Bear Camping

Brandi and I were planning to go kayak camping with some friends in Bald Eagle State Park this weekend. Due to logistical problems, we ended up relocating to Hickory Run state park in the Poconos. Nobody felt much like kayaking, so we went car camping instead.When we checked in to the campground, the (hottie-pants!) ranger lady told us to watch out for bears. She said there were 10 bears in the park:

Two females: one with six(!) cubs, the other with two, and one five hundred pound male.

I was kind of hoping to run into them. Bear pictures would look lovely up here on the blog.

It was really hot out, and I had a hell of a time setting up my tarp. Ultimately, I lost my composure, flew into a rage, and tossed the tarp in the (bear-resistent) dumpster.

Bear Sign

The ranger lady wasn’t shitting us. We went off into town to find firewood, and all the houses had huge steel cages over thier garbage cans and gardens. They must have pretty aggressive bears.

We didn’t think to check ahead of time, but there was a NASCAR race in the Poconos this weekend, so the campground was full of loud, drunken hillbillies, and the lavatories were full of vomit. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh air, camp fires, and beer barf cooking in the hot sun.

It wasn’t exactly conducive to communing with nature…

Roughing it
Not everyone wants to rough it

Between the boisterous neighbors and the opressive heat, I didn’t get very much sleep Friday night. But, we had some pretty severe rain on Saturday, which seemed to scare off most of the buffoons.

I deeply regretted the loss of my temper and tarp during the rain storms. Our tent sprung many leaks. I should have seam-sealed it before we left…

The rain cooled things off considerably. It got kind of chilly out Saturday night, but my 40° sleeping bag kept me plenty warm. I also got a insanely luxurious sleeping mat just for this trip. Very comfy.

The upshot is that I slept like a log, and kept half the campground awake with my snoring.

Brandi was somewhat less than amused, but it seemed to keep the bears away. We didn’t see any at all.


Beach on a mountain lake

Despite the hillbillies and the heat, it turned out to be a nice trip.

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