Phil, Roy. Quit hamming!
Photo: Dave Freed
Bear at Lansdowne House cont'd
After repeated attempts at scaring the bear we were kind of at a loss as to what our course of action should be. We became very concerned that this fearless bear would come lumbering through the campsite and decide to find out why the camper tents all smelled like processed meat sandwiches.
We decided to get a third party involved and wake up the Northern Store manager. We were totally unsuccessful. The man was very kind and generous to us but he did not wake up to our pounding on his door. Even after whistle blows and pot banging he never came out to this circus occurring in his own backyard. We were totally dumbfounded and concluded that he was the soundest sleeper ever.
So it was that the bear, the staffman and myself were all in the backyard. The bear was eating the trash and the staffman and I were thinking up tactics to scare it away. My idea was fire. The kitchen area was way too close for comfort, but using a system of one man watching the bear and the other sprinting to the fireplace and lighting a fire (three sprints in total: one to lay the birch bark, the second for the wood and lighter fluid, and the third to light). The idea here was that animals were afraid of fire. The thing burned high and bright but did not faze him. This bear was not afraid of fire.
An hour went by. The bear would sometimes walk around a little only to return to his trash. Every time he walked we would back up even more. This thing was big and frightening. Finally we tried again to scare it. We blew the whistle and screamed and yelled. The bear reacted this time. He began to run into the corner of the yard once again trapping himself. That was truly frightening since we were closer this time. Instead of turning to eat us, he chose to attempt the fence. Fear turned to comedy as the bear tried to climb the fence but was far too overweight to do so. The staffman began to shout obscenities at the bear. The obscenities must have offended the bear because he finally ran out of the yard.
After a nervous investigation we determined he was gone and then carried all of the trash we could find as far away from the yard as possible. We then waited a half hour and went to bed. Sleep did not come easily but finally it did come. I dreamt that the bear mauled one of the campers.
The staffman and I rose the next morning to find the jewelry had been knocked over. As mentioned before, the kitchen area was much closer to the staff tent than the trash boxes. I am very glad that I did not wake up. Two rounds were one thing but three was too much.
We left Lansdowne that day but not before telling our tale to the employees of the store. As we were leaving a scraggily bear cub wandered into the area in front of us and the employees. Iím sure they think we were just dumb Americans making a big deal of that little bear. They were, as ever, too polite to mention it.
Tim Nicholson, 9/19/00
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