I should have known better. After all, I have more experience with bears than most people but here I found myself in a very dangerous situation having just poked a hungry she-bear. It all started out innocently enough. Barb and I had made it to Ditch Creek, our favorite campground in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Our plan was to spend several days here exploring the country. As I have mentioned in the past, one of the goals of our RV adventure is to find the area where we would like to settle down when we are ready. We don’t know if it will be 3 years from now, 5 years or even 10 but we want to find the perfect spot for us when the time is right. In the past 14 months we have traveled pretty much from coast to coast and as of right now Wisconsin and the Black Hills area are at the top of our list.Our plan was to pick a different area each of the 4 days we were there and drive around to see which area appealed to us the most. A day in the Hill City area, a day in the Custer area, a day in the Hot Springs area and a day up north in the Spearfish/Deadwood area. Although all within the Black Hills, they can be vastly different. We aren’t asking for too much……our picture perfect location is 5-20 acres off a quite road in a meadow with a trout stream flowing through it. The backside (and maybe one or two other sides) would abut National Forest property meaning no one else could build there and we would have all the hiking and hunting opportunity we would ever want. Evidently we are not alone in this quest as we drove for 4 days and never found the ideal spot that was for sale. We saw a lot of beautiful country, several ideal locations but it either already had a house on it or was not for sale.
We loved the area around Spearfish/Deadwood but it seemed to be the most expensive with property going for $10,000-$20,000/acre, a little rich for our blood. The Hill City/Custer area is equally as beautiful and a little more reasonable. The Hot Springs area was quite different from the others. Although it still has a lot of pines, it is more arid and desert-like with rocks and cactus being abundant. It was on the Hot Springs day that I got myself in trouble. It started out innocently enough. Barb and I had breakfast, studied the listings in the area, made our game plan for the day, loaded Daisy and our maps into the Jeep and headed south to Hot Springs about an hour south of where we were camped. I drove while Barb navigated. The directions on the listings can be challenging and quite vague and I could tell that we were both becoming a little more agitated as the morning wore on. When Barb starts to get frustrated with me she will often say “Don’t poke the bear” which her nice way of saying “watch it”. Around noon we passed a Dairy Queen. Now, Dairy Queen is one of our favorites and I usually ask if we should stop when I see one. So, I asked her if she wanted to stop. “I’m fine” she replied. So we went on our way and looked at the last few listing struggling to find them and they did not pan out....
Frustrated and tired we started our way back north. Passing through town again I drove past Dairy Queen and kept going. Thinking just a little bit ago (well, maybe two hours) she said she did not want to stop so I did not ask her……big mistake! Next thing I knew I looked over to the passenger seat and I was face to face with a frustrated, hungry, angry she-bear! Being an experienced woodsman I have had some experience in handing these situations but for those of you unfamiliar here are a few tips…..Never and I mean never look an angry bear in the eye. Instead keep your head down and slowly retreat to a safe distance until the threat has passed. Believe me, this is not easy to day when the bear is in the car with you!
Other than this encounter, our trip from the Oregon coast, back to SLC and off to the east has been very good. While in Salt Lake we were able to spend Mother’s Day with the kids, something we have not done in a long time! Kendall is really walking around now and sometimes falling.
I also received the drone I ordered a few weeks ago! It is really cool and a lot easier to fly than I thought. I did have one scary moment when we were camping in Flaming Gorge. We had arrived at our favorite boondocking spot in the area and I wanted to get an aerial view of the rig. It was a little windy but nothing the drone could not handle so I went launched in to get some footage. The drone has GPS satellites to help keep its location and not fly off on its own. Well, as I was flying over the rig, it lost satellite reception and the wind took it off over the lake! Before I got control of it again it was a good ¼ of a mile over the lake and I could barely see it. I thought it was a goner for sure! Luckily I got it back to dry ground. After that I put it away for a while to let my nerves calm down. I did create a really short video below which shows our last two campsites. Bear with me as I learn how to use it.......
|Our site at Flaming Gorge|
From Flaming Gorge we headed east spending a night in Casper before we arrived in the Black Hills. All in all is has been a good week but I have two more items to add to our “Never List”
Never fly the drone when it is too windy and never poke a hungry bear!