Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bear goes the neighbourhood

On my way home tonight I drove the proper way around the summit village one-way loop and used the extra 1.5 mile drive to look for wildlife (bears). Not seeing any I pulled in towards my house, and tutted at the garbage left next to our bear bin (again). My first job for the night would be straightening out the bear bin.

As I pulled up, something didn't seem quite right. The bear bin lid was open and before long I noticed a furry head poking out of the bin too. Our bear's natural habitat is apparently the bear bin.

bear in our bin Kingsbury summit village

What was I to do? I kept the engine running, pointed my lights at the bear and tried to take a couple of pictures. After a while the bear clambered out of the bin and went behind it. I knew the right thing to do was to scare it off so I flashed my lights and honked the horn a little, and even did a bit of clapping of the hands from the security of my Chevy (even though I know a bear can pull a door off a car with not too much trouble).

After some time he reappeared and then sat watching my car. Both of us got bored I think (he certainly didn't looked too bothered by my presence) so I parked up and armed myself. I took the magnet off my bear bell allowing it to jingle nicely, I packed my bear spray in its 'holster' in case of extreme emergencies and plonked a head torch on my bonce.

bear Kingsbury summit village august 2006

As I got out of the car the bear seemed a little less at ease. Walking towards it clapping and jingling my little bell seemed to convince it to head off. I stood looking at the garbage bin still open and couldn't bring myself to secure it. Apparently the bears are more scared than we are, so that baby must've been totally petrified! At one point whilst standing there all exposed I remembered that bears are incredibly strong, can run 30 mph and climb trees - this helped with that 'exposed' feeling.

I made my way down the rodent playpen that is the balconys and stairs leading down to my door. It soon became clear that Mr Bear liked it down there too as I saw a startled furry backside disappearing off the other way after he'd realised he'd come towards the human by mistake. Finally, heart in mouth, I turned the last balcony into the darkness outside my front door. No bear. Phew. Confident now that my door was unlocked I went a bear hunting along the banister. I could see him about 20 yards away, eyes white in my head torch. I reckon he was waiting to go back to the bins. I scrabbled about, clapped a bit and threw a couple of stones his way - I saved the John Denver songs for a more serious encounter.

Stupidly confident now behind my low balcony railing and having 'chased off' the bear (narrowly avoiding crapping my pants), I went back to the bear bin to have a look around. I looked around carefully with my torch but couldn't really see behind the bins so well. I took a deep breath and put the garbage back in the bins and secured everything. I then went to the edge of the road and tossed a couple of rocks in the general vicinty I'd last seen my furry friend. I'd rather we stayed distant friends than a dead furry friend, which is what he will end up as if he cannot kick the habit of eating our garbage (though this is 100% a human problem - carelessness).

So, I have finally met the other neighbours!


At 9:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

carl at last a bear of your very own - cool! We're very excited for you from the safety of our bear free lodge. Doug & Alex


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