Turns out there was no ranger in the night. Instead the sound I had heard was a bear peeling the door off the car parked directly in front of me. The small moral to the story: Always make reservations when visiting Yosemite (or at least arrive early). The bigger moral: Never leave a bag of Doritos under your passenger seat.

Happy Birthday, Yosemite!
Thanks for the memories.

•   •   •

p.s. You can get the above charcoal drawing of a bear on a T-shirt over HERE! It will keep you safe from bears vandals, I promise.

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