Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Camping, hiking and bears. . . OH MY!!!!

We went camping with our good friends, the Sauter's to Trumbull Lake.  The elevation of this lake is 10,000 and is just beautiful.  We canoed on the lake, fished, hiked and just had a blast.  What made this trip really interesting was the bears.   Yeah on the website it stresses keeping all food in the bear boxes and not in tents or cars, because bears FREQUENTLY visit the camp sites.   Well let me tell you about our bear encounters.
Night one. 1:10 a.m.
I wake up to hear our rubbermaids being knocked over repeatedly and so I elbow James to tell him there is a bear out there.  After listening for a few minutes  the bear messing with them it is quiet and then we hear breathing right outside our tent.   I mean right outside we hear this bear breathing in and out slowly and I seriously have never been so scared in my life.  I didn't know if he was going to try to get in and I was looking at the kids sleeping terrified.  Well after a few minutes he went away but  the damage was done.  I was super scared and freaked out that a tent was between a 300 lb. black bear and our family.  Well the next day we were telling everyone about our experience and they were not even phased saying, "oh yeah they come through all the time looking for food and wandering around the sites."   HOLY CRAP ok maybe I'm over reacting.  everyone just said to make sure our camp site is clean and put away and we will be fine.
Night two. 10:00 p.m.
I go to the suburban to take out my contacts and happen to scan with my flashlight the area around me when I see 2 green eyes about 30 yards away.  I shine my light back and there is the bear.  I took a picture of Kaitlyn of where the bear was to show how far away from me he was.

So everyone that day had told us to make noise if we see one because they are scared of us, so first I yell for James to get Brett in the suburban (why not all the kids, I'm not really sure apparently I only wanted to save the youngest)  so he comes out of the tent with Brett saying why do you want me to put Brett in the suburban and I shine my light on the bear.   So he quickly buckled up Brett in the suburban and we all made noises and yelled to scare the bear, which he was and went away.  A funny thing that my friend Brittnie told us later was, when she heard us yelling bear she was in her tent putting the kids to bed and freaked out.  She was looking around for any food that might attract the bear to their tent and saw her 3 year old laying down with her sippy cup of milk.  So she ran over to her, grabbed the sippy cup and flies out of the tent and chucks it into the woods.  I laughed so hard when she told me that.  Especially when she said that about 20 minutes later she went out with her flashlight looking for it found it and gave it to her little girl.  We later figured out that is where Travis had poured the bacon grease from breakfast.
Night three. 11:00 p.m.
This night we had dinner earlier and everything cleaned up and put away by nightfall.  The adults and the 2 oldest kids (Derick and Cade) are around the campfire talking.  Every minute I get my flashlight and shine it around the area.  Derick is laughing at me telling me to stop because I'm being ridiculous. I stand up because the smoke is in my face (you know smoke follows beauty) anyways I shine my light around and 20 feet away is the bear!!!!  I literally had no time to think so I say "oh my hell" (I know I know) and take off as fast as I can.  Well the others just saw the terror on my face and reaction so they take off to the tents as well.  It was a sight to see with all 6 of us running from the firepit knocking over chairs, and anything else in our way to get away.  In fact thinking back I had no clue where Derick was all I knew was I was outta there!  So after a minute we went back and shined our light and he was gone but we could see his green eyes just in the woods reflecting, watching us.  That night laying in our tent I realized that is where the kids were putting cornuts, trying to catch some chipmunks.   So the next hour was us sitting around the campfire laughing hysterically at all the craziness that had just happened. 
Aside from the bear encounters we went hiking to 3 glacier made lakes that were just gorgeous, and fished a ton.

This was definitely the most memorable camping trip ever!!!

 Here is the bear on day 2 walking along the rocks.  He was pretty far away but in my video zoom you could see he was pretty big.

 bear lockers where we stored all the food, tackles, anything that even had food smell.

 blue lake
 I told Derick that this part reminded me of Lord of the Rings with nothing but rocks.

 Travis cooling off the kids after our long hike.

 Cooney Lake     so clear you could see the trout swimming

 Derick wanted so bad to jump off the rock formations.

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school!!!  Wow did summer fly by and now it is a new school year.   I've got 2 in middle school, 2 in Elementary, and JUST 1 home with me.  Olivia is just so excited to be in school finally but I am really sad.  Olivia was so fun having at home with me and going around shopping and running errands.  I'm really going to miss her and whenever I tell her that she should just skip school and stay with mom she puts her hand on her hip, rolls her eyes and says, "mom you can still come visit me during lunch."

Derick 8th grade

Kaitlyn 6th grade

Taylor 3rd grade

Olivia Kindergarten

The girls