Friday, July 18, 2008

I almost died again.

I managed to secure an internet connection for a short while, and I decided that if I die, I don't want the last words I give to the world to be me calling the President of the United States a tool, so I'll make a quick post.

The campsite I wanted is first-come, first-served. To get a spot in peak season, you need to show up at around 7am. I was going to be getting in around 7pm, so I naturally assumed I would not get a spot. I had a backup plan camping just outside the park in a national forest (with the idea that then I could get up early the next morning and go get a spot inside the park). Sure enough, the campsite I wanted was full on arrival.

Now, there is a huge car-camping site right in the middle of Yellowstone that is always full, but just for fun (and since I arrived a bit earlier than planned) I decided to drive down there and check it out. When I arrived, I said "I'm sure you don't have any campsites available, but just for fun could you check?" As luck would have it, someone had just canceled for that one night just three minutes prior, and there hadn't been enough time for anyone else to claim it. I got the spot.

That night at the exact national forest campsite I had planned as backup, at exactly the time I would have been there, there was a tent mauling. A grizzly had smashed a few tents until he found one with someone in it. Luckily, the man didn't die, but the bear crushed all the bones in his hands, which considering he drove there on a motorcycle that is not an ideal situation, I suppose.

I also had a second back up of sleeping in my car in Cooke City just outside the park, and the next night the same bear found a car with someone in it and jumped on it. The best part is, they haven't caught the bear yet. When they do, they'll kill him, but that does little to help my nerves. My campsite is now a few miles down the road from the mauling site.

Tent maulings are so extremely rare as to have a near-zero chance of happening to any given individual. Technically, there is a non-zero chance, but it is very, very close to zero. That makes this whole event rather bizarre. I'm not really that worried about it, but the quiet, solo nights alone in the tent are probably going to go by a bit slowly for awhile.

This place is beautiful. I'm going to have the time of my life out here with all my camera gear, and I'll hopefully have a few good experiences to share when I get back. Just don't expect a post again until sometime around the first of August.

I'll be back soon. Unless I accidentally leave out the barbecue sauce.

1 comment:

Rachel B said...

Think of the up-close and personal grizzly bear photos you could have had! Oh well.