Why My Camping Days Are Over

So, I read this report at the WAPO with a lot of fascination:

A camper scared off a bear — then the grizzly came back and killed her.  Here  is the article. 

"Early on July 6, 2021, Leah Lokan awoke to a 417-pound grizzly bear a few feet from her tent, so close that she heard when the bear “huffed” at her head.

“Bear! Bear!” Lokan yelled, prompting Joe and Kim Cole — two other cyclists camping in the small town of Ovando as they trekked across Montana — to spring from their nearby tent, armed with bear spray and clamoring as much as possible, according to a 26-page report addressed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s executive body earlier this month.

The bear fled.

After scaring it off, Lokan, a 65-year-old visiting from Chico, Calif., moved food out of her tent to a nearby building. She armed herself with a can of bear spray. She declined an offer to stay in a hotel for the night. Then, she and the Coles returned to their respective tents."

That damn bear came back like an hour later and killed her.  A really horrible death.  

The comments are unhinged IMO.  So many people actually feeling more sorry for the bear, with many, many, evincing zero sympathy for this human being.  Without a doubt you can tell this bear was a problem.  It had grown used to foraging for food in town, where they were camping out.  It was only a matter of time before it killed somebody.  And it would have killed somebody again. It had to be put down.

I don't go for this shit that we are guests in their homes.  Sorry, call me a bad liberal.  I don't agree with baiting these bears or any wildlife, or even of hunting large game animals.  But once an animal becomes a danger to human beings we put it down.  You can talk about the Apex predator all you want, guess who is the Apex predator once you kill a human?  Yeah, humans.   A group of Rangers hunted down the bear and shot him.  And that is part of nature too if you  ask me.

People called her stupid.  Would I have gone back inside the tent once a grizzly had fucked with me in it?  No.  But I don't think people should die, especially horribly, for a mistake in judgement. 

Anyway, I would never camp in or even walk around grizzly territory.   I have camped on Long Island.  I used to do it a couple of times a year with Jim, my ex.

I did enjoy it with him because he did all the work, and the main reason I don't like camping is because I am lazy.   So it was nice when I went with him.  One time though, we went camping in PA.  What a fucking disaster that was.

The first campground we came to, Ken's Woods campground was just, let me say, not my vibe.

When we went inside the office to register there were two of the creepiest men I had ever seen behind the counter, and a sign "We don't call 911" on the wall behind them.

I beckoned Jim outside.  

"I really don't want to stay here," I told him.  "Did you see the way they were looking at me?  They are going to be standing outside our tent yelling in "can we have her when you're done with her?""

Jim found this very funny, but actually agreed.  He didn't like the vibe either. 

So we moved west and to the next campground, which was fine, but that night at the communal campfire an older couple told us there had been a bear wandering around the tents the night before.  I mean, I knew it would be a black bear, but I don't fuck with bears.  Black bears do kill people, don't listen to those who tell you otherwise.  Sure, most people survive an encounter with a black bear, but I don't really need the experience, you know?

After that, we always stuck to eastern Long Island, where the most exciting thing that happened was a band of sneaky raccoons made off with our marshmallows.

I will never camp again.  I'm just too freaking lazy for that whole rigmarole. 

That doesn't mean I don't  like nature, as some of those blowhards in that comment section were saying.  But my idea of nature is the bike trail in the Bethpage State Park.  Or, a hike in any number of parks we have here.  

RIP to Leah Lokan, a woman who was obviously a much bigger adventurer than me.  And probably a very lovely and interesting person.  I wish they had gotten that bear before he got her.  Before he killed, they could have safely relocated him.  After he killed, he had to be put down. Sorry, a grizzly should never be allowed to forage through towns, even a small one on the edge of the wilderness.  Eventually, someone is going to die.  

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