Forest rangers, chasing bears, and a road falling off the mountain

 “Hello?  Anybody home?”

A man and a woman in tan uniform are at my door.  “National Forest rangers,” the man announces.

The crew, of course, bursts out the door, barking like maniacs.  “Good morning!”  I greet them both cheerfully.   Oh, I hope nothing’s wrong.

“Very nice set-up you’ve got here.  I like your trailer.”  He’s leading with a compliment to set the tone before he hits me with the bad news.  “Thank you.  I bought it last August.  I’m very pleased with it.”

“We’re here to inform you – uh oh, here it comes – that fire restrictions are in place.”  Whew!  I relax.  “No campfires are allowed.”

I tell them both that I gave up building campfires several weeks ago. 

“It’s common sense not to have a campfire when so many forest fires are breaking out.”  This statement seems to put everyone at ease.  We chat for a while.  The female ranger is young and lets the male ranger do the talking.

“I’m a teacher, too,” the male ranger reveals.  “Science, chemistry, sometimes math.  This is a summer position.  It makes a nice balance.”

I take the opportunity to ask questions.

“I saw a sign that says something about a conservation pool in the reservoir.  What does that mean?”

“The reservoir provides water to farmers.  A conservation pool means the reservoir must be maintained at a certain level for the fish.”  That makes sense.  Yesterday some official-looking guys were out here measuring water and taking samples.  Then this morning the lake is much higher.

“What about bears?”

“You don’t have to worry about black bears.  We haven’t had any incidents this year with them bothering people.”  Well, gee, I don’t want to be the first.  He continues.  “We make sure the bears are afraid of people.”

“How do you do that?”

“With dogs.  People with dogs, usually some type of hound, get a Pursuit Permit.  It’s good for certain times of the year.  It allows them to chase the bears.  Once a bear goes up a tree, they leave it alone.  That way the bears become afraid of people and dogs.”

“Oh, so it’s like coon hunting in the South, only without the guns.  I like that.” 

They don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave, so I ask another question.

“The other day there were people driving up and down this road.  Now it’s pretty quiet.  No one’s around.  Why is that?”

“This is a detour road from 153 that goes up to an area of summer homes and another lake.  Part of the road fell away.  It was so bad they couldn’t fix it without blasting into the mountain.”   Hmm . . . part of the road fell away. Lovely.  I’ll be sure to picture that as I creep down off this mountain. 

He compliments me again on the BLT and they go back to their truck.  “Enjoy your stay!”

The next morning . . .

I wake up early.  The sun’s barely up.   This is a good time to see some wildlife.  We’re all alone here; even the guys with the tent are gone.   Two sleepy heads peer out from the covers.  If we go out while Bridget and Spike are still sleepy, maybe we won’t scare anything away.

I take them out quietly and sit in the camp chair at the front of the PTV.  I wait.   Oh darn, nothing.  We must be too late.

The crew wanders around looking for the best place to relieve themselves.  Suddenly Spike stands at attention, and then starts trotting.  Bridget and I watch.

Three deer have been grazing right in front of us!  They’re perfectly camouflaged against the slope of the earthen dam.  The deer run and then stop and look back at Spike.  What a beautiful sight.  How graceful they are!

Spike decides to let them be. 

He’s a good boy.  He knows they’re no threat.  The deer also realize there’s no danger to them.  Slowly they walk single-file along the dam and into the forest.  What a wonderful way to begin the day!

Later the three of us stand together at the edge of the lake.  I look out over the still water.   A mountain lake surrounded by pines and aspens . . . all to ourselves.   Silently I give thanks and say goodbye.

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“Take one last soak, Spikey.  We’re off to a new camp today.”



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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42 Responses to Forest rangers, chasing bears, and a road falling off the mountain

  1. hobopals says:

    Well, Sue, at least you can rest easy about the bears. I would still carry bear spray since Jack is not a Karelian Bear Dog. I’m surprised that the rangers don’t get after the people who leave trash.

    I’m glad you asked. Led me to this interesting story about the bear chasing dogs.

    In the event a bear ever bothers you, you can always punch him in the nose! 🙂

    Stay safe.

  2. Chinle says:

    Love the cute photos of the pups and the yellow mule’s ears. Nice camp – why leave so soon?

    Utah doesn’t seem to have many bear-human encounters, and that explains why.

  3. harrietann12 says:

    Are u sure Spike’s not part Lab? Never seen a terrier type so ready and willing to get wet. That is good news about the bears. I bet Spikey could give em a run for the money, eh? 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t understand Spike and his love for water. And to think he spent the first half of his life never going swimming. I did notice he loved soaking in the bathtub! Little did I know . . .

  4. geogypsy2u says:

    Moving already? And from such a peaceful looking place.

  5. Your life has become so peaceful and tranquil… it just comes through your words and photos so well. You are doing what we are ready to do. We are on the precipice of our leap, as the house just sold. Got the rig and ready to go as soon as Steveio finishes out his “indentured servitude” with the state job he has to get the pension.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House… BIG Backyard

  6. Marsha says:

    Love the picture of them peeking out from under the covers. Bridget always looks like she’s in trouble.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That face of Bridget’s — looking like she’s in trouble — is her camera face. She puts it on whenever I try to take a photo of her. I don’t know what that’s all about. Trying to figure out Bridget and all her emotions is quite an undertaking.

  7. Sue Caldwell says:

    Judy,thanks for your posts. After a week of shootings and bomb threats they help soooo much. When I retire this is my dream.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Sue,

      rvjudy and her canine crew . . . hmm… I haven’t seen the news in a week so I don’t know about shootings and bomb threats. . . sounds like life as usual. . . insane.

      Happy to share my dream with you . . .

  8. karen says:

    Another great story…… complete with gorgeous pictures, too. Loved the one of the pups peeking from under the quilt. What a piece of heaven you’ve found. Lots of great information. Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen and Mike …

      Rat terriers love to sleep under covers. Spike will sleep in the dog bed on the floor, but toward morning he crawls in with Bridget and me. He acts like a tough guy but he’s really a softie.

  9. Ron says:

    I also wonder why you are leaving such a pretty place so fast. That might be something else to add to your blog ,thinking and decision making on time to go.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      In winter I don’t move as much, staying where it’s warm. Summer is the time to move, and summer has a way of slipping away. I want to get up to SD, get my new license, see Mt. Rushmore, etc., and then, once out of SD, I can slow down or not, always mindful of when the mountain roads are likely to get snow.

  10. minicooper10 says:

    Your quick decisions to leave campsites reminds me of my boyfriend. When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, I was hoping for a longer stay due to its magnificence. He took one look and said, “Big hole in the ground, river in the middle, got it! Let’s go! :))) :(((

  11. thatcase says:

    Don’t think I ever really understood the meaning of “lucky dog”, until reading this blog.

  12. carol says:

    spike is one handsome lad,star of the show.

    Now a down comment, that crap behind the lake is all2nnd growth,nothin but”pecker poles”,s/be thinned to prevent a hhalocaust!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Interesting way to teach bears to beware of humans and dogs…and then you also have dogs!! Never heard of this before but I think it is a great idea!!

  14. So………… what’s around your next corner ??? LOL! I’m with the others. figured you would stay in heaven a bit longer!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Under any other circumstances I would have stayed two weeks. How often do you get a lake of your own?

      As you know I have that SD destination that’s nagging at me. I have until the end of August to take care of registration and insurance and that can be done by mail, which is tricky with mail forwarding. So I want to get up to Rapid City, take care of that plus get my SD license to match. Then I can slow down until the threat of snow!

  15. Cathie Laurent says:

    Surprised you are leaving so soon, but can’t wait to find out why!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I surprised myself, too. I got the itch to move, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the peacefulness of Upper Kent Lake. Summer is my time to see new places.

  16. mary strasser says:

    Now, come to Colorado, the S central park, Blue and Bear Lake near Cuchara, Tell the camp host that Mary at the Country Store recc. this to you. If you’re looking for green , a lovely lake (2) and a village that welcomes the dogs, Cuchara is the place. Come to the country store and introduce yourself. Cuchara is waiting for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      Nice to hear from you. South-central CO is an area I’ll probably visit, if not this year, then soon. Cuchara sounds really welcoming. I’ll make a note of it on my map. Thanks, Mary.

  17. cinandjules says:

    It’s us again………….we’re hooked on your blog.

    Your style of writing makes me laugh…which is a good thing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great to hear you’re “hooked!” My writing makes me wince when I go back and reread what I’ve written in the past. Blogging almost every day doesn’t leave much time for editing! Glad you overlook the punctuation, grammar, etc. errors . . . and get some laughs out of it.

  18. sierrasue123 says:

    What ! gone allready and after that harrowing drive??? Whats going on Sue??

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I could have stayed as long as allowed, but when I get the urge to move on (hitchitch), I might as well hit the road. I’ll always remember those three days with fondness. Places to go, things to do . . .

  19. Karen Osmon says:

    Love the picture of the dogs under the comforter, both of mine like to sleep under the covers also!

  20. Chuck says:

    Beautiful pictures, lovely spot!!!

  21. lonewolfgal says:

    I hope it won’t hurt Bridget’s feelings to learn that she’s being used as a cautionary example. “Lookee here, Lexi,” I say to my 3-year-old Jack Russell, pointing to Bridget’s ample girth. “That’s how you’re gonna look if you don’t exercise more restraint in your eating.” She looks at me as if to say, “But I get hungry, dummy!”

    I truly believe that, given the opportunity, Lexi would eat until she literally exploded — not an enchanting mental image. Nevertheless, I manage to keep her at a svelte sixteen pounds, in spite of her efforts to thwart me. I gather you haven’t been as successful with Bridget (who, despite her huskiness, is a fine-looking dog)?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My theory . . . Bridget’s weight problem developed because she lived with two other dogs. It was difficult to monitor food amounts . . . everybody was stealing from the others’ dishes! Apparently Bridget cleaned up the leftovers. I also think it’s her temperment. Spike is always on his feet, ready for action, sprinting here and there, exploring, running around. Bridget sits on her bottom and looks around. What’s the term? Mesomorph?

  22. Ron says:

    I think you have rambling fever , in the summer, I get a bad case of it myself wondering what is over the next hill.

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