Do bears eat rice?

Note: The following is back-dated, as our campsite didn’t have wifi.

Lessons from the road:

  • Eating an entire box of Triscuits (or Wheat Thins) is more effective than caffeine at keeping one alert at the wheel. Substituting sliced bell peppers doesn’t work.
  • Windy roads with beautiful ocean views get old when they make the trip twice as long.
  • Rob prefers dusty I-5 to the scenic coast because it’s direct.
  • Dogs can get carsick.

We rolled into our Mount Shasta campsite after dark, after passing the unlit sign and driving 5 miles too far on the mountain road, without reservations because you need to stay two nights in order to make a weekend reservation. Some places I called last week said they were totally booked, so it was a relief that our off-the-beaten-path site had a few tent spaces left.

The chick was quick to say, “They’re in full sun with no privacy from your neighbors.” The full sun part might have been a problem if we planned to stay past noon, because it’s 100-bajillion degrees, even in the mountains apparently. The big concern about neighbors would have been Isis barking, but as it turned out, we got a pretty private site, close to the restroom. I only noticed this morning as I walked around in my flip-flops with Isis how close the next tents were.

One of my concerns about camping was that nearly every site I looked up in California warned of bears. I’m not usually afraid of such things, but I don’t think Isis is big enough to fend off a bear attack, and actually, neither am I.

Despite the bear crossing signs on the freeway, I wasn’t overly concerned, just cautious. It’s a pretty big campground, bears probably stayed away. Still, we diligently put all the dog food, crackers and sushi containers back in the car before bed. I worried a little about the rice that fell on the ground, though. And maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to stuff one of Isis’ chew toys with meaty snacks for her to work on all night, but how else were we supposed to keep her occupied?

It wasn’t until this morning when I saw the sign on the restroom that said, “Bears have been known to pass through looking for food…”

I don’t think Isis barked once after we got here. Unlike some of the other campground dogs. Such a well-behaved traveler. Oops, spoke too soon. I had her loose in our little area, with her 20-ft lead trailing behind her. She just took off after another dog. When I caught up, I said to the guy on the other end of the leash, “She’s just curious.” And let her sniff for a minute until she lifted her upper lip and snarled. What the hell?

I do wonder what goes through her mind sometimes. She got along quite well with her Aunt Millie and Great-aunt Chancey, but every once in a while, there’d be some growling and/or barking. Chancey, like Cousin Zoe, had the tendency to turn around and bite Isis as she walked by. To assert dominance?

It’s 7:40 and it’s getting warm already.

I saw several shooting stars last night. Rob drank several beers.