Besides feeling utterly uncomfortable, I was so afraid of bears that I couldn’t sleep at all. Like I said, we had lots of fun during the day but being sleepless for several nights wasn’t really recharging my batteries. After three nights of biting my tongue, I asked Paul if we could go home if I couldn’t get any sleep that night.
It must have been just before daylight broke, that I heard the sound of an animal approaching our camp. Then I saw a shadow. I prayed that Emma wouldn’t wake up and that Griffin stayed calm. I tried to wake Paul, whispering that I think there was a bigger animal wandering around our tent. Thankfully, he didn’t brush me off nor fell back asleep (like he usually does). He had heard something as well. He held my hand and with a soft voice I explained my escape plan to him.
After a while, it was quiet again. The gently gurgling of the creek and those darn chipmunks throwing pinecones on our tent was all we could hear. My prince in shining sleeping bag nodded off again.
The next morning couldn’t come fast enough and I was almost glad when I heard Emma stir in her travel crib. As soon as we crawled out of our tent, we saw our camp neighbor walk towards us. Her family had been up since the break of dawn to pack up and get ready to head home. She greeted us friendly and asked if we needed more fire wood, we could use their leftovers. Her next question, however, had me break out in sweat: “Did you see the bear that visited your camp earlier this morning or have you been asleep?”
When she continued to tell us how that bear walked up to our picnic table and put his paws up on my cute tablecloth sniffing around for food, my smile froze and I wondered why I was the only one shaking. Turns out she was a camping veteran and “totally used to sharing her camp with bears”. Oh, right.
Well, not me. A bear sneaking around our tent was enough reason for me to tell my husband that the Thrasher camping adventure was over. And the next time, he wants to take the kids into the woods, I’ll be heading to a spa in the wine country. Mark my words.